Find Your School

Found Near You

Our Blog: February 25, 2021

Reading with Your Child

March is designated as National Reading Month to motivate Americans of all ages to make reading a priority!

Most of us are familiar with the research revealing how important it is to read with children every day. And most of us have every intention of doing that. However, daily life, with all its tasks and distractions can get in the way of realizing our best intentions. Therefore, purposefully, scheduling time to read with your child is one of the most valuable things you can do as a parent. There are many reasons why reading with your child is so critical: 

  • Your child gets your undivided attention and closeness, which is something they want more than anything. 
  • It encourages your child to experience the joy of reading. Children who love to read not only do better in school, but also become lifelong learners. 
  • It helps to develop your child’s language and literacy skills. 

Let’s explore how reading with your child helps to develop their vocabulary, which is the amount of words a child knows and understands in oral language. A large oral vocabulary is the foundation of ongoing language and literacy development. Reading books aloud exposes your child to all kinds of words, including spicy words. Spicy words are new, interesting, rich, and increasingly complex words.

Here are some tips for how to promote vocabulary development while reading with your child: 



  • Read with lots of expression.
  • Add your own comments and thoughts as you read to help your infant connect with the story.


  • Use spicy words to describe what you see in the pictures. For example, use words like “gigantic” instead of “big.”
  • Point to pictures and ask your child to describe what is happening.


  • Show your child the front of the book and ask what they think the book may be about.
  • Use spicy words that help to extend vocabulary, such as, “He looks frustrated. Why do you think he is frustrated?”


  • Give your child the opportunity to express what they feel and think about the story.
  • Ask your child open-ended questions about the story, pointing out spicy words or words that are unfamiliar.


  • Point out interesting words and invite your child to use context to figure out the meaning.
  • Highlight words that have multiple meanings.


Happy Reading! Visit Reading is Fundamental at for some additional information and ideas to spice up your own at-home story time!  

About the Author

Dr. Susan Canizares

Dr. Susan Canizares is the Chief Academic Officer at Learning Care Group, responsible for leading all aspects of the educational mission. Dr. Canizares earned her Ph.D. in language and literacy development from Fordham University and a master’s degree in special education, specializing in Early Childhood, from New York University. She has authored more than 100 nonfiction photographic titles for beginning readers. Some of her published credits include Side by Side Series: Little Raccoon Catches a Cold and A Writer’s Garden.