The coronavirus outbreak means that many families’ regular routines have changed. Children are now at home and not getting the education they usually would. Parents are now left to figure out how to best keep their children learning. As parents, we are always looking for fun ways to help my child read. The best way to help our children to read and actually enjoy reading is to get them excited about it.
Learning to read can be difficult for some children and often their struggle turns into frustration. To keep them motivated and having fun with reading while they are not in school, you can find interactive ways to get them reading while at home.
If your child is feeling frustrated with reading, they will likely avoid reading altogether. They will end up not being able to find joy in reading. This will make their learning process difficult as they get older as, eventually, they will need to use reading to learn more complicated concepts. Helping struggling readers from an early age is very important and making reading fun is the easiest path to achieve it.
How can I make reading fun for kids?
1. Read to your child
Reading to your child is a great way to get them to enjoy reading themselves. Many parents even start reading books to their children when they are still in the womb. This not only makes reading fun for them but also helps to create strong family bonds.
2. Model reading
Another reason reading to your child is beneficial is because it gives them a model for reading well. Model reading for your child shows them to prioritize reading and that is something more than just a tool to use at school. Children take cues from their parents, so if you are showing enthusiasm and interest in reading, they will as well.
3. Read the book – then watch the movie
Choose books that have been turned into films such as Harry Potter, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, or even just classic fairytales. Read the books a little at a time then when you finish reading them together, you can host a family movie night to watch the movie version of the book. This is a great way for your kids to make fun connections between what they read and what they see onscreen. It’s a great motivator to get them to finish books as well!
4. Keep books everywhere
Keeping books all over your home increases the exposure your kids get to them. The more they see books the more likely they are to pick one up and read. You might even want to keep a couple in the car for long car rides or when they get bored. Keep books accessible by putting them on low shelves and just within reach for your child to pick one up whenever they want.
5. Use cookbooks
Making the reading experience interactive is important for children to see the importance of reading. A cookbook can help your child practice their reading comprehension and reading directions. Have your child choose some recipes out of a cookbook to make for dinner. Then take turns reading the directions and cooking. This can make reading fun and also helps them learn some skills in the kitchen. You can also have them write their own menus like a restaurant, which can help them improve both their reading and writing skills.
6. Use books as rewards
Instead of getting them candy or toys as rewards, you can take your kids to a trip to your local bookstore and have them choose some books as a treat. Children thrive with positive reinforcement and affirmations. Using books as a reward helps to associate books with positivity. This is a great way to get your kids to see books as something important but also something fun!
7. Get older kids to read to younger kids
As mentioned, children look to others as models for their behaviors. Older siblings have a big influence on their younger siblings. If you have older children that are already reading, you should encourage them to read to their younger siblings. This helps to build a good relationship between siblings and also helps both of them to practice their reading skills.
8. Replace music with audiobooks
Audiobooks are a great alternative if your child complains that they find books boring. Instead of cranking up the music on car rides, use an audiobook instead so your child gets another model of reading. There are many ways to access audiobooks that you can download and there are even reading apps, such as Readability, that are essentially digital libraries.
9. Use reading apps
Most children today are familiar with how to use tablets and smartphones. Why not bring those tech skills to help them learn to read? Using reading apps can help your child get reading on a platform they already use. Readability is one example of a reading app that uses different learning strategies to help your child read. This app is especially great for children who are reluctant to read on their own. Readability asks a virtual tutor for your child as it listens to them read aloud and gives them instant feedback. It also can read stories to your child.
Reading can be difficult for many children. Children who struggle with reading might be resistant to practicing even though it can help them improve. The key to get help kids to read is to make it fun and interactive. This is especially true now since children are likely to be at home for the rest of the school year. The coronavirus outbreak has definitely changed how children are getting their education, but just because your children are stuck at home does not mean that they have to put a pause on learning.