Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read anyway. – Groucho Marx
The key point is: Closeness is nice. Getting comfortably seated is the final step before beginning to read aloud. Where the children sit depends on their age. Dads can hold infants in our arms as we read to them, or lay them down. Their lap is probably the best place for toddlers, pre-schoolers, and lower elementary school children. Bigger kids can sit next to them or somewhere else nearby. Some children like to read along silently while the dad reads aloud. In that case, dads have to be sure that dads hold the book open wide (children can help) and that the children are seated close enough to read comfortably.
If dads are reading to more that one child, they should beware competition between them. One way to address this is to involve an older child in helping them read to a younger one, or just read to one at a time. If they have more than a couple children in their audience, it may be best if they face them. When the book has illustrations, they need to be sure that the children can see the illustrations. The closer the better, because closeness promotes a warm feeling between them and the children, and children can see more easily and will be more likely to participate.
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.