Ahhhh…summer. The word alone sparks visions of blankets spread across open fields and a big stack of books. It is one of my deepest desires as a mother to impart my love of reading to my children. Reading just opens up worlds that otherwise we would never visit. It ignites imaginations, it fuels our play, it challenges and refreshes our weary mind. I have found that summertime is a natural time to nurture this. Many of us, as parents, feel that when our children reach the age of reading themselves, they no longer need us to read to them. Quite the contrary though! Reading aloud is one of the greatest gifts of time we can give our children. It is in read aloud times where they learn things such as tone, timing, and emotion. It’s where they can connect with you through great literature. Never stop reading to your children.
When reading aloud to your children however, I would give one piece of advice. Choose a book that they would not choose on their own. Choose great literature. Look for the Newberry Award Seal. This helps them to realize that great books many times hide behind a more “boring” looking cover. It also helps to expose them to literature that they would never read otherwise. To help you with this, I’ve compiled a short list of some of our favorite read aloud books.
The first few books I’ve listed are great for younger kiddos as well as older elementary children. I think a lot of the time, we save chapter books for older kids, but preschoolers love chapter books too! My girls have been listening to chapter books since they were babies, and they absolutely LOVE characters like Ramona, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Goonie Bird Greene. After reading one of these books, they will talk about them for weeks! The key to reading aloud to children of any age is to let them keep their hands busy. Let them build with Legos, let them work on a puzzle, let them color or draw. When their hands are busy, their ears are listening!
Here are some suggestions for older children.
These are all books that we have loved and learned from. You can never go wrong with reading aloud to your children. So, what are you waiting for? Go grab a blanket and a book and head outside for some sunshine and reading! I’m headed that way too!