13 Must-Know Reading Tips for Parents

Can’t wait to read a bedtime story to your child? Great!

Reading is a flexible and free family activity that you shouldn’t be missing out on in your everyday lives. It’s a fun bonding time opportunity and a useful building block towards language development.

If you’re ready to flip through pages with your child and improve their reading skills, check out these reading tips to help you help set them up for language success in school and in life.

We highlight that reading habits offer a lot of benefits to your child including increased cognitive development, improved literacy skills and a longer attention span.

There are a few tips for parents that you can do that will help your reading experience with your little one. Let’s discuss them in more detail.

1) Get Rid of Distractions

Keep them focused by turning off the TV, any radio or music sources. Your phone should be on silent and notifications are off to help your child be a successful reader.

2) Create a Book-Filled Environment

Turn your home into a book-filled habitat. Having lots of books within reach can encourage both of you to take up the activity. You can also create a comfy nook in your house just for reading to make it part of your home.

3) Make Reading a Daily Routine

Read with your child for at least 15 minutes each day. The more frequently you read with them, the more benefits and retention to their language skills. Story time before bed is a perfect time for this everyday life routine and habit-building.

4) Model Good Reading Behavior

Children are very observant and tend to follow your behavior. You can lead them towards reading by practicing good reading practices as well.

If you’re not an absolutely avid reader, or have trouble reading as well, that’s okay. Reading can instead be something that you can practice together.

5) Let Them Choose What to Read

Lay out the books and ask them what they want to read. Giving them this choice fosters independent thought, and will help them be more engaged.

Toddlers may remember their favorite story best and may even be highly motivated to read them to you.

6) Sit Comfortably Together When Reading

Kids feel more secure and will be more confident in the activity if you sit closer together or have them on your lap. This will also allow them to take part in holding the book and flipping pages, increasing their attention over the activity.

Apheleia Online Speech Therapy for Kids Child Reading Tips and Literacy

7) Use Pictures in Books

It’s not all about the words as simple pictures help with the activity too. Books with pictures encourage parent and child discussions.

Bright colors in books and contrasting illustrations are eye-catching for children, so you can ask questions about where their attention is, like “What’s that?” or “What is he/she doing?” along with letting them infer what the story of the book is about.

8) Make It Fun

Don’t make reading a chore for them. Reading can be just as playful for children. You can try using voices for characters and facial expressions to bring the words to life. Books with nursery rhymes that you can sing together works well too!

Look into books that offer fun activities. Interactive pop-up books and books that have inner flaps or pull tabs are excellent for keeping toddlers engaged.  Be enthusiastic and give your child your full attention during your reading time.

9) Show How Words are Read

Introduce your child to associating words to sounds by pointing your finger to guide their reading process (left to right, in the case of English). You can do this while reading, pointing at specific syllables as you pronounce them.

10) Let Them Take the Lead While Reading

When they start to read along with their own voice, let them! You can encourage them to do so by instead taking turns when reading. Eventually they will be able to read on their own, with a few nudges here or there when they get stuck.

11) Ask and Answer Questions

Talk about the book and ask about what happens and what they think will happen. Try to require a more complex response than “yes/no”. You can also encourage them to ask questions along the way and pause the reading to answer them. Communication is a two-way street after all.

The same as we discussed in speech therapy activities, try to repeat and expand on what they answer to introduce new words to their word bank.

12) Know When to Stop

Encourage your child to read, but there’s no need to force them into it when they have already lost interest. Be patient as it may take time for them to get used to longer reading times. It’s also possible that they might just have little to no more interest in the current book, so you can try and see if they want to read anything else.

13) Say How Much You Love Reading with Them

Reading can be a valuable bonding time for both of you. Let them know that you appreciate the time you spend together, and consider reading time as one of the best parts of your day with them.

Speech Therapy Activities at Home - Apheleia Speech Therapy for Kids
Reading is a life-long skill, so it’s best to start early. Parental involvement is a very crucial part of this process, and it’s just as fulfilling to see reading in their daily activities.

You can do many other language practices at home to develop their reading skills. There are also many resources for parents, in many different varieties. To learn what is best for your child at home and get more helpful reading tips, book your free consultation with us today.

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Lauren Templeton - Owner and Speech-Language Pathologist at Apheleia Speech Therapy

Lauren Templeton

Owner & Speech-Language Pathologist

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