Here are some easy ways to start reading aloud to your grandkids online or in person! When I read my first picture book on FaceTime to my grandchildren I had no idea it was an activity that would continue for weeks, then years. It has become a wonderful way for me to connect with my grandchildren weekly.
When you purchase through links on this site we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us provide free content for you to enjoy.
How I got started reading aloud online
During the Covid pandemic we turned to FaceTime to stay in touch with our children and their families that live hundreds of miles from us. It was during one of these FaceTime visits that I asked my grandchildren, ages 4 and 6, if they wanted me to read them a story. We enjoyed the experience, so we planned another time to read and I was ready with a stack of books. I also started reading on different days to another grandson (8 years old) living in a different state.
What’s the best age for reading aloud online?
I feel like reading aloud online works best for children ages 3 and older. It depends on each individual child and their attention span and needs. If you are lucky enough to read-aloud to your grandchildren in person then any age is great. You can even read to a baby in your arms. Do you have my list of 15 of my favorite read-aloud books that are good for ages 3-8?
Use a platform you are familiar with
If you are ready to start reading aloud to your grandchildren use a platform that is easy and familiar to you. For me that was FaceTime. For you it might be Zoom or something else.
Equipment and environment
You will need a desktop computer or a laptop. A tablet, like an iPad, on a stand also works well. Again, use something you know how to use and you are comfortable with. Find a quiet place in your home with good lighting and a good internet connection.
Choose from books you already have
If you have some children’s picture books stashed somewhere in your house, start with those. Most children don’t mind hearing the same book read over and over, but you will probably enjoy it more if you have a variety to choose from.
As a former second grade teacher I had a good collection of books that grew as I read aloud to my own children. During the first month or so I read to my grandchildren I used my own books. After we read our favorites a few times I decided it was time to visit the library.
Go to the library
Your local library will become one of your regular stops when you are out running errands. Get a library card! I look up books on our library’s website and put them on hold. When the books are available they send me an email. Then I go to the library and pick them up and return the ones we are finished with. It’s as simple as that! I’m guessing most libraries offer this service. Sometimes I’m not sure what books to check out. Then I spend time wandering the library looking for the right books.
How to find more great books to read-aloud to grandchildren
I have spent hours and hours looking for great picture books and chapter books for reading aloud over the years. I enjoy the search! It has been fun for me to discover new favorite authors, illustrators and books as I have read to my children and now my grandchildren. I have lots of great book titles to share with you on readaloudgrandma.com. If you enjoy one of these books look and see if the author has other books you might want to read.
Join my email list to get a list of my favorite 15 Read-Aloud Picture Books and to be notified when I have more book lists available.
The important thing to do is just START! Start with what you have. Have fun! If possible, schedule time in advance so you and your grandchildren can be prepared and ready for an amazing experience. Enjoy the connection and time you spend with your grandchildren that will help them learn to love books and spending time with you!
Do you need more great books or fun read aloud ideas?
I have lots of books and great ideas to share with you here!
To help you get started I have a list of 15 great read-aloud picture books you can download for free.