You are your child's first and most important teacher!

parent and child reading

Dear Parents:

Reading aloud to your child can be one of your best parenting experiences! We hope that you and your child create many loving memories as you explore children's books together.

Here are some tips from

Don't wait until you think your child is "old enough" to be read to. You both can enjoy this experience sooner than you think--well before your child's first birthday.
Make reading aloud a daily habit! It's a wonderful routine to help your child prepare for bedtime. Like all habits, this one may take a while to get established, but hang in there until it's a daily (or nightly) routine.
Remember to keep it fun! Try to allow your child to select the books to be read. Yes, it's hard to read a book for the umpteenth time (We've been there!) but your child will gain a lot from these repeated readings--both emotionally and in preparation for his or her own reading development.
Previewing books with your children is part of the fun! Look at the pictures and talk about them. As you chat about the pictures, you prepare your children to enjoy the book, and you can explain some words or names they will hear when you begin reading.
This is an experience that you can really "get into." Roar like a lion, squeak like a mouse, and read your stories with great feeling!
An enjoyable alternative to reading aloud can be the stories that you tell yourself! Your children will enjoy the tall tales you make up, or the family stories that you remember. But be sure to read books or tell a story EVERY DAY!


Easy Ways to Grow a Great Reader

Get your child ready to read and to succeed in the school years ahead!

pat a cake

  1. Read to your child and point out words and pictures. You are your child’s first teacher.

  2. Visit the library every week with the whole family. Everyone gets to pick out their own books.

  3. Get a library card at your local public library. It’s free!

  4. Sign your child up for Summer Reading at the local public library and enjoy free programs with fun activities, storytelling, crafts and more.

  5. When your child watches TV, join in and turn on the closed captioning so children see the words as they hear them.

  6. Talk together and tell stories with your child while cooking dinner, traveling, or shopping. Your child will learn lots of new words and ideas.

  7. Sing to your child while getting ready for the day or for bed.

  8. Encourage your child to set up a play library, restaurant, museum or school, complete with books, menus, maps, crayons. Children learn best through play!

  9. Write lists with your child - grocery lists, birthday present wish lists, or lists of your favorite books.

  10. Bring a basket of books for reading breaks from the sun, water, sand and all outdoor activities.

  11. Keep a list on the refrigerator of the books read to your child all year long.

  12. Read together at bedtime every night!