Reading tips for parents

Reading to children - even before they can read themselves - is key for your child to become successful in school later on!

Why? Reading to children builds language and listening skills, develops creativity, and teaches them to enjoy reading and learning early.

You can choose any of the books on BookSmart to read with your child. But this guide will give you answers to some common question on how to get started:

What should I read?

What is the child most interested in? Do they like animals? The alphabet? Songs and rhymes? Start with something the child likes... believe it or not, for young children the more fun the book, the more beneficial for your child! And if you're not sure what your child wants to read, ask!

Where should I read?

You can read to a child in your home, school, or anywhere in between. Sit side-by-side with the child or have her/him sit on your lap.

When and how often?

Any time is a good time to read with a child! However, lots of parents and children enjoy reading together right before children go to sleep at night.

For how long?

We recommend reading at least 10 minutes a day to your child. Reading regularly is key!

How do I read?

As long as you read books your child likes regularly, you can't go wrong! But here are some tips...

Pause every now and then to ask questions about the story. These can be...

... Questions to help the child relate to the story, such as, "How would you feel if that happened to you ?"

... Questions about what may or may not happen next in the story, like "What do you think happens next?"

... Or point, name and provide details of pictures in the story. For example, if there is picture of an elephant in the story, you might ask, "What's the name of this animal? What noise does it make?"

And if the child asks you to read a story again ... go for it! Repeating stories helps children learn more details and think harder about the story. And they can read along with you the better once they come to know a story.

Still not sure where to begin?

Here are some great books you can start with: