If you’re a dad, there are probably lots of ways you love spending time with your kids. One of the most beneficial for both you and your child is the time you spend reading to them. Reading to kids doesn’t only have a slew of benefits like improving language skills and boosting social skills, it also gives parents an opportunity to bond with children in a quiet, focused setting.
You may be a dad who gets the benefits of reading to your kids, but there may be one problem: you just don’t like doing it. Maybe you don’t like reading yourself, or maybe it’s hard for you to get your kid to stay quiet and focused enough to settle for a book. Whatever your challenge is, there is most likely a solution that can help you make reading with your kids an enjoyable and positive experience. Here are some reasons why reading to your kids is important and some tips for making it fun and beneficial.
Benefits of Dads Reading to Kids
Research shows that dads reading to kids has specific benefits. Here are some of the most important:
- Improve Language Skills. A study showed that kids develop language skills better when read to by their father, since dads tended to spark imaginative conversations about books more than moms.
- Confirm commitment. For dads who traditionally don’t spend as much time with kids as moms do, reading can be a solid way to demonstrate that you want to spend dedicated time with your little one.
- Improve Cognitive Abilities. Dads tend to encourage more play and exploration with kids, and this type of engagement with kids helps create new experiences and boost cognitive abilities.
Improve Your Experience Reading to Kids
If you don’t enjoy reading to your kids, here are some tips that can help improve the experience.
Make it More Fun
Reading doesn’t have to be quiet and solemn. Make reading aloud a fun experience by hamming it up: use voices, gestures, and create characters so it feels like an immersive experience.
Pick Your Favorite Books
Suggest books you loved as a kid. Read your child’s favorite books to them sometimes, but also bring in books you know and love. You’ll enjoy introducing them to material that you loved as a kid and have a good time revisiting it.
Tell Your Own Stories
If you don’t like to read stories from a book, tell your child stories about your childhood. Telling them a story about you with a plot and characters can have a similar effect on your child’s development.
Focus on Pictures
For dads that don’t like to read, consider checking out picture or photo books, then describing the photos in the book to your kid. You and your child can talk about the pictures together, which can help with language development and spark learning, too.