Fitting in reading practice into a child’s daily routine is often a re-occurring battle between parents and their children. This may be due to several reasons; it may be a challenging and therefore not enjoyable task for a child or there may be the distractions from activities that are much more appealing than reading. Continued exposure to literacy and reading is important, especially throughout the summer months. If a child continues to put up high resistance to traditional reading activities, try to “sneak” in reading into fun activities. Luckily, literacy is all around us and can easily be camouflaged into fun.
5 Ways to Sneak Reading Practice Into Your Child’s Day:
- Cooking: Invite your children to bake or cook a recipe with you. Children love to be involved and given responsibilities. Have their “job” be to read the recipe to get the ingredients and tell you what is next. Children will also learn the importance of paying attention to details, as recipes rely on the completion of specific directions. Try to find a recipe that can be tailored to your child’s skill level. The recipe can be as simple or complex as you would like; even making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be made into a reading activity. You can also adapt a recipe to include different verbs or new vocabulary.
- Jokes: What child doesn’t love a good laugh? Reading jokes is a great way to add direct fun to a reading activity. Children jokes can be found on the internet, in a joke book or even on a popsicle stick! A child can practice reading a joke several times, and then perform it for another caregiver or adult later in the day. Not only is a child practicing his literacy skills, but he is also gaining exposure to figurative language.
- Road Trip Games: The summer season often comes with long road trips. It is easy to use electronics to occupy your child’s attention during these long hours. However, a great way to continue to improve your child’s literacy skills is to play the traditional Alphabet Game! Have your child look for the letters of the alphabet in the signs and words that you drive past. This is good practice with alphabetical order, identifying letters and reading single words. This game can be adapted to be a team effort or a race.
- Play teacher: Use the natural dynamic between older and younger siblings as an opportunity to get in some reading practice. Talk with your child about playing teacher with his younger sibling. The older brother or sister can read a story to his or her younger sibling, teach a specific letter or even write a short story. This is a fun way for kids to feel successful with reading, especially when they get to “teach” the younger brother or sister.
- Put on a Play: This is a great activity if you have multiple children that can participate. Find a free children’s drama script online or buy a book of children dramas. Children love using their imagination and also getting an audience’s attention. Practice reading the scripts before the performance to highlight any words they may not know and introduce them to new vocabulary.
If these suggestions don’t necessarily fit in with your child’s personality or family routine, get creative with your own daily routine. You can write up a schedule for your child’s day, having them read it at breakfast, or write out the directions of a craft for your child to complete. Remember the goal should be to create a motivating and fun activity for your child to gain additional practice and exposure to literacy.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!