Reading aloud to our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. When we snuggle up with our kids and a good book, not only are we giving them our time and attention, we’re also giving them the skills that build the foundation for reading ability and school readiness.

We all learn about language and the world around us every time we read or are read to, even babies. Reading to little ones teaches them about the printed word, the concept of reading from left to right and turning pages to continue a story. Research shows that books, even children’s books, contain up to 50 percent more words than kids hear in spoken conversations, including on TV. Exposure to more words stimulates our kids’ language skills and builds vocabulary, while helping to grow their curiosity and memory.

Summertime gives us a bit of a reprieve from the tight schedules of the school year and often provides a wonderful opportunity to read to our kids throughout the day, instead of just at the usual before-bed story time. When the kids are acting up, whether out of boredom, fatigue, or just plain Pesky Kid Syndrome, reading aloud to them always ends the battle. A great story can entertain them, take the edge off whatever argument was ensuing, and keep them calm for at least ten minutes.

If you’re less than thrilled by the thought of reading your kids’ tattered standbys,  yet again, check out a few of these newly-released books for kids:

Duckling Gets a Cookie
by Mo Willems
Duckling gets a cookie, and guess who’s jealous? Kids will love this new tale starring familiar characters.

Hugs from Pearl
by Paul Schmid
Pearl is a porcupine, which makes giving hugs a challenge. But she finds a way. Get to know Pearl in this sweet story.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
by Eric Litwin
Oh no, Pete lost one of his four groovy buttons! Count down with Pete in this new book featuring a beloved character.

Me Want Pet
by Tammi Sauer
Cave Boy desperately wants a pet. He tries many, including a wooly mammoth and a saber tooth tiger, but only one is just right.

Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit
by Chris van Dusen
Randy’s not a baseball genius, but his science smarts allow him to save his entire town from a giant fireball!  Older toddlers will enjoy this one.

Reading to the kids is also a great activity to suggest to your sitter. Find & book babysitters at

Recommended Posts