Shortly before bedtime – the three-year-old daughter sits on your lap, directs her gaze to the colorful pictures and listens intently to the story. In many families, reading aloud in the evening is a ritual. Often there is the favorite book to be read over and over again. But in times of freely accessible videos, radio plays and songs via digital media, are books actually still up to date?
Reading aloud in general is enormously important for children’s language development. When you read stories to your child and you look at and talk about the pictures together, your child’s vocabulary also expands. In the process, it also learns words it doesn’t necessarily hear otherwise, e.g. in books that tell about sea creatures or about life on a farm. When reading aloud, your child develops a sense of the structure of language.
Reading aloud also has a positive effect on your child’s imagination. Telling stories and sharing them encourages your child to think up and imagine their own worlds.
The decisive factor in reading aloud is above all the exchange and the closeness to you. This can also be made when using a tablet instead of a book to read aloud. You can use your fascination with digital media to make reading appealing, especially to older children. Digital reading worlds often work with interactive elements that can arouse children’s interest and stimulate their imagination. So there is a lot of potential in them that you can use as parents.
Picture book apps such as “Fiete” or “Milli and her friends” also expand the reading experience in a special way. A list of recommended apps can be found at Stiftung Lesen. In addition to apps, there are also special children’s websites that specialize in read-aloud stories,such as Amira. There are also books that digitally extend their stories (e.g. B. What happened here?). This can be a great way to combine offline and online worlds in a meaningful way.
It’s important to consciously choose which digital adventure your child might enjoy. The timing of use should also be considered. So an interactive read-aloud adventure before bedtime might be too exciting for your child. The bright screen and flickering elements may prevent your child from sleeping peacefully afterwards. Instead, reach for an (analog) book that your child already knows and finds reassuring.
For more tips on digital read-aloud formats, visit Stiftung Lesen.
Always remember: both classic and digital reading worlds have their advantages and disadvantages – it’s all in the mix!