Dads should try to make the book come alive by varying the way we speak, for example, by:
1. using different voices for different characters
2. varying how loudly we read
3. adding sound effects, such as the sound of the wind or the bzzzz of bees
4. highlighting important words.
Voice variety adds drama and fun to reading aloud. For some books, a serious tone may be appropriate, but for many books a relaxed, fun-loving tone is best. The children will enjoy it more and dads will get a lot of fun out of their time “on the stage.”
Using our whole body
Our entire body, not just our voice, can get into the act when we read aloud. For example, facial expressions show emotions, such as raised eyebrows to express surprise. A finger can point to
relevant parts of the book or to something nearby related to the story. Gestures can explain vocabulary. A hand can pat children on the shoulder to encourage them to contribute their ideas. Dads can walk like a chicken or gallop like a horse and encourage the children to join them.
Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It's fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!
- George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.
Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including "The Read Aloud Guide", textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children's storybooks).
Find out more about reading aloud to your kids .