Our lives are so busy that by the time everyone arrives home in the evening, we may be tempted to “veg” out. But did you know that reading aloud is one of the best things you can do with your children?

According to Sally Clarkson,“Reading aloud is… meant to be a How do you spend time with your children? I’ve got a great activity that doesn’t cost a dime.delightful, bonding time together and a fantastic way to disciple your children through stories.”

She and her husband never made the children just sit and listen, but encouraged them in quiet activities.

Drawing, working puzzles, building Legos, knitting or painting are all acceptable ways of working the hands while listening.

At the end of a chapter you can ask the child to summarize what they just heard. This is a terrific exercise that will be valuable later in life. They will beg you to keep reading if it’s a good book, so be prepared! 

Studies repeatedly show that a child who is read to has a higher IQ than children that are not read to. Ask the Lord to show you what to read to your children. He knows what you need to teach them. Godly friends are also good resources for books. 

Biographies captivate teens with main characters who become their heroes or heroines. My wife read many classic books to our boys. Tears were shed in emotional plots. She still carries audiobooks on car trips. One family we know listened to the Hiding Place in a dark room of their basement.

In addition to good books, read aloud The Bible. Speaking and hearing the Word of God places it in your and your child’s heart. Take turns reading so they learn to treasure the time.

Whenever we read His Word aloud, we are in effect hearing God’s voice. John, Chapter 1 begins “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Is there anything more important to give your child?

Crown has a daily devotional called God is Faithful that we will send for free to your inbox everyday of 2017. Start the new year off by renewing your mind on God’s principles. Request yours for free at Crown.org.