Reading is an essential part of early childhood education and an important foundation for all other subject areas. But how do you make reading appeal to your little ones? Here are 50 tips on how you can make reading fun!
1. Start early! You can start reading to your little one as soon as they are born.
2. Read often. Don’t save reading just for bedtime. Make reading a part of your whole day.
3. Keep books accessible. Carry books with you! Keep selections in the car and the most used rooms of your home.
4. Point to words as you read. Help children follow along and begin to learn to read themselves by pointing to each word as you read.
5. Make connections to real life events. Did you just visit the zoo? Read a story about the zoo, and then ask your child how your trip was the same or different from the book.
6. Mix up genres and types of books. Give your child more exposure to the world of books by keeping both fiction and non-fiction selections.
7. Change your voice. Make reading exciting by changing your voice for each character or making sound effects.
8. Use movements. Use your hands and arms (even feet!) to make stories come to life.
9. Discuss the author and illustrator. Let your child know that there are people that write and draw the pictures for the book. Reading the author name, illustrator name, and title are perfect ways to start your story.
10. Have your child do a project related to the book. Make a craft or do a cooking project based on the story you read.
11. Let your child choose the book. Empower and excite children by letting them choose what story you read to them.
12. Don’t pressure. Everyone learns at their own pace, so don’t pressure your child to be at a certain level. Constant reading exposure is the best way for them to pick up reading.
13. Never use reading as a punishment. Reading should be fun, so never make it a part of a punishment.
14. Discuss the pictures. Pictures can tell a large part of a story. Ask your child to tell you what is happening in the story based on the pictures.
15. Ask questions! As you are reading, ask questions such as “What do you think will happen next?” and “How is (the character) feeling?”
16. Act out the story. Bring the story to life by acting it out.
17. Give books as gifts. Place as much value on books as you would toys.
18. Read books at various levels. Picture books, books with few words, and chapter books are all good books to expose children to.
19. Variety of reading material. Don’t limit your reading to books. Magazines, newspapers, even cereal boxes make for wonderful reading opportunities.
20. Follow up. Build reading comprehension and critical thinking skills by asking follow up questions about the stories you read.
Tips for Reading at Home
21. Keep a book basket in every room. Make books accessible by keeping a basket of books appropriate for your child in every room of your home.
22. Create a reading nook. Whether it’s as simple as a chair and a lamp or something with elaborate décor, make an inviting space for reading in your home.
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Tips for Reading In the Classroom
31. Reading area. Have a designated reading area with comfy seating and an easily accessible book display.
32. Themed books. Keep books in tune with your classroom by rotating books that relate to whatever your current classroom theme may be.
33. Book chart. Keep up with how many books your class reads with a book chart and stickers.
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Tips for Reading On The Go
41. Car books. Keep books in the car for on the go reading.
42. Purse books. Keep small books in your purse or diaper bag to pull out at restaurants or doctor visits.
43. Apps for reading. Keep all of the apps on your phone geared toward reading.
44. Environmental print. Reading doesn’t just have to come from books. Read everything you see while you are out; stop signs, store signs, road letters.
45. Library adventures. Picking out books can be just as fun as reading them! Take your child to the library and let them choose what books they would like to bring home.
46. Book adventures. Read a book about camping and go camping or read a book about flying a kite and fly a kite. Make your story come to life with real life experiences.
47. Find letters in the car. Look for letters as you drive in the car. Ask your child if they can find anything that starts with the “sss” sound or see a letter “A.” Relating sounds and letters to words is an important part of early literacy.
48. Letter walk. This game works best in a city area with lots of signs. Pick a letter and walk around to find it. Example: Count how many “O”s you can find.
49. Book store. Take your child to a bookstore. Let them browse the children’s section and help you pick out a grown up book.
50. Library story time. Let your child hear story read-alouds from other adults. Many libraries offer age appropriate story times.
Now that you know some ways to make reading exciting, which tips will you use to make reading fun for your child?
Julia Hembree is a full time mom and part time freelance writer who thrives on chocolate, Starbucks, and toddler kisses. You can find her words at www.elatedexhaustion.com, a sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always honest look at life as a mom.