Tips and Tricks for Parents
There are lots of ways that you can help your children develop their reading skills. Here are some simple tips and tricks:
Have fun reading aloud. When you read books aloud to your children, have fun with the words and the story.
Show your children that words are everywhere. Read with your children wherever you go.
- Try using different voices for different characters—like a high, squeaky voice for a mouse or a low, deep voice for a lion.
- If there are silly sounds in the book, make them sound really silly. Honk, toot, and burble to your heart’s content.
- Let your children participate as much as possible. If there is a phrase that repeats, let them say the phrase along with you. If you’re reading a poem that rhymes, pause before the rhyming words and let them guess what the words will be.
Play games with words. Here are two simple games you can try:
- With younger children, read the words on street signs, store signs, restaurant menus, and cereal boxes.
- With older children, read directions out loud when you are assembling a toy, baking a cake, or installing a ceiling fan. Older children can even help out by reading directions to you as you work. This teaches them that reading is an important part of everyday life.
Bring home books for your children to enjoy. There are many ways to learn about books that your children might enjoy.
- Help younger children learn the alphabet by playing “I Spy with My Little Eye” with letters. Can they find a letter “T” at the bus stop? Can they find a letter “C” while walking to preschool?
- Help older children develop their reading skills by playing a silly sentence game. Give them an old magazine or newspaper page to cut up. What silly sentences can they make with the words in the headlines?
Want to learn more? Check out some of these articles, such as “Stages of Reading” or “Reading Help at Home.” You can also stay up to date on the latest tips and tricks to introduce children to the joy of reading and allow them to develop at their own pace with the I Can Read! Newsletter.
- Ask your librarian for suggestions. Tell him or her about your children’s ages, interests, and reading levels.
- Ask your children’s friends what they have enjoyed reading.
- Think about the books you enjoyed as a child. Your children might like to read or hear their mom or dad’s favorite book.
- Look for books here, at the I Can Read! website. You can search for ideas by subject or by reading level. To learn more about reading levels, read our guide to reading levels.