Some things to remember when reading aloud to your children
Start reading to your children as soon as possible.
Read books that include repetition when they are infants through to toddlers. As they mature add predictable rhyming books.
When you are reading a predictable book, stop occasionally on a key phrase and allow your child to provide the words.
Read as often as you can, as often as you have time for.
Set aside some time each day to read a story.
Listening is a skill that must be acquired. It must be taught gradually over time.
Start with books that have lots of pictures and few words, slowly move to books that have a little more text and a little less pictures and eventually move to chapter books.
Choose different topics to read and books that vary in length. Read both fiction and non-fiction.
Involve your child and let them turn the pages, make comments and ask questions about the pictures.
When you start to read a book read the “name of the book”, “the author” and the “illustrator” so you children understand that someone actually wrote the book and illustrated it.
Look at the front of the book with your child and ask them what they think the book is about.
When reading the story, stop and ask you child what they think may happen next.
When reading to your twins and other children of similar ages, picture books can be easily read however novels may be a little more difficult as the emotional and social differences will vary, so it is therefore best to read separately if you have other children in varying ages.
Avoid reading long passages until your child’s imagination and attention span are capable of handling them or just try to shorten them.
In you are reading a long chapter and you are running out of time try to stop the chapter at an exciting part so your child will be excited to start reading the next day to find out what happens.
Make sure your kids are comfortable, ask them what happened in the book the day before and settle in before you start reading.
If you are reading a picture book make sure you children can see the pictures easily.
Make sure you have the right lighting, brightly lit windows or backlighting can strain the eyes.
Remember your twins will enjoy pictures books at all different ages.
Allow time for discussion after reading the story. Children’s imaginations tend to be aroused by a book and they may have lots of questions, thoughts, hopes, fears etc.
Reading aloud does not come naturally to most people so you may need some practice.
Use plenty of expression when reading. Change your tone and volume to fit the story to make the story more exciting and engage your children.
Read slowly, use vocal expression and give your children time to take in the story and look at the pictures.
Some children may be reluctant to sit and listen or very active so it is ok to give them some paper and crayons initially to keep their hands busy while listening.
When a child wishes to read to you it is better for the book to be easy to read than too hard as this builds confidence.