5 Interactive Activities to Teach Reading Skills at Home

April 12, 2020 / Parent Resources

While some kids love to read, others may find it boring or too challenging. Oftentimes this second group will choose to play iPad games for kids all day instead, only reading when it’s required by a teacher or parent. Rather than being a part of their day along with fun kid games and interactive activities, reading becomes a chore.

Whether your child loves or merely tolerates reading, it’s an essential activity for their cognitive and non-cognitive development. Kids who fall behind in reading often see a negative ripple effect on their school performance, motivation, and self-esteem. Kids who read regularly, in contrast, have better communication skills, a broader worldview, higher empathy, and are happier and more resilient. Reading enables kids to learn about the world from someone else’s perspective, experience different emotions, and go on adventures, among other things. 

If your child is struggling to read or doesn’t want to read and you are looking to improve their reading skills, there are quite a few ways to foster a love of reading. Start by figuring out what’s behind your child’s desire or reluctance to read – say, a love of fairy tales or a problem with fluency. Once you have that sorted, here are some engaging ways and creative and interactive thinking games that can transform their dread into excitement:

Get the family involved

Take turns reading paragraphs or chapters from a book with your child. Since kids tend to look to their parents and learn from them, this method of assisted learning can help improve fluency. If you have more than one child, give each a chance to read a page. The more, the merrier! 

Bring audiobooks into the picture

Kids respond well to sensory stimulation. By combining books with audiobooks, children are able to listen to the words while reading and can

  • Better develop the ability to sound out written words, as audio enforces sight word recognition
  • Increase their accuracy and speed of reading
  • Build a bigger oral vocabulary

Act out a story

Reading comprehension isn’t just about understanding the text in a book. Acting out a book helps kids get to the heart of what they are reading and empathize with the characters while improving reading comprehension. It can even engage those children who are generally averse to reading. If acting the story out would be tough, you could play dress-up with an item from the book, such as a wand or a tiara, as a way to escape into the story.

Create a kids’ book club

Who said book clubs are only for the grown-ups? Book clubs not only give kids the chance to sharpen their reading skills, but they also let them explore topics in depth and develop their interpersonal skills. Pick a theme that’s appropriate for the kids’ reading level and age and invite everyone to either read one book or choose their own within the theme. Mix up your book club meeting with other activities such as movies (especially movie versions of the books they read) or children learning games.

Lean on educational learning games

Word games enhance your child’s reading skills by improving their vocabulary and processing speed. Riddles, puzzle books, and word-based board games are all excellent options. Osmo’s Words game is an interactive activities educational game in which kids use clues to decipher secret words. This endless adventure through words makes learning to read a lot more enjoyable.

Using these strategies routinely can help your kids boost their reading skills and their enjoyment of reading. You may also want to figure out the specific areas that your child struggles with, be it reading comprehension or fluency, and focus on building those muscles. Happy reading!

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