5 Benefits of Reading Aloud

There are so many wonderful benefits of reading aloud to your children when they are young. Of the many benefits I’ve considered over the years as an educator and a parent, here are my top 5 benefits of reading aloud (in no particular order):

  1. Bonding. Snuggling up with your little one to read aloud can provide loving physical touch, the joy and security of hearing your voice and simply having some time in the day to be together!
  2. Increased communication skills. Reading aloud helps children acquire vocabulary, learn sentence structure and practice listening. They will also begin to comprehend cause and effect, sequencing and dialogue.
  3. New experiences. Selecting a variety of books helps you to expose your child to different concepts, cultures, places and more. (Click the “Follow” button on the right side to receive emails of the latest Sunshine Readers posts for some fresh reads!)
  4. Fundamentals for literacy. Reading the title, turning the pages and saying “The End” when you finish, will teach your child the consistent order of reading a book. You can also follow along with your finger as you read to teach your child that text goes from left to right in English.
  5. The desire to read. When you read with your child, you show your desire to read and begin to build a desire for them to read! Regularly visiting the library can be an easy and fun way to pick out books together to read at home.

Your child will hopefully develop a long-term love of reading and learning if it is built in from the start. Not quite in the habit of reading aloud with your child? You can start today! For ideas on board books to read with your baby or toddler, check out my recent post 12 Must-Read Board Books. For a fun picture book read-aloud, check out The Watermelon Seed or Everybody Loves Bacon.

For those of you who are already in this habit, please take a moment to share the benefits YOU experience from reading aloud. 🙂

12 Must-Read Board Books

Are you looking for a new board book to spruce up your collection or to give as a gift? Board books are wonderful for young children because they do not tear or rip the way books with paper pages do, while introducing children to literacy and important concepts such as the ABCs or transportation.

I have compiled a list of 12 must-read board books that our family has enjoyed reading. 🙂

Please leave a comment to share other board books that you and your loved ones have enjoyed!

Best Ages: 0-3 years

 Board Books for Learning

  1. My First Busy Book by Eric Carle. The bright, beautiful illustrations we all know and love from the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar accompany touch-and-feel learning in this large size board book. My preschooler still likes this one!
  2. Haiku Baby by Betsy Snyder. A charming book to expose children to poetry and literature at a level they can understand! Sweet pictures highlight the lessons on seasons and weather, too.
  3. Montessori: Map Work by Bobby and June George. I absolutely love this book! It provides a great introduction to geography skills in an engaging way. The Georges are Montessori educators who founded an accredited school in South Dakota.

Board Books with Unique Illustrations

4. Busy Little Mouse by Eugenie Fernandes. Very bright and lovely 3D illustrations of clay scenes. This book also teaches animal sounds in a fun way. I found it touching that the book is written and illustrated by a mother-daughter duo.

5. Love my Shoes! by Eileen Spinelli. Multimedia illustrations show the many ways we use shoes. This would be a great book for any kids or parents who really love shoes!

6. Sally at the Farm by Stephen Hughes. My daughters both love dogs, so Sally was a big hit with them. I liked the distinct illustrations that made an otherwise simple story stand out.

Multicultural Board Books

7. Cradle Me by Debby Slier. A board book featuring baby faces and expressions is nothing new, but this one stands out because of the photographs on each page of Native American babies from numerous tribes. There is also cultural information in the back regarding cradle boarding.

8. Quiero a mi mamá porque… by Laurel Porter-Gaylord. (I Love My Mommy Because…) This is one of my favorite board books. It is bilingual, with text in English and Spanish, and accompanied by lovely illustrations of mother and baby animals.

9. Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney. A husband and wife team up to create a book with poetic text and beautiful photographs. This is an excellent read-aloud for young children.

Faith-Based Board Books

10. Really Wooly Little Bedtime Prayers by Bonnie Rickner Jensen. My husband and I appreciate the Really Wooly series because it goes beyond the well-known Bible stories commonly seen in children’s Bibles. It contains verses along with poems and prayers to explain and explore each verse… With adorable illustrations!

11. I’m Thankful Each Day! by P.K. Hallinan. This book has profound and heartfelt text. In my opinion, the illustrations are a bit wanting, but the message of the book is what made it land on this list (and what keeps it on our bookshelf at home).

12. God Made You Nose to Toes by Leslie Parrott. Although I don’t love the style of illustration in this book, I included it on this list because it engages young children with its rhymes and brightly colored pictures. My children enjoy reading this one often.