Encourage Reading from Preschool to First Grade with These Reading Games for Kids

Here’s a post by my wife Maya. Read on.

Reading is an exciting pastime if only kids realized it! Though it’s a tall ask to expect kids to read whole words and get them exactly right as soon as they can start reading independently, it’s never too early to breed the habit of reading in your child so that she loves the feeling of holding a book and reading for reading’s sake. Here are a few reading games for kids that will stand them in good stead by encouraging reading as a hobby early in life.

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Reading by Moyan Brenn

Reading games with toddlers

Hold your baby in your lap and read to her from a story that has plenty of rhythm, lyrical words, and colorful pictures in it. Modulate your tone and point out at animals, flowers, and other objects in the story as you read. Allow your child to touch and hold the book for a kinesthetic learning experience. Brief but daily sessions of such reading games will allow your toddler to form a fulfilling relationship with books. If you read the same story for a couple of times back to back, the toddler will be able to point out at familiar pictures and objects in the story. When your child successfully learns to point out the objects that you read, you’ll know she’s made quite a progress.

The Game of Conversation

It’s important to converse with children to get them a step closer to reading. Ask hypothetical questions to your child and encourage her to ask you the same. You can ask why the leaves make a rustling sound while the bees make a humming noise or why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If both of you don’t know the answers to the questions you exchange, encourage your child to look up an encyclopedia to find the relevant answers. Learning to look up a pictorial dictionary or an encyclopedia is an exciting way to get kids interested in reading. If your child is not old enough to read, offer to read the explanation for her and explain the difficult words so that she understands there is a world of wealth to be unearthed once she starts reading.

A Little Game with Poetry

Read poetry with your children. It’s a good idea to read the same poem over and over with the child till she knows the lines well enough to act them out. Put all your dramatic skills into good use and enact words, phrases, and scenes from the poem you read with your child. As a result, your child will slowly explore the joys of reading. To up the fun quotient of this reading game for kids, suggest to your child that she puts up a facial expression, one that suits the tone of the poem, throughout the poem while you read it to her. For example, if you’re reading “Little Pig” to your child, she can say the lines after you in a way similar to what a pig would. You can invite friends over for dinner to be an audience to your child’s recital program if she’s comfortable with the idea.

Putting a Pause to Good Use

This reading game is for kids who can read independently. Choose an exciting story that has twists and turns. A fresh story that the child hasn’t heard before will work the best for this reading game. Read the story till the time you anticipate a twist in the story. Then, pause. Ask the child what happens next. Mostly she will be unable to answer as the story is new to her. If she decides to use her imagination and cook up the next sequences, offer her to read the next few pages aloud so that you both can find out what happens next. This is a great way to get kids to read longer stories and get them interested in the activity of reading.

The joys of reading can only be known when one comes to love reading. Encourage reading, encourage your child to explore.

Five tips for good parenting

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Kids Playing Monopoly Chicago by Colleen Kelly

Becoming a parent is fantastic. Along with the fun and joy comes worries about your kids. Are you bringing them up right? Are they eating enough? Are you giving them enough intellectual stimulation? Are you being a good supportive parent? The questions are endless.

Two thing to remember about bringing up kids:

  • others before us have done it and others after us will do the same after us
  • all creatures in nature bear and nurture their young ones in a plethora of different ways

It’s okay if we don’t fit in with our parenting skills, our aim should be to bring up well adjusted adults of tomorrow.  Though I am no expert, I claim experience because I have seen a large number of kids growing up in our extended family. There are five things to keep in mind while bringing up kids:

  1. Make sure you as parents have consistent good behavior as far as possible.
  2. Build a home where trust and joy are emphasized.
  3. Play a lot with your kids, and I mean a LOT.
  4. Make sure the kids sleep well and regularly.
  5. Introduce a variety of foods, fruits and vegetables whenever possible.

Seems simple, and yet will prove not so simple as your parenting journey begins. Do you have any simple suggestions for bringing up well balanced kids? Let me know.