Susan Kalas reads this year's featured Pennsylvania One Book Every Young Child selection, "Daniel Finds a Poem" by Micha Archer, to preschool children at Columbia Public Library.

One of the best things children can do to keep their mind active over the summer months is read.

And while playing outside or playing video games (on rainy days, of course) may be preferred to some kids, parents can do something to make reading a more interactive, engaging and stimulating experience: read aloud.

According to, which is run by the nonprofit Read Aloud 15 Minutes, research shows that reading aloud with children for at least 15 minutes per day has great benefits in literacy skill and general knowledge building, brain and language development, as well as familial bonding.

Here are some tips, from the website, when reading aloud:

All systems go: There's no such thing as “too old” for reading aloud. Even independent readers benefit greatly from reading aloud with a loved one.

Advanced coding: Reading aloud together allows your independent reader to learn about concepts and words they might not understand without your help.

Commence dialogue: Books are great conversation starters! Discuss the story, the characters, the pictures, what happens next. How can you and your child relate to the book?

Input commands: Let your child pick books that excite him. Or revisit old favorites from your childhood. Or, explore new realms together. You're limited only by your imagination and the books you choose to open.

Loading memories: Get excited! This is going to be fun. Enthusiasm is infectious; make sure your child catches it.

Plug and play: Read with expression. Go ahead! Use voices, do sound effects. Let your reading child have a turn, too.

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