Dad reads aloud

My dad reads aloud: Read-aloud material that children and fathers enjoy

Immerse yourself in exciting stories and captivating adventures together

4 out of 10 children are rarely or never read to at home. Yet children learn to read more easily if they are read to right from the start. And reading aloud can do much more: it creates closeness, awakens the imagination, promotes vocabulary and prepares children for school. What's more, children love being read to! If you are looking for suitable recommendations for reading aloud, take a look at the list of dads that we present in this article.

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Anybody can read aloud. Mom, aunt, big sister, but of course a father, grandfather or older brother can do it just as well. But fathers take less time for it on average. Yet fathers who read aloud are particularly needed: as "ambassadors of reading" who can motivate boys to read by acting as male role models. This is because boys read comparatively less than girls and are therefore far more at risk of not fully acquiring the basic skill of reading.

Initiatives such as Stiftung Lesen therefore want to encourage families in general, and fathers in particular, to pick up a book more often as reading role models for their children and to take on their role as formative (reading) promoters.

There is plenty of reading material for everyone

There is no shortage of choice on the German book market. Around 9,000 new books for children and young people are published every year. You may even be asking yourself: "How do we find the right book for our child in such a large selection?"

Of course, when it comes to classics, it's always worth taking a look at the heroes and heroines of your own childhood. Many children have spent countless happy hours with the Little Caterpillar, Pippi Longstocking, Petterson and Findus or Mowgli and Baloo from the Jungle Book. For more recent books, a trip to a well-stocked bookshop will help. The professionals on site can do a lot with just a brief description of the child and their preferences and often have some great hits to hand.

Searched - found: The dad list with recommended reading on fatherhood

For all fathers who are keen to read and would like to browse through the range at home, there is also an annually growing list of tips and recommendations: The "Dad List" brings together over 300 updated reviews of picture books, novels, comics, guidebooks, audio books, DVDs and magazines that Christian Meyn-Schwarze, a father and book reviewer from Hilden, has been compiling for more than 20 years on the subject of fatherhood.

Among them you will find guides for fathers-to-be as well as entertaining stories for new dads and stories in which fathers and their children play the leading role. And as Christian Meyn-Schwarze has now reached "grandpa age", the section for grandfathers who love to read is constantly growing.

For better orientation, the list is divided into categories. Starting with books for expectant fathers, through books for two-year-olds and kindergarten children. This is followed by recommended read-aloud and first-reading books for schoolchildren and first novels for teenagers, in which a father often plays the central role. Unfortunately, this is still a fact: fathers who actively look after their children hardly ever appear in children's and young adult books! Last but not least, there is a thematic classification on the list: for example, you can search specifically for books that deal with difficult situations in separating families or those about children with single fathers.

Borrow or download books for free

The more children's books there are at home, the more regularly parents read to their children. But you don't necessarily have to buy the books - especially if they are only suitable for a short age range - if the household budget is tight. Because buying books can quickly add up. Use the alternatives:

You will find an enormous selection in book, audio and digital form in public libraries. In North Rhine-Westphalia, there are over 300 public libraries and bookshops, certainly also near where you live.

You are welcome to ask at your child's daycare center, elementary school or the parish library in your community. Books for the right age can often be borrowed there free of charge. In many cities, there are bookcases where you can borrow or swap books for free.

Book buses serve as mobile public libraries in some outlying areas of cities or rural communities and drive directly to schools.

Another way for bookworms is to visit various online platforms where you can download books for free. For example, you can access three new stories every week (from 3, 5 and 7 years old) via the website of the Reading Foundation or the "just read aloud! app.

Where can I find help and advice?

"More parents read aloud": that is the aim of Stiftung Lesen. You can find information and reading tips for families on the Internet portal of Stiftung Lesen.

You can download the current Dad List 2024 in the right-hand column.

You can find out how important reading aloud is in the article Vorlesen im Vorschulalter here on the Familienportal.NRW.

The article Lesen mit kleinen Kindern here on the Familienportal.NRW describes how you can promote bonding with your child while reading together.

Brochures Download

You can download the Reading Aloud Monitor 2023 free of charge from the Stiftung Lesen portal:

You can download the Dad List 2024 free of charge here.