We all know children learn better when they are having fun but sometimes the execution is not as easy as we hoped for. With planning and intention, you can make teaching your child to read a fun and enjoyable activity that will foster a lifetime love of reading. Grab some games, a few good books and carve out some time for reading with your little one.
Encourage a love of reading by letting your child choose the books you will read. A child can spend hours picking out books at the library with each and every book being new and exciting.
One great way to teach young children basic literacy skills in preparation for reading is to do letter themed art projects. While working on letter art project stress the phonetics of the letter you are working on with your child. Older children can benefit from crafts to go along with storybooks that encourage them to get excited about the story.
Active play is a great way to get children to learn quickly. Have your child complete simple tasks in a big way. Spell sight words out on the sidewalk and have your child hop, skip and run to the words you call out. Use a large stick to write words in the sand. Bounce a ball back and forth practicing spelling out words. Activating your child’s body can help their mind thrive.
Another great way to help your child connect is to add a sensory component to their learning. Write letters in sands, rice, or shaving cream. Challenge your child to find the letters to form different words one at a time. Not only will the sensory aspect be fun and exciting it will help your child stay calm and focus on what they are learning, allowing the lesson to stick better than ever.
Games are a great way to teach your child literacy skills in a fun and exciting way. Play eye spy with words in line at the supermarket. Grab classic board games like Boggle, Scrabble, Apples to Apples Jr. and Tall Tales. Stock simple word search books for a take anywhere reading skills game perfect for practicing word recognition.
Free apps and games are also an engaging way to help teach your child to read in a fun way where they don’t even notice that they are learning. Teach Your Monster to Read is a great online learning game that teaches basic reading and literacy skills in a fun and exciting way for young children. Smartphones and tablets are bursting with great educational apps many of where are free. Give a few a try and see what you like.
Get a kindle for home. Kindle free time has a huge library of books that can keep any child content for hours. You can even set it so your child must read for a particular amount of time before they can use apps and videos. Amazon offers a great interactive reading program called Amazon Rapids that puts your child inside and interactive comic book to help encourage reluctant readers to learn in a non-threatening way.
Whatever you choose to try you may have some hit or miss moments. Every child is different and embracing that goes a long way. If you stress your child or student out too much, they will feel that reading is a chore and not develop a love for literature. Follow the child’s lead, encourage them and support them. At the end of the day, reading to your child is just as important as them reading to you. It makes for the sweetest memories too. The greatest gift you can give your child is time. Make time to read to them, with them and listen to them read.