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Books: Reading Activities for Children

Reading is both fun and educational. The following tips can help your child gain skills and knowledge from books and have fun at the same time.

Learning from books

When reading to your child:

  • Choose a variety of books.
  • Let your child ask questions about the book.
  • Talk about how you can tell if the story is true or make-believe from looking at the book.
  • Let younger children interact with the story by making sound effects for the cars, animals, or other characters.
  • Talk to your child about the characters and why they acted a certain way.
  • Explain how a story has a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Talk about the problem or conflict in the story and how it was solved by the characters.

Building a love for reading

With younger children:

  • Set aside a special time of the day or week just for quiet reading activities.
  • Choose books with colorful pictures.
  • Make sure your child has a library card and go to the library to check out books and listen to story hour.
  • Your child may enjoy reading magazines as well as books. Magazines just for children include Boys' Life, Highlights for Children, National Geographic Kids, and Stone Soup
  • Journey into the world of fantasy by making up a story about one of your child's favorite toys. Make it a continuing saga.
  • Act out a favorite story or use puppets to tell a story.
  • Suggest your child dress up as a favorite storybook character while playing make-believe or preparing for Halloween.
  • Help your child make her own book. Select a theme such as jungle animals, changing seasons, or a day at the beach. Illustrate it with magazine pictures, photographs, or children's drawings. Use sturdy construction paper for the cover, and write a simple sentence about the picture at the bottom of each page.
  • Record a story in which you and your child both participate either by reading or making sound effects.
  • Read a poem, and then have your child draw a picture or make a collage about it.
  • Start a rhyme and have your child finish it.

With older children:

  • Let your child read out loud to you.
  • Read or suggest a book that was one of your favorites when you were your child's age.
  • Make bookmarks out of felt or colored paper and give as gifts.
  • Find books about past or future experiences in your child's life. For example, read books together about where you will be going on your vacation. Learn about the geography, historical figures, or current events.
  • Build or buy a book shelf.
  • Start a book collection on a particular interest.
  • Give a gift certificate to a local bookstore.
  • Start a weekly family reading hour. Select a story of interest to the entire family and have the adults and older children read passages aloud. Alternate poetry, humor, mysteries, adventure, and biographical sketches.
  • Set some time aside each week to talk about what each one in the family is reading.
  • Put up a map and refer to it when reading about various states and other countries.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2013.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-08-14
Last reviewed: 2012-04-16
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2013 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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