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Don't Read To Your Child! - The Snap Mom

Don’t Read To Your Child!

I love this concept! How many times I have made the mistake of reading to my child!!!!! Ahhhhhh! Thank you Kerry!

by Kerry Purcell | Staff Writer for The Snap Mom

Don’t read to your child? What in the world?

We all know that beginning at birth it’s important to begin exposing your child to books. But, did you know that there is a difference (and a good one at that) in reading with instead of to your child? Let’s explore this idea a bit more.

Reading to your child means that you do all the work. Reading with your child means that s/he is involved in the process.

What’s the difference?

There’s no doubt that exposing your child to a print rich environment will foster a love a language, and hopefully, a love of reading. There is also no doubt that reading to your child offers him/her a rich experience in exploring the wonderful world of books as well as the opportunity to bond with you. Think about, for a moment, what might happen if you allowed your child to take the lead. What might happen if s/he did the exploring and you did the supporting?

So what does that look like?

When reading a book, begin with a picture walk. Turn the pages, and ignore the words. Instead allow your child to point to the pictures while you name the object. As the vocabulary of your child grows, you will notice that they can point and name with a level of independence.

What kind of book lends itself to a “reading with” approach?

For the early reader (birth to preschool), predictable books are best. These books usually have very few words on a page and the text repeats itself again and again (think Dick and Jane). As you read the book with your child again and again, s/he will begin to pick up the pattern and will soon “read” it with independence. Board books are also great because they stand up to curious hands.

How often should we read with our children?

Research shows that at least 20 minutes a day is best. But, for our little ones, 10 minutes will do.

So we cannot read to our children?

Of course not – everything in balance. Read with and read to your child. Bottom line is that it is never too early to develop of love of language and a love of reading in your child. Readers are leaders!

And, one more thing . . . remember that books make amazing holiday gifts!



Kerry is a former teacher and principal turned consultant who spends way too many hours on airplanes as she flies across the country supporting leaders in underperforming rural and urban districts. When not lugging a suitcase through an airport, Kerry can be found spending time organizing and decorating her home and enjoying the little things in life. Kerry also works part time as an online instructor for Concordia University and is the founder and developer of the blog,

  1. […] by Kerry Purcell | Staff Writer for The Snap Mom […]