Reading Tip: Reading with Silly Voices (plus a printable bookmark)

I’m simply thrilled to have  the super-clever Melissa Taylor, of Imagination Soup, visit My Little Bookcase to share her bookish knowledge and expertise. Today, she is sharing a fun reading strategy to help improve your child’s reading fluency.

Visit her blog, Imagination Soup, for wonderful reading tips and book recommendations. You can also find more of her reading ideas in her new book, Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader.

Want to make reading fun, and improve your child’s reading fluency? Get silly with your voices!

Start at Birth

Keep doing what you’re already doing – reading aloud to your child from birth.

When you read to your child, remember to read with inflection and exaggerated, unique, or silly voices for the different characters.

In her 10 Read-Aloud Commandments Mem Fox says, “Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.

When you do this, you’re providing a model for your child for him to imitate you (eventually).

Learning to Read

Now, your precious child is learning to read. And it’s a challenge to get him to read aloud to you. Then, when he does, it’s halting.

You want his reading fluency to improve. In other words, the ability to read smoothly, the way a person talks. This is important in comprehension. When you read fluently, the child keeps the words in short-term memory. Conversely, when you read haltingly, the words leave the short-term memory and there’s no comprehension.

A fun way is to do exactly what you have done all these years – read with inflection.

Silly Reading Voices

Help your child read aloud using silly voices.

Trade off reading. Have your child pick a silly voice for you to use while you read. Then have her pick a silly voice to use while reading.

Want a bookmark of silly voices? Here’s a free printable bookmark you can download by clicking here

The important thing is to have fun.

Great Reads for Silly Voices

Can I Play Too? By Mo Willems

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! By Mo Willems

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst

Good Night, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas

What silly voices do you like? What books would you add to our list?

About Melissa:

Melissa Taylor is a mom, teacher, writer, and blogger at Imagination Soup.

Find her on her new obsession, Pinterest, or at Book

Reading Tip: Reading with Silly Voices (plus a printable bookmark)


  1. I love this! I love the way my little girl perks up and turns around to check if it’s still me reading as my voice changes to become a character in the book! I never thought to read like that just for the sake of it! :) Great idea!

  2. I am so excited by this list of great books for silly voices. Thank you!

    This post reminds me of a time when I was reading a story to my girls using expression and different voices as they were hanging onto every word (love those moments). They were so lost in the story that when I used a sad/crying voice they both had tears running down their faces….too prescious. :)

  3. I like to get in touch with my inner drama queen (ok, maybe it’s not so “inner”) when I read aloud.

  4. I’ve been known to pull a picture book away from hubby because he’s reading it in monotone to the girls. I know that’s bad and that it’s wonderful that their Daddy reads to them but,gosh it can be boring.
    Picture books generally have a melody build into each sentence and this is why children love them so, so much. You just have to listen for that melody and put your own creative twist on the voices! Perhap I’ll get hubby to read this post!

  5. I love the different ideas for silly voices, I have a few new ideas to try with my daughter and my class :)

  6. I do try lol. There are some great tips here thank you.
    I will definitly try harder, it really brings the story to life, engages them and helps with their level of understanding to.

  7. Love this post and pinned already. Story telling is such an art and when done well – so very memorable! xo P

  8. Love this post! I have always loved to read and used to do workshops for family day carers about how to read to kids when i was a CDO…but i often found it hard to get them enthused about many of these tips although when i showed them i think many would finally understand….it really is so much fun and adds so much…thanks Melissa!

  9. Got to be my favourite art of reading, the voices and now Mr 7 reads that what too

  10. I’m not very good at voices but children have no expectation of what you should sound like, as long as you make the effort. I love this. Thank you. It’s important that we model good reading habits with children.

  11. What a fun post. I love little prompts like this that I can have around the house. Sometimes we just need reminders in our busy, crowded lives! Thanks for sharing :)

Leave a Reply

Reading Tip: Reading with Silly Voices (plus a printable bookmark)

1 Trackback