Hearing little kids learning to read and understand what they are reading is the cutest thing. Enjoying the process can be hard for some kids and it makes it harder for us to help guide them when they struggle.
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Encouraging Kids Early Reading
Starting early and making it fun and positive is always the first thing to do. Something as simple as making it a habit to read a fun book to your kids every day and for them to see you enjoy reading yourself can make them interested in reading themselves. Leading by example can be a huge part. Even if you don’t enjoy reading it can have a huge impact on your kids wanting to read too.
The library and bookstores: Let your kids get excited about reading by letting them pick out their own books. Some to borrow and some to keep. If you read on a tablet or phone, maybe make the switch to a physical book so they see you are actively reading
Sign Language: Signing sounds has been a huge help with my kids understanding the sounds of the letters while reading. Seeing, hearing, doing is a great way for anyone to learn. So if they get stuck on the sound of the letter they can sign it and it helps jog their memory on what the sound is for that letter.
Reading Time: Making a specific time in the day set for reading makes it a habit that encourages reading. Let them have a special spot that is comfortable for them to sit down to read. Even if you have a younger child that doesn’t know how to read yet, having a set time for them to sit down with a book is a great way to make reading a lifelong habit that they can start enjoying.
Patience: There are times we know that our kids can read a word and they are just not wanting to sound it out. If you see them frustrated, let them take a break and let them tell you when they are ready to get back to reading that day. If they see you frustrated and they are too, it just makes it an unpleasant experience and will make them not want to read in the future.
Reading everywhere: Don’t limit reading to only at home. Keeping books in your car is a great way for your kids to enjoy reading on the go and keep them occupied on long trips.
Reading clubs and programs: Getting rewarded for reading is always fun for kids and reading programs are a great way for the kids to get excited about how many books they read. Libraries, your city, and online can have reading programs for kids. Seeing other children reading is a great motivation for kids if you go to library programs. Also, they might meet some new friends too. One of our favorite online reading programs is the Book It program by Pizza Hut.
Educational TV: Finding fun tv programs that promote reading is a way for them to be entertained and learning at the same time. If they watch tv why not make it educational. Some of our favorite tv shows that emphasize reading skills are Super Why, LeapFrog, Word World, Word Girl, Brain Candy TV, and Rock N’ Learn. We also love Signing Time for learning signs and letter sounds. Another great way to promote reading is to put subtitles on all the shows your kids watch, even if it isn’t educational.
Reading together even after they are old enough to read on their own: Reading as a family has dwindled down to almost nothing as the tv is easier to watch and have a story told to you. Find a family book you can all enjoy and read a chapter a day together.
Special spots and Snack: Family reading time can be even better with cozy blankets, some snacks, and drinks. Why not make it as special as a family weekend movie.
We have been enjoying a snack called Love Corn. They are gluten-free, vegan, and kosher. I love how the ingredients are minimal and don’t have added. They are great for our reading snacks and are less messy than popcorn for storytimes. We can even out them on our salad or soup to substitute for croutons or crackers. My kiddos favorite flavor has been the bbq. They are nice snacks for on the go and in lunch bags.
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