Reading with Dad

Reading together can be a delightful family ritual.  It provides a cuddly, loving experience for parents and children both. It is important for adults of both genders to be reading with their children; both male and female caregivers provide the building blocks for early literacy. The men in a family’s life may include fathers, grandpas, uncles or another loving caregiver–they have their own influence and get their own benefit from developing a literary environment with the child they love. I will refer to dads within this article, but make note that all the men providing care in a child’s life can experience and share the positive benefits of reading aloud.

According to research summarized by the organization Minnesota Fathers and Family Network (MFFN) fathers tend to read to their children for two main reasons: it is a bonding activity that brings them closer to their children, and it builds skills for school. Children benefit from their time reading together with dad in ways that go beyond school skills. When fathers read to children, they help to foster emotional security, aid  in relaxation of the child, and they get the chance to share their personal values with their child. Research has shown, (also summarized by MFFN) that children who read with their fathers have superior reading skills, perform better in school, and are better able to build relationship skills.

There are so many wonderful books for children these days, but it is sometimes nice to find a book that a father and child will especially enjoy.  Minnesota Humanities Commission (MHC) has created a book list which features quality children’s picture books for and about fathers.  Here is a sample of some of the books for younger children:

Because Your Daddy Loves You by Andrew Clements (2005)
When things go wrong during a day at the beach, a father could do a lot of things but always picks the loving one.

Daddy is a Doodlebug by Bruce Degen (2000)
Written with inventive rhyme, a father bug and his child savor the special joys of companionship.

The Daddy Mountain by Jules Feiffer (2004)
A little girl’s step by step account of climbing all the way up on top of her daddy’s head. (be forewarned: My daughter spent weeks after reading this book attempting to actually climb to the top of her daddy’s head)

Two Homes by Claire Masurel (2001)
A young boy enjoys the homes of both his parents who live apart but love him very much.

The MHC has provided the complete list of father-featured books online.  If interested in seeing the list designed for older children, or for getting a more complete list of books for younger children, follow this link:

Reading With Dad Book List

Find a great book, find a comfortable and cozy spot and spend a relaxed moment together enjoying a good story!

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