Here are some ideas for making reading time both fun and educational.  The benefits of reading together can include improved standardized test scores and continued school success, but also more immediate rewards such as family bonding and enjoyment from time spent together!   

Getting Started

  • Get Comfortable and cozy
  • Let children pick the books
  • Talk about the pictures
  • Share specialty books like pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, big books, or other novelty books
  • Read with enthusiasm, being aware of characters and emotions.  Draw your child in with suspense and excitment
  • Stop (or shift gears) when it is no longer fun

Talk About Vocabulary

  • Choose books with rich language
  • Talk about an unfamiliar word - use a symonym to explain it
  • Read non-fiction as well as fiction
  • Use a puppet to present concepts such as over, under, beside, around, tall, short, etc.
  • Talk about the emotions of the characters in the story

All About Letters and Print

  • Look at and talk about the shapes of letters - circles, triangles and squares
  • Notice lower and upper case letters (big A and little a)
  • Read and point to the title and author on the book cover
  • Follow a simple phrase with your finger  - point to a word that stands out in the text
  • Choose a book with a repetitive phrase - point to it and have your child chime in

Storytelling and Rhyming

  • Ask open-ended rather than yes/no questions
  • Mix up the events in the story; make it silly
  • Guess what happens next  - or come up with a different ending
  • Read stories without words and tell the story
  • Sing parts of the story
  • Recite rhymes and play with tongue twisters 
  • Play rhyming games with word families: (cat, mat, sat, fat, pat)
  • Clap word parts - this helps teach that words are made of syllables or parts