Growing Into Books

Section 2: Reading Aloud Helps Your Child's Language Growth

Helping Your Child's Language Grow How to Read to
Your Child
Playing With Stories Choosing Books


Preschoolers who enjoy words and talking will also enjoy books. Your children like to listen to stories and talk about them. This happens especially when you read your child books about the things that he likes. Many preschoolers like books about favorite animals, books about other children, and books with silly words or pictures.

Reading to your child helps your child's language and literacy skills continue to grow. This happens when you:

  • talk to your children about the stories and pictures
  • ask them questions about the story
  • answer their questions about the story
  • help them learn new words from the stories ("Chipmunk is the one with stripes on his back.").

Reading to your child also helps your child learn to read. When you read to your child, your child will want to learn to read. Most children who are read to at home, have an easier time with many school tasks. Children who are read to:

  • learn to read and write more easily
  • listen to their teachers more often
  • understand instructions better.

The best thing you can do to help your child learn to read is to read to your child. But many preschoolers are not ready to sit still and listen to storybooks in the way that school age children do. For example, some young children love to snuggle on your lap when you read to them. Some like to listen to stories while eating a snack. Others prefer to sit beside you while you read. Some children love to talk and point to the pictures. Others sit very still. When you read to your child, you will learn how and when your child enjoys storybook reading. Set aside a time to read each day. If you are just beginning to read to your child, you may want to read more about getting started.

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last updated 4/25/05
©2004 The Pennsylvania State University
U.Ed. LIB 03-64