How to Get the Most Out of Read Alouds


family read aloudReading aloud to your child is one of the best ways to have a lot of fun while instilling a love of reading. Spending quality time reading books with your children can nurture relationships, develop communication and literacy skills, and enhance a child’s understanding of the world around them.

Studies show that only 15 minutes of reading a day can significantly increase a child’s language and brain development. These 15 minutes a day can be sporadic or part of your daily routine. As parents, we most commonly think of reading a book as a great bedtime activity, but what about the time spent waiting at the doctor’s office? Strolling the aisles of the grocery store? Read the labels to your child and begin a conversation about the items you’re adding to your cart. You could also tune in as your child listens to a short story being read to them in the car on Footsteps2Brilliance

Read alouds are not just about reading the story, but also immersing your child with the story. One of the greatest ways to interest children in being read to is to get into character while reading aloud, alternate between deep or high pitched voices depending on the character or mood. Also, it’s good to get in the habit of asking questions while reading aloud. According to ReadAloud.org, there are three types of questions to help young minds interact with read-aloud books.

  • Literal Questions – help teach vocabulary and information that is right in front of you
    • What color is the house? What type of animal is this?
  • Inferencing Questions – help children look beyond the words and consider the ideas in the book
    • How did the character feel? Does the animal-like what it is eating?
  • Evaluating Questions – help little minds make judgment calls about a book’s situation
    • Do you think the character was nice? Why? What would you do?

Some of these questions may seem complex for young readers, but as they grow it is important to ask all types of questions during read-aloud stories. It’s important to note that reading aloud doesn’t have to be limited to advanced books with lots of text, picture books make for great read alouds as well. What are some of our favorite picture books for interactive read alouds? Here are a few recommendations from us to add to your list of must-reads the next time you visit any branch of the Osceola County Library System:

  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
  • The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Giest
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • Curious George by H.A. Rey
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? By Jane Yolen

Do you have favorite stories that you love to enjoy with your kids? Share them on our Facebook or Instagram and you could earn a shoutout! #OsceolaReadsBooks

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