Spaghetti Box Kids

Strategies, Tips and Activities for Learning

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Reading to Your Child: 5 Tips

November 11th, 2008 · 8 Comments

1. A secret to boosting your child’s love of books is to read at different times of the day. In other words, don’t just leave it ‘til bed time. Make reading an activity. Make it fun. Create a comfortable environment. Pull up a few pillows and relax. Let your child pick her favorite books, and you pick several also. It should be a breeze to generate enthusiasm for reading—it is one of the most parent-child friendly activities you can pursue.

Kids Books2. Another secret to elevating the status of reading is to do it everyday. You want your child to know the magic and wonder that only reading can bring. Why? Because you know she’s capable of enjoying all the advantages of a tenacious life-long reader. So read to your child everyday—she’s more likely to identify with the characters, follow what’s going on, and exhibit confidence and comfort toward reading generally.

3. Encourage relatives to purchase books for gifts. They almost always get more miles than flashy toys. Great books include the ones you loved as a child—Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Aesop’s Fables, Mother Goose, Curious George, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, Shel Silverstein.

4. Let your child choose her favorite books for you to read, and among the ones you choose, choose a book that’s slightly more advanced than she would pick on her own. If you adopt this habit, then your child is constantly growing into literature, not growing out of it: the events on the page remain relevant, interesting and significant. Be careful not to over shoot the mark. Reading college level classic literature to your preschooler won’t turn her into a genius. It’ll just frustrate her. A more appropriate leap for a preschooler might be to go from Clifford, the Big Red Dog to Madeleine.

5. Don’t read to your child with the objective of quickening her ability to read on her own. The idea isn’t to pressure your child into becoming an early reader, but rather to make reading as enjoyable as possible so she has the best chance to become a skillful, life-long reader. By the time she’s writing essays, it won’t matter whether she was an early reader. What will matter is whether she loves to read.

Additional Resources: Reading is Fundamental recommended kids’ reading list.

Tags: Kids’ Activities

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dad to Two // Dec 4, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Excellent site! It has a lot of useful ideas for me to use with my kids. I like the statement you made here where you said ,”By the time she’s writing essays, it won’t matter whether she was an early reader. What will matter is whether she loves to read.” That is so true. I try to just add a little new information each time we read together. I just point out letters he is working on, or new symbols, like apostrophes and exclamation points. Sometimes we just point out the page numbers to get him used to counting higher numbers. It is not memorization, simply hearing and seeing things in a practical setting frequently. Suddenly, he will just know them without any real effort. It always surprises me when he looks at the digital clock and says, it is six forty four, and is right. That is pretty good for never memorizing numbers, but just because I say the page number we are on when I read a book. I am glad he loves to have books read to him, and that he allows me to sneak subliminal lessons in at the same time. I am sure that forcing him to learn something would turn him away from this precious time we share reading together.

  • 2 Spaghetti Box Kids // Dec 5, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Thanks for the feedback. I like your approach of just adding a little information each time. That keeps things enjoyable. It’s funny how, as you say with your son, “suddenly” he will just know something. That’s a great feeling as a parent, isn’t it? It makes the effort of spending quality playtime with a child that much more worthwhile.

    All the Best

  • 3 victorine // Dec 8, 2008 at 12:30 am

    This blog is a very good resource that I will return to again and again! Reading is one of the best activities for kids and parents (or caregivers) to share together. Such a gift!

  • 4 Spaghetti Box Kids // Dec 8, 2008 at 12:59 am

    I agree. . . reading is priceless. Thanks for the encouraging feedback!

  • 5 Chad // Jan 31, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    These are very simple ideas that I will began to follow to see if they make a difference. My son isn’t big on books, but I guess the point is, I haven’t made it fun, if it feels like a job to me, that’s how he will feel about it. Thanks for helping me refocus.

  • 6 Spaghetti Box Kids // Feb 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Chad, well stated. That’s a good way to look at it– if it’s fun for the parent, it’ll be fun for the child. Best of luck—

  • 7 Michelle Breum // Feb 6, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Great advice. I write a blog sharing information to help parents and teachers support beginning readers. Thanks for sharing such great information. You are making a difference in the lives of children with this post! Reading with a parent is so important. I love what Dad to Two does while he reads. (first comment on this post)

  • 8 Spaghetti Box Kids // Feb 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks for the encouraging feedback. I look forward to visiting your beginning-readers blog. All the best. -AV

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