Some children take to reading naturally, while others might need a little boost to get going. If you’re looking for some ideas to support your kids there are plenty of ways that you can do this. With the help of these 12 tips and tools you’ll help your child to improve their literacy skills and their confidence at the same time.
1 . Use Tech To Help
There are lots of ways that you can use technology to help your child with their reading. For starters there are plenty of free literacy apps for children which can support you, you might also want to check out the best literary podcasts for kids. Audiobooks are great for when kids are feeling tired, or you might want to check out YouTube videos. There are plenty of YouTube videos that can help to improve a child’s literacy skills whether it’s songs or stories. Check out kids literacy channels such as ‘Read Out Loud’ or ‘Speakaboos’.
2. Read To Them Often
Kids Health recommends that you should read to your toddlers at least once a day, as your children get older, they’ll be able to read by themselves. Reading to your children often has many benefits including:
- Will help to improve their listening, vocab and reading skills.
- Research shows that children who enjoy reading have improved mental health.
- Can help to boost your child’s imagination.
- Books are a great way to learn new skills, and help children to develop empathy.
3. Trips To The Library
If you want your child to grow up loving books, take them to the library, and help them to get excited about these trips. Get your child a kid’s library card, teach them how the library works and help them to find books that they’ll enjoy. Your local library might host special events for children, whether it’s singing workshops or storytelling. When your child values books and loves reading, their skills will develop and grow.
It’s not just the library that can offer a fun educational day out. Look for literacy museums or literacy based workshops in your area. There are many ways to support your child with their literacy.
4. Listen To Them
Listening to your child read will help them to practice their skills, and boost their confidence. Set aside at least 30 minutes a day where you take it in turns to read to each other. When your child is reading to you they’ll need lots of praise, keeping your child happy is all about praise and rewards when they deserve it. Encourage them to ask you if they don’t know what a word means. Use a child’s dictionary to look up the word, and then write it down in their vocab book.
5. Cater To Their Interests
To help your child to enjoy reading, try choosing books that cater to their interests. Whether they love dinosaurs, football, magic tricks or animals, help them to choose books which they’ll love. As your child continues on their reading journey they’ll develop their interests, find favorite genres, authors and more. Ask them questions often, to learn what they love and help them to find the right books.
Explore bookshops, charity stores, research online, and ask your child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher will have lots of tips for teaching your grade school child to read. There are many ways to find books that your child will love.
6. Act Out Stories
Reading isn’t just about text on the page, it’s about storytelling and inspiring the imagination. With this in mind, help your child to act out stories. You can use games, props, costumes, anything that will enrich the experience. If your child is shy of acting, consider storytelling games instead. All you need to do is sit in a circle, and start telling a story. Encourage your child to tell the next line, helping them with prompts and props.
While you’re working your way through these tips you might be glad of a few resources. Check out these children’s literacy apps for further support.
HOMER is a learning program designed for kids aged 2-8 years old. The app features personalized lessons, activities, exercises and stories. All activities were designed by experts and are backed by educational research. According to the app creators, the app is proven to ‘boost confidence and increase reading scores in 15 minutes per day.’ A few of the key features include:
- Plenty of stories and characters to choose from, including plenty of classics.
- Games, songs and stories, to boost engagement.
- Can increase reading score by up to 74%.
- Parents can access extra resources from videos and printables to learning tips.
8. Starfall Learn To Read
Starfall Learn To Read is one of the most popular free apps for early reading. Join Zac the Rat for plenty of songs, movies and engaging activities. With the help of this tool your child can explore and learn about the relationship between written and spoken language. Technology can be used in plenty of different ways to support children with reading. Most kids love using apps, and so it shouldn’t take much encouragement!
The FarFaria app includes ‘read-to-me children’s story books’, aimed at children aged between 1 and 9 years old. With this app you can choose from nursery rhymes for kids, bedtime stories, fairy tales, educational books, read out loud books, and lots more. There are many great features to take advantage of including:
- Check out the curated library to browse thousands of popular children’s books.
- Brand new books are added every week.
- Reward badges for each reading level.
- Access books offline as well as online.
- Classics from the Wizard of Oz to Rapunzel, as well as plenty of new books.
10. Reading Raven
The Reading Raven app helps children through the different stages of their reading journey, starting with phonological awareness, moving on to full sentences, reading and vocab games. The app offers reading lessons to support young kids to build the foundation they need for reading. Your child can benefit from the following features:
- Various fun activities and games.
- You can customize the activities based on children’s reading levels.
- Sticker rewards to stay motivated.
- Feedback & voice instructions.
- Amazing artwork for the stories.
- Support to write on screen.
11 . Hooked On Phonics
‘Hooked On Phonics’ is a popular learning program, designed by experts in childhood education. The app is ideal for 1st graders, kindergarten and preschool. On the app you’ll find hundreds of games, ebooks, lessons, songs and videos.
The app includes over 36 lessons, all focusing on the foundations of reading, these lessons cover simple plurals, short vowels, compound words, blends, consonant digraphs and sight words. All lessons focus on a story including the words that your child has just learned.
Epic is a reading platform designed for children aged 12 and below. Here kids can access hundreds of books, and enjoy them in a read along format. There are books, videos, audiobooks and more. Check out cool benefits such as:
- Thousands of books to read anywhere.
- Interactive learning videos, with thousands to choose from.
- Fun quizzes, audiobooks and read-to-me books.
- Recommendations based on reading level and interests.
- Can access the app offline or online.
Using these tips and tools you’ll help your child to improve their reading skills, and boost their imagination. The key is to help your child discover the kind of books that they like. From trips to the library to daily reading sessions there are lots of ways to encourage a love of reading.