5 Playful Ways to Introduce Your Kids to Reading

by , posted on February 4th, 2013 in The Reading Nook


We all know how important reading is, right? And we all want our kids to be readers. But how does that happen? How do we create the environment to give our littles the best chance to learn to read?

Let me start by telling you to put away the flash cards. Rote memorization won’t get them to where they need to be. These tips are all playful ways to build an awareness of the sounds in words.

And the best part? They won’t even notice the learning part because you’ll be having so much fun together! That’s the best kind of learning – when it’s a byproduct of some fun.

Clap in time to syllables with familiar words and names

Mommy: –; alligator: —-; book: -; banana: —


We all know the color I-Spy but this version uses letter sounds.

“I spy with my little eye and I see something that begins with the mmm sound”. Or “I spy with my little eye and I see something that begins with the same sound as the word ‘book’”.

“Guess what” problems

“It rhymes with dish and swims”. “It rhymes with cat and you wear it on your head”.

Trace letters in sand or rice while saying them

This is especially good for kids who are kinesthetic learners. In other words, kids who need to move while they are learning.

Read to your littles for 15 minutes every day

Tell them how much you enjoy it. Ham it up by using different voices and sound effects as you read to them. Keep reading to them daily even once they learn to read. It’ll become a favorite family ritual.

These strategies will make your littles aware of the sounds in words AND show them that reading is a priority in your home. And that will make all the difference. Happy reading!

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6 Responses to “5 Playful Ways to Introduce Your Kids to Reading”

  1. Deborah Says:

    February 4th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Sandra, I love all the reading posts! We are passionate in this house about reading. And #5 is my absolute favorite. I get asked all the time how I got my kids to love reading, and I believe it’s because we read to our kids every night. We still read to our 5th grader! There’s just something so wonderful about being read to. And I think it’s actually an amazing skill to be a good listener and imagine the things happening that your ears are hearing without seeing it with your eyes. Thanks for the tips, wish I would’ve tried the tracing in rice when my kids were little.

  2. Sandra Says:

    February 4th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks Deborah – I’m on such a mission with reading for kids AND adults. Like a dog with a bone…

    I think a lot of parents give up reading TO their kids once they learn to read to themselves but it is still so important, as you obviously know!

    And the pre-reading tips – getting that understanding of how words are just sounds is so important. WAY more important than how early they may know their alphabet off by heart.

  3. Jennifer Cooper Says:

    February 4th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I still read to the kids every night. They love it and I love it. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day with them!

    Sandra Reply:

    Same here – I try and have a good beginning and ending to the day with the girl. The snuggling and reading to her in bed is lovely.

  4. Mrs. Pear Tree Says:

    February 4th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    How fun! These are perfect exercises for where we’re at right now! Thanks :-)

    Sandra Reply:

    Hey Mrs. Pear Tree – I’m just four hours south west of you in Vancouver! Glad you enjoyed the ideas.

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