Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

5 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Learn to Read

Learning to read is hard work! Kids can easily become frustrated or impatient when they’re first starting out. We’ve highlighted five things you can do at home to support skill development in your early reader and help them learn to read in an organic way:

1. Read every day.

Studies show that children who are read to every day have the opportunity to develop a more robust vocabulary, learn empathy, and increase intelligence. Carving out as little as 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference. Make it a part of your daily routine and allow them to just enjoy listening to a story. For regular shipments of I Can Read! books perfect for shared reading, try the I Can Read! Book Club, and get two books free!

2. Practice sight words.

As children hone their pre-literacy skills, such as letter recognition and associating sound with letters, memorizing a few sight words can be instrumental in their success. Choose a couple of sight words to start with, and practice sounding them out. You can see a list of popular and grade appropriate sight words here. You may want to make word flash cards with your child or simply pause in your reading after practicing the word to allow them to “read” a word on their own.

3. Rhyme time.

Rhyming is incredibly beneficial for kids who are on the cusp of reading. Among other things, it encourages speech development, reading comprehension, and enhances creativity. Read or recite nursery rhymes with your child or practice sound recognition and work with them to think of words that rhyme. It’s an easy game to play with them when you are on the go or relaxing at home. 

4. Let them see you reading.

Children aspire to what they see. If they see you prioritizing reading and books in your own life, they’ll want to follow suit. Make books visible wherever you are. If you are going to a class or practice for a sibling, bring a wordless picture book to occupy your younger child, and while you’re at it, bring a book for yourself.

5. Find just right books for them.

Leveled readers are essential for young readers. One way that you can avoid frustrations is to choose books that are right for them. We suggest following the Five Finger Rule to help. Have your child open up a book and read just the first page. If they know every word on the page, the book may be too easy for them. If they struggle with four or five words on the page, it may be too difficult. Look for the sweet spot and find a book where they need help with just two to three words on the first page. The Five Finger rule is also easy for kids to understand and can help guide them when they are reading independently.

How do you keep your kids inspired by and engaged with literacy? We’d love to know!

Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

8 Ways to Refresh Your Child’s Reading Routine

Fall into new habits and get creative with your reading routine.

There’s a lot of buzz around the importance of incorporating reading into your child’s daily routine. Reading for at least 20 minutes each day has many benefits for skill development. However, story time shouldn’t feel like something you need to check off your “to-do” list. Here are eight ways to breathe new life into your child’s reading routine and inspire healthy reading habits in the process:

1. Create a reading nook.

Do you have a favorite place to read? Maybe your child likes to read in their bed. Switch things up and try building a fort, or creating a cozy corner filled with books, pillows, and stuffed animals. Need some more inspiration? Check out the hashtag #readingnook on Instagram.

2. Read at a different time of day.

A lot can be said for reading habits, but don’t feel as though you have to stick to reading at the same time every day. See if you can squeeze in a story right when your child wakes up, before nap time, or after school. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can always have them read to you while you make dinner, or try putting on an eBook to listen to together.

3. Talk about books over shared meals.

Talking about the books you’re reading can be just as important as actually reading them! Think about ways to bring up themes from a book you are reading while the whole family is together. This way, reading is incorporated into daily conversations that go beyond your designated reading routine. 

4. Go on a book-themed outing.

Think outside the book and plan a field trip or weekend activity based on something you’ve read. Read Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia and take a trip to a local baseball game, or, read a book about Baby Shark and head to a local beach or aquarium. (Don’t worry, you can take all the credit!)

5. Get cooking! Make a meal from a children’s book.

Some of our favorite books incorporate food. Fancy Nancy, for example, loves tea parties. You could make cookies or finger sandwiches with your child and have a tea party when you finish a book. You could also find a story that features a character in another country or location. Research local foods where the character is from and have a dinner or dessert that the character might enjoy!

6. Create a children’s book club. (Bonus: dress up in character!)

Choosing activities for your child can be daunting because the options are seemingly endless. Why not make one of those activities related to reading? Gather a small group of friends and have them all read the same book, or different books about the same character. Suggest they choose their favorite scene and meet to discuss and play. Hint hint: The I Can Read! Book Club introduces kids to new character friends each month!

7. Attend a story hour.

Local libraries and bookstores can be a great resource to help develop a reading routine. Many of them have free story hours on a weekly basis! Grab your child and go whenever it suits you, whether it’s after school or during the weekends.

8. Carry a book with you.

Entertaining kids during downtime can be tricky. Have a book for them on hand so you can read if you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or for a sibling to finish a swim lesson. Don’t forget your book either! When your child sees you reading, they’ll catch on that it’s a cool thing to do. I Can Read! paperback books are a great option to carry around in your bag because they’re lightweight and portable.