Reading Tips for Parents and Educators

Reach Out and Read

Below are some of Reach Out and Read’s “doctor-recommended” reading tips for parents with young children, courtesy of Reach Out and Read National.   Reach Out and Read encourages all parents to make reading with their children part of the daily routine.

For babies:

  • Make reading part of every day
    Read at bedtime, read on the bus or train, read before a nap, read any time!
  • Have fun
    Children who love books learn to read. Books can be part of special time with your child.
  • A few minutes is okay
    Young children can only sit for a few minutes for a story, but as they grow, they will sit longer.
  • Talk about the pictures
    You do not have to read the book to tell a story.
  • Let your child turn the pages
    Babies need board books and help to turn pages, but your 3-year-old can do it alone.
  • Show your child the cover page
    Explain what the story is about.
  • Show your child the words
    Run your finger along the words as you read them.
  • Silly sounds are fun to make
    Grab an animal book and practice making animal noises together.
  • Choose books that your child can relate to
    Select books that relate to what is happening in your child’s world – starting preschool, going to the dentist, getting a new pet, or moving to a new home.
  • Make the story come alive
    Create voices for the story characters and use your body to tell the story.
For children 2 years and up:
  • Ask questions about the story
    What do think will happen next? What is this?
  • Let your child ask questions about the story
    Use the story as an opportunity to engage in conversation and to talk about familiar activities and objects.
  • Let your child tell the story
    Children as young as 3 years old can memorize a story, and many children love an opportunity to express their creativity.
  • Take advantage of your local library
    Sign your child up for a library card and expose her to thousands more (free!) children’s books. Check to see if the library offers story hours or special events!  To find a public library in your area, click here.


Reach Out and Read Illinois
1400 West Hubbard, Suite 100
Chicago, Illinois 60642
Phone | 312-733-1026 ext 204
Fax | 312-733-1791
Email |

Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics