Children will enjoy reading more if we give them tools and inspiration to build their grasp and understanding. Enthusiastic readers develop better writing skills, too.
Today’s busy world is so hi-tech and interactive, simple reading won’t always hold a youngster’s interest, especially when children are very little. These simple activities help strengthen reading skills and make learning and reading fun.
How to Help Children Read Better
Building Reading Skills at Home
Schedule time to read together every evening.
Ten minutes is a good start, but it’s best to share the reading with the child, not just reading to them. When children read aloud, instead of just listening, they become involved. Being interactive helps them to sound out the words. Gently correct any mistakes.
Make a bookmark together.
It’s fun for children to make a bookmark with their own name on it. Another idea is to make a themed bookmark to match the book or series that is being read. This easy craft gives ownership to a book and another connection for a young reader.
Simple cardboard or poster board works well. The bookmarks can be cut into any shape or just the traditional two inch rectangle strips are fine. Punch a hole in the top, and thread with yarn. Decorate with markers, crayons or any medium.
Many books and authors have websites for young fans. Great examples of fun websites are Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss. These sites offer an opportunity to interact even further with the stories that are read. Some websites have games and printable activities that match the books you may be reading. Also, many authors have a place for comments and some will even answer young readers’ questions.
Reading Activities Away from Home
Many libraries, bookstores and museums offer readings and interactive activities for young children. Sometimes the authors or illustrators visit and discuss and present their work or offer workshops and hands-on activities.
Theater groups frequently put on productions of children’s literature. These can be found by searching through the theater’s website, the library or the author’s website.
Many children enjoy the opportunity to listen to stories while they read along. Bookstores and libraries offer many recorded versions of books on CDs, MP3s, (or even old-fashioned tapes) that can be played on car rides or during playdates. This activity builds word recognition and adds another dimension to reading.
Activities that engage young readers do not have to take up a lot of time. Building enthusiasm can be accomplished by sharing and exploring the world of literature together. Making reading an adventure helps build and develop skills that will last a lifetime.
Enjoy these FREE Reading Logs to help track your child’s reading: