Five Tips For Dads: Reading And Bonding With Babies And Toddlers

By: David Parker

Reading has been such a joy for me as a father, both one-on-one and with my four girls together. From the first days, reading out loud has been our chance to have our own quality time. Now, as the young twins turn 5, references to phrases, characters and funny scenes from books are our family jokes!

Here are five tips for dads:

  1. Just get started. With our oldest, I felt nervous hearing my own voice until I realized she just wanted to listen. By the time she was aware of the reading and books, I was comfortable and confident.

  2. Repetition. Read the books over and over. Not only does the child love the comfort and rhythm of the repetition, you will get to know the book better - and your comfort will increase.

  3. Don't sweat the drama, voice and tones. That will come with time.

  4. Do a little every day. As the fatigue of life builds, reading can be tough at the end of the day. Even five minutes keeps it going.

  5. Have your child play with the books as toys. Board books are durable and great to explore for little ones.

Reading aloud from the first days can become a lifelong tradition and memory for dads and their children. Do it a little every day, and 10 years later, the habit and bond will be stronger than imagined!

David Parker founded Solterra Books with his wife Rebecca in 2002. The Parkers have researched and read thousands of children's books, and compiled a Web site and catalog listing only classic, award-winning and educational books for children from birth to age 10. Child care centers, schools, organizations, home school groups, churches and senior centers can now find better books for the children in their lives. Visit Solterra Books at

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