Learning to read can be one of the most challenging and rewarding tasks your child has faced so far. While much of the learning takes place in the classroom, it’s always a good idea to help your child practice reading at home, too.
You can start with the tried-and-true method of reading aloud to your child. Make sure she can see the book and follow along as you read. When she feels comfortable, encourage her to take over and read to you.
This is a great place to begin and your child’s adventure into the world of reading. To keep her interest and help her learn in other ways — and have a lot of fun while doing it — try some reading games and books, brought to you by the digital age.
Online Games and Books
Most kids love computers and can’t wait to start “playing” with them. Structured learning games on kid-safe websites are a great way to get your child acquainted with the web while developing her love of reading.
Whenever you allow your child to use the internet, make sure you supervise her and limit her time to a healthy amount. Look for websites that are designed for kids, never ask for personal information, and offer an “ad-free” environment, with no external links to other sites, such as the following:
- PBS Kids has more than 50 online reading and literacy games that cover everything from spelling to storytelling. Most of the games feature a combination of sound, vibrant imagery, and simple instructions young learners will pick up quickly. The website is also designed to be easy for kids to switch between games with little adult supervision.
- Funbrain offers a selection of games for kids as young as kindergarten and up through eighth grade. Your child can read online versions of several popular books, including the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and take part in the fun with the interactive Mad Libs Junior.
Your smartphone or tablet is another device your child probably loves. And when you’re on the go or just snuggled up in bed, a mobile device can be a great way to bring the learning right to you.
Remember that you’ll have to download (and probably purchase) the apps ahead of time, but once you set it up, it should be easy for your child to discover learning and improve her skills. The following sites offer a variety of apps your child will enjoy:
- Scholastic offers lots of reading and game apps for your iPad or smartphone that you download. While most of the apps are not free, your child is sure to love the familiar faces of Clifford, the Big Red Dog, and The Magic School Bus characters. The site also offers a free Scholastic Reading Timer app to help kids time and track their reading.
- PBS Kids also features a mobile section on their website where you can sort through their apps by price, age, device, or which PBS show it’s associated with. The apps range in topics, and include reading, vocabulary, phonics, and literacy.
When it comes to learning to read, the more practice your child gets, the quicker she’ll pick it up and the more she’ll probably enjoy reading. Between school, trips to the library, online games, mobile apps, and more, opportunities for learning to read are virtually endless.
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