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Make Reading Fun With These Simple Reading Tips for Kids

November 22, 2022
Preschool kids play with building bricks in while sitting on floor in daycare

Are you looking for ways to get your child interested in reading? Reading is a great way for children to expand their vocabulary, learn about people’s experiences, and develop storytelling skills! We’ve compiled simple reading tips for kids to help make reading fun by following your child’s interests and letting them make choices that positively impact their reading experience.

On This Page:

What Does Reading Look Like Before Children Can Read?

Reading looks very different before children learn to read on their own. Infants to preschoolers are developing pre-literacy skills with almost everything they do – and that includes how they interact with books.

  • Infants may stare at the pictures, begin to explore the book and its pages with their senses, and listen as you read the story out loud.
  • Toddlers often seem to have no interest in the story but may explore the books and listen to the story being read aloud as they play, fidget and wander! They will also start to point and label different objects on the page – telling their own version of the story.
  • Preschoolers will start to make the story up for themselves, their peers, or even their toys – mimicking their parents and teachers as they read! You may see them move their fingers along the words that they’ve memorized or created based on the pictures in the book.

Reading Tips for Kids Video

Check out these reading tips to help make reading fun and engaging children!

Reading Tips from: How to Introduce Toddlers and Babies to Books

More about These Reading Tips for Kids

1. Let your child take the lead

Children love to make their own choices, giving them the independence to guide their own learning. When you’re reading ask your child questions such as: “Which book would you like to read today?”, “Would you like to read to me today?” and “Where would you like to read today?” These questions allow children to make independent decisions that result in the same goal: reading together.

2. Read wherever you feel comfortable today

This tip is especially helpful for children who love to fidget, play, and even wander while you’re reading. The comfortable spot might change with every page, and that’s ok! Children are still listening as they move around, and some even listen better as their focus is on your voice instead of trying to stay in one place.

3. Find books with characters your child can relate to

Children love to see themselves in the stories. This might mean the characters in the book have the same hairstyle, enjoy the same activities, or have a family that’s like theirs (such as, a big sister and little brother).

4. Read books with repetition

When there is lots of repetition in a story, children are able to guess the word coming next which is an important skill that helps build a child’s confidence in reading long before they know how to read. Some books with repetition include:

  • Cool Cuts by Mechel Renee Roe
  • Happy Hair by Mechel Renee Roe
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
  • I Went Walking by Sue Williams

5. Let your child turn the pages

Letting your child to turn the pages is an easy way to help them engage with books. They are learning that books have a beginning and end, and that the pages only move in one direction. This is also something you can do with babies. Babies won’t be able to turn the pages on their own, but with your help, they can start to practice! Turn the page a little and allow your baby to turn the page the rest of the way.

6. Talk or sing about the pictures

Instead of simply reading the words, try singing or chanting them! Say some words loud, quiet, or fast then slow. You may even skip the words all together and talk about the pictures instead! This is a great way to read together and build vocabulary. Many children’s books are even made without words so the dialogue can change every time. Here are some of our favourite wordless books:

  • Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
  • A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
  • Skunk on a String by Thao Lam

7. Act out the words

Children’s books are often filled with different actions and animals. Try acting them out; ROAR like a lion, or twirl like a ballerina! Doing this helps bring meaning to the words in the story and allows your child to move around as they engage with the story. Sometimes, the words are written in a way that indicates the meaning of the word – for instance the word tall might be written with letters that are longer and taller than the other words on the page. Point these words out to your child to help bring meaning to the words.

8. Look at the pictures and make up your own story

This is a great way to build empathy and compassion. Children will look for cues in the images as to what might be happening in book, such as: “She has a frown, so she must be sad.” Continue the story by making up reasons as to why she might be sad, and what might make her feel better. These cues and inferences will help children empathize with friends, family, and others in their community.

9. Talk about the new words you read

Books are filled with all sorts of words we may not use on a regular basis. When you come across a new word, talk about it, define it and try to use it even after reading the book – “There’s a hot dog vendor on TV just like we read about in the book!”

10. Make the voices come alive with voices and sound effects

Some characters might have really squeaky and high pitched voices, while others have deep and low pitched voices! Change up the voices of different characters in the book to keep the story engaging.

11. Talk about the story

You can talk about the story before you read, while you’re reading AND after you read! Talking about the story before you read it allows your child to make guesses as to what the story might be about based on the title and cover page. As you’re reading, talk about what’s happened so far in the story, while letting your child ask questions and guessing what might happen next. Lastly, when you’re done reading, talk about the story as a whole by asking questions like, “Did you know what this story was going to be about?” or “What did you like and what didn’t you like?” or “What was the silliest part of the story?” Talking about the story allows your child to reflect and build their memory through recall.

12. Put your child’s name in the story

Putting your child’s name in the story is a great way to personalize it! You can change up other names to match their friend’s names or by changing Avó to Abuela depending on what you child calls their grandmother.

13. This is YOUR story! Change it if you want!

This is a fun way to help your child relate to the story even more. Instead of “going to school” change it to “going to daycare” or “going to the play centre” – depending on your child’s daily routine.

14. Stop when you’ve had enough

Even if you only read through one page, it’s ok to stop and take a break! Allowing children to decide when they are done reading gives them control over their reading experience and helps make the experience a positive one. When they’re ready to read again, continue where you left off or start over – either way this will help keep reading a positive experience for kids!

15. Celebrate finishing the book!

A high five, or an “all done!” cheer are fun ways to celebrate! Not only does it provide the sense of accomplishment, but it signals that the book is finished and it’s time to find a new activity, a new book, or move on to the next part of the day.

Books in the Video

The book Happy Hair by Mechel Renee Roe.
  • Cool Cuts by Mechel Renee Roe
  • Happy Hair by Mechel Renee Roe
  • I Believe I Can by Grace Byers
  • I am Smart, I am Blessed, I can do Anything by Alissa Holder
  • Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins Bigelow
  • Thank you Omu by Oge Mora

For more book recommendations, follow #BridgeWayReads on Instagram!

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