Improving kids’ reading – something we all want to do! Maybe you have a child just learning to read, or perhaps a child in junior school. Enjoying reading is a great thing for any age of child, and you can help to foster a love of reading from the start!
Our own Personalised Bottle Bands are great for encouraging early letter recognition in very young children – and they’re really useful for labelling water bottles!
Before kids can read it’s natural to read them stories. Kids love being read to and they love being read stories! Reading to them is something your parents probably did for you, it’s natural to want to read to a young child, especially at bedtime!
Reading to a young child at bedtime is usually a lovely, cosy time when your child gets your attention and can just relax and listen, get lost in the story.
Kids get much more than you think from hearing you read to them! They start to develop a love of books and stories, which can help to encourage them with their own reading.
It’s also a really great way to introduce new vocabulary – your child will understand new words better in the context of a story, and will remember them better too…… which is great for improving kids’ reading!
When you read aloud, younger children who can’t yet read fluently can begin to experience and use more complex phrases and words than they would otherwise be able to read themselves.
There’s lots of evidence to show that older children can benefit from being read to too! So don’t stop totally once your child can read. Reading to kids of 7 or 8 is a great way to introduce them to new authors and topics, and also encourages a wider vocabulary and an understanding of punctuation.
For instance, kids will understand when to use commas much better if they hear you pause at one while you’re reading! With punctuation, reading starts to make so much more sense! Understanding of punctuation is really important for improving kids’ reading.
Taking your kids to the library is a free way of accessing all kinds of books, fiction and non fiction. Libraries enable a child to make their own choices of books and to find out which authors they like and want to read. There’s nothing like choosing a book for yourself! For improving kids’ reading there’s nothing quite like a good library!
Going to the library with your kids can be a fun part of your weekly routine, the exchange of ‘old’ books for ‘new’ ones, the time to look at what’s on offer, the fascination of the variety of books!
Libraries also often offer activities and challenges to encourage your child to read more, and librarians are always happy to help your child with their choice of books. Going to the library can set up great positive associations with books and reading!
If you take your kids to the library regularly they’ll remember it forever! They’ll also be more likely to take their own kids when that time comes! You’ll be laying the foundations for improving kids’ reading in generations to come!
If your kids see that you enjoy reading then they’re more likely to enjoy it themselves! It doesn’t matter if it’s a newspaper or a novel, having reading matter around the house means that your kids grow up surrounded by words and reading.
Encourage your kids to make a reading den!
Kids love a den to hide in and having a quiet place to read is really important! Kids can have fun making a den with pillows and cushions and surrounding themselves with books. Somewhere comfortable and safe where they can relax and enjoy a book! A little place to escape from day to day life just for a bit!
Of course we all know that this is necessary as part of learning to read! It gives your kids the opportunity to practise their reading skills and also to get help from you to understand new words and to begin to notice punctuation – something that will feed into writing skills.
It’s important too for more fluent readers to read out loud sometimes so you can check they’re not just skipping over vocabulary they are uncertain of, or just racing away without noticing punctuation. When your child reads with expression it’s a good sign that they understand what they are reading!
A child who reads well out loud, with expression and noticing punctuation is far more likely to write well too!
Help your child by suggesting new books and authors
There are lots of book list suggestions online and you can have a look at reviews to see which books your child might enjoy – and which are appropriate reading for their age group. Some books are better than others for helping kids expand their vocabulary. It’s great to guide your kids in their choice of books using what you know about their likes and dislikes and the knowledge about recommended reading.
It’s also worth asking other parents what their kids are reading! You might get some great recommendations! Book Trust have a useful list of books they have chosen for all ages.
Have a daily quiet reading time
If your child isn’t self motivated with reading it can be a good idea to encourage them by setting aside some time in each day for reading, either to you or by themselves. This means they are reading regularly and getting into the books, rather than dipping in and then not reading for a few days, by which time they will have forgotten the story or subject!
If you have a keen reader you might not need to set aside a specific reading time because they’ll pick up a book whenever they have a spare moment. It’s still worth getting them to read aloud regularly though to keep track of any problems they might be having, or to help explain new vocabulary.
All this reading is thirsty work, so don’t forget to keep your kids hydrated with plenty of water! Label their water bottles with our super cool Personalised Bottle Bands and they’ll be desperate to drag them off to the reading den!
For more tips on helping your child love reading have a look here!