Reading Tips
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Everyday Tips on Reading for Parents

As a parent, you have done many things to keep your child safe, secure and loved. By helping your child build reading skills, you can also give your child what he or she needs to be successful and secure later in life. The basic skills for reading include learning the letters of the alphabet, the sounds of words, and new words.

One way to build these skills is by reading out loud to your child. Your child will also love hearing new stories with interesting characters. Did you know that there are other simple activities that you and your child can do to help build reading skills? Here are 10 tips for you to try with your child in your everyday life.

  1. Talk to your child. Use everyday events, like taking a bath, getting dressed, or brushing teeth as a chance to talk with your child. Ask lots of questions, use short sentences and lots of words. This helps your child learn words and build vocabulary.
  2. Play a rhyming game. We’ve all been there. Your child is bored, fighting with a sibling or asking, “Can we go now?” To help pass the time, play a rhyming game with your child. If you are in a car or on a bus, find objects outside of the window, like a tree. Then, have your child think of another word that rhymes with tree. Rhyming helps your child learn sounds and words.
  3. Play the alphabet detective game. Help your child find an “a” on a sign, a “b” on a license plate, and so on. This game helps your child learn to find letters in words, which is an important step in learning to read.
  4. Find the first letter of your child’s name. Show your child the first letter of his or her name. Then, while you are in the grocery store, find labels that are spelled with that letter. This game is another fun way for your child to recognize letters in words.
  5. Write a grocery list together. Have your child “help” you write a grocery list. Say the words of the items you need as you write them down. This shows your child how letters form words and shows how we use writing in our everyday lives.
  6. Keep lots of crayons, pencils and paper in easy reach. Kids love to draw and write their name. Have crayons and paper ready for them at home or when you are traveling. Drawing is one of the first steps to writing. Drawing can also keep your child busy and happy.
  7. Have your child draw a picture and tell you a story. Kids have wonderful imaginations. Encourage your child to draw and make up his or her own stories. Having your child tell you a story will help develop language skills.
  8. Tell your child stories. Your child might enjoy hearing about the day he or she was born, or how you spent your time when you were his or her age. Telling your child stories can help him or her understand other stories and become familiar with more words. It also encourages your child to tell you stories.
  9. Sing songs. Songs are a fun way for your child to learn and remember words. You can sing along to the radio in the car, or you can make up songs together as you make dinner.
  10. Point out common words you see everyday. There are words all around you. Point out simple words, like stop, exit, and welcome, as you shop or travel with your child. Have your child repeat the words. This helps your child learn to recognize everyday words.

Use these simple tips, and you can help ensure your child has the building blocks for success later in life. For more information on how you can help your child build important reading skills, visit readytolearnreading.org.