As a reading specialist and a mother of three, I am frequently asked by parents what they can do to engage their reluctant readers. Teaching a child to read and to read well can be overwhelming for parents.
Let's find fun ways that we can all connect and guide your child together in their reading journey.
Try these simple parent-child reading activities to positively motivate your child.
The Benefits of Reading:
1. Improves creativity and expands imagination.
As we read, we're visualizing in our minds scenes, movements, colors, sounds, characters and the like. This is why movie-remakes of our favorite novels hardly compare. Our imaginations are powerful!
2. Increases your child's vocabulary.
Reading helps children express themselves and communicate with others. Having your child read will help them develop reading skills and lifetime skills.
3. Enhances learning capacity.
Reading is a demanding task for our brain. The more we read the larger our learning capacity becomes. It also keeps our memory sharp, improves concentration and reading comprehension.
9 Fun Reading Activities Your Kids Will Love
While your child may struggle with reading or learning to read, your encouragement can help them move in the right direction. Try these reading activities that I believe you and your kids will love - it only takes a little bit of creativity and imagination!
1. Be silly! Try different voices for different characters.
Bring your child's stories to life by simply changing your voice. Your kids will love seeing you try your best silly voice or fancy voice. You'll have a great time laughing, inspiring their imagination and creating memories.
2. Play "Seek and Find" for Words or Letters.
Depending on your child's age and skill level, try a seek and find reading game while you're out shopping. Grocery and retail stores are full of potential.
How to play: Ask your child how many letters they can spot as they are walking around. Change it up for other letters, letter sounds, pictures that begin with a sound or letter, sight words, or letter combinations (i.e. or, er, th, sh). Possibilities are endless.
3. Create a Fun Reading Area.
Kids love a comfy spot full of their favorite things. Get them excited for their new reading nook by letting them brainstorm and pick a theme. Start with a tent or corner in their room then decorate it with a rug, pillows, lamp, and plush animals. Then bring in some of their favorite books.
4. Find Good Books!
Spend an afternoon at the local bookstore or library with your child and allow them to choose a new book they are excited about reading. Make it a fun experience! Get a stack of books and browse them for the best ones. Try looking at comic books, graphic novels, magazines, cook books, and picture books as well.
5. Themed Reading Time.
Create a special time for a themed reading day. Prepare cookies and milk while reading, "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie." Before you begin reading, "We're Going On A Bear Hunt," setup an obstacle course in the house (i.e. use a blanket for the river, a table for a bear cave, etc.). Wear clothing accessories in the house for a main or favorite character like a red bucket hat for, "Paddington."
6. Reading Buddies Circle Time.
Many of our Pre-K kids are familiar with circle time at school and will love to try this at home. Have them be the teacher and read aloud to their favorite stuffed animals. This reading activity will help alleviate feelings of anxiety. You can also try having them read to a younger child or pet to strengthen their confidence.
7. Incorporate Wordless Picture Books
Wordless books are completely illustrative. Remember the age old saying, "A picture speaks a thousand words"? Let your child tell you what the pictures are saying. It may sound counter-intuitive to reading actual words, however, this is a valuable literacy tool that can help with prediction, storytelling and critical thinking.
8. Start a Reading Snack Tradition.
Have a special treat or snack only available during reading time. If they love a particular chocolate, only have it available during reading time. This will keep reading time special and help boost their motivation.
9. Don't forget the elephant in the room.
If your child needs reading help from a reading specialist or reading tutor, don't ignore it. Give us a call. We offer free discovery calls for our first-time parents.
Our staff at Smart Start Tutors is here to help you navigate next steps.
We have over 20 years of combined experience supporting students with a wide-range of abilities including Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, emerging readers, and developing readers. We use research-based, multi-sensory techniques to reach your child at their EXACT level of need which allows us to help them make the most progress in the quickest amount of time.