When reading aloud to children, I take special care to look at them often, reading ahead so I can say certain phrases with emphasis and connect with the listeners via eye contact and expression. I make sure I scan the whole area, holding each child's gaze at least once during the read-aloud session. Their engagement is obvious. Lately, their actions have indicated that engagement as well. Or maybe I am just noticing it more.
Last week in "Dance at Grandpa's," as the aunts combed and braided their hair, the second grade girls started finger-combing each other's hair and then braiding their own hair as they listened. The boys feet began to jig along with Uncle George's during the dance description.
Parents sometimes express their release from reading aloud to their children once those children can read well themselves. Children love to listen, no matter what the age. I share examples like these to remind them.