By Milaura Spelman, MS, CCC-SLP

Many parents find it difficult when reading with their child to encourage appropriate reading skills. Some children do not enjoy reading books while others dive right in. Creative, fun activities can help children to enjoy the act of reading and create lifelong learners. The activities described below will guide you as a parent to encourage your child to take pleasure in reading!

A) Before reading a book:

  • Provide the background of the story and ask your child to imagine what the characters will be like, the setting of the story, the events of the story, etc.

B) While reading a book:

  • Develop the pattern of moving left to right by pointing to the words as you read
  • Ask your child to predict what will happen on the next page
  • Ask your child to name objects seen in the pictures
  • Ask your child open ended questions about what is happening in the story
  • Relate the story to your child’s interests or experiences

C) After reading a book:

  • Ask your child to tell the story in their own words or to “read” it by looking at the pictures
  • Ask your child to draw a picture of an event in the story
  • Draw a mural of the story on large butcher block paper
  • Ask your child to sequence the events in the story using first, second, third, etc.
  • Make simple paper bag or stick puppets of characters in the story to help retell the story
  • Make a snack treat based on the theme of the book
  • Write, draw or tell a new ending to the story

D) Additional Reading Tips:

  • Your child may want to read the same story over and over. That’s perfectly fine, the repetition will allow your child to become familiar with the story through recognition of the words, pictures, and rhythm.
  • Read at a slow to normal pace and use expression in your voice to convey emotions and intonation.