Family Activities to Improve Reading in Children

Many children find learning a chore and something that should be restricted to school-time if at all. With some subtle work you can introduce learning in everything almost any time you like and in any situation. The less they realise what’s happening, the better in these situations, don’t make special effort to change your everyday plans as you can include teaching in all your normal activities. Even in activities you wouldn’t think of as educational you can get a long way towards improving your child’s basic skills, reading especially.

SHOPPING

Reading can be used in all stages of the shopping process. Start with going through a recipe book and checking ingredients you have or may need. Then write a list of what you need including weights and types. Then go shopping, taking care to go the shops relevant to the items needed and when in the shops it time to read the most. If using a supermarket for the goods there will need to be reading of the aisles to find the items in, then the shelves to house the goods before choosing the individual items. Once you have the items, it’s time to double check on weights and ingredients before finding the exit.

TRAVELLING

On a trip there is always plenty to see and to read along the way. You can look out for sign posts for directions, use timetables if needed and then look out for the correct bus or train. While on the trip find things to read as you go, look at shop signs, place names and even street names to practise. One game my sons love is to make words from the letters on car registration plates. There is some cheating involved but it’s still fun.

NEWSPAPERS

It’s an old fashioned item in the modern world but using a newspaper can be great for kids, especially those who want to share an activity with an adult.   Share the time together reading stories of interest or allow the child to take their own segment of the paper to read themselves.

MAGAZINES AND BOOKS

If your child has a favourite cartoon or movie, there’s a good chance that there is an affiliated book or magazine. This can be read by the child to the family or can be a shared experience for all the family. Many have stories and game in them so a trade can be done, read a certain amount and then a game can be played. Even some of the games can help with reading.

In fact, wherever we go and whatever we do there is reading to be done. You do it without thinking or considering it, your child will need to be helped to reach this stage. Encourage them to read anything and everything wherever you see it.