Storytime is a regular activity in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Parents also use part of their day or night to read aloud to their child. Reading aloud to young children has many benefits that children can carry with them throughout their school years and into adult enjoyment of reading.
The choice of books to read aloud makes a difference in the quality of the listening experience. Books and stories that have rhyming words, "big" words that will intrigue children and contribute to having them want to know the meaning of the word, and descriptive words for the illustrations are all important components for a great read-aloud experience. Each of these components will make a contribution to children's development of vocabulary. Development of vocabulary is an important skill for future reading skills.
Reading aloud also provides an opportunity to ask open-ended questions about the story. Children can stop and ask their own questions, and the reader can also stop and ask questions about what the child has heard from each page. Open-ended questions that begin with "why", "what", and "how" can get children thinking and provide the opportunity for them to express opinions about what is happening in the story.
Teachers in the early childhood classrooms at Sarasota County Technical Institute's Tech Tots Preschool have a daily read-aloud period in their day. They choose books with intriguing illustrations, and books that provide opportunities for open-ended questions. They also make a habit of reading the stories more than once. They introduce a book at the beginning of the school year, and use it throughout the school year. Children enjoy hearing favorite stories over and over. Each read-aloud experience provides a different opportunity to discover something new about the book.
Make time for reading aloud to your child. Both the reader and the child will enjoy the time together.