October is a busy month. In addition to being National Bullying Prevention Month, Eye Injury Prevention Month, Breast Cancer Awareness, SIDS Awareness, and Halloween – it’s also National Read Aloud to a Child Month.
October 21-27, 2012 is Read Aloud to a Child Week and this year’s theme is The American Presidents. Parents are encouraged to read aloud to young children at least twenty minutes every night during this special week and throughout the year.
Here are some suggested books to read aloud:
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary – Available in Spanish
- Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White – Available in Spanish
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater
- A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck
- Hate That Cat, by Sharon Creech
- The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
- The Witches, by Roald Dahl
And of course, it’s the perfect time to get your own copy of Richmond Rocks by our own, Kate Hall! This full-color book is a fun way to explore Richmond’s history and sights. It’s the perfect book to read aloud for little ones, and they’ll love the illustrations by Knox Hubard and awesome photography by Hayes and Fisk, the Art of Photography.
When reading aloud to a child, consider these ideas to make it even more engaging:
- Set aside a specific time for reading that becomes a routine so kids look forward to it. Having a special time of reading really encourages children to become more interested in books.
- Create the right atmosphere by finding a comfortable place the child enjoys. Maybe it’s a special reading nook, or a comfy chair, or on a favorite blanket or bean bag. You can read to children outdoors in a shady spot or anywhere that helps the child focus.
- Make reading fun by having an impromptu skit where you and your child act out parts you read. Use funny voices for the characters and make it interesting to act out the story.
Have a time of drawing or painting after reading so kids can express what they learned through pictures.
- Give children a choice of books to read aloud – children love choosing their own books.
- Children love repetition and reading the same books – and they enjoy memorizing them and pretending to read aloud themselves. But also make sure to introduce new books to spark imagination and expand the child’s vocabulary.
- Read books about a particular event or place just before planning a visit to that location. For example, if you’re heading to the zoo next week, read a book about animals and zoo life to encourage listening. You can reflect on the the book as you visit the zoo.
- Create a reading certificate to reward kids for reading aloud.