Everyday tips to make reading fun and engaging for young children

Mar 15, 2023, 5:38 PM

SANDY, Utah — Reading is essential for a child’s development, but it can be a struggle to get them to engage with books. 

Parent Alexis McComb said over the last year she has seen her 5-year-old gravitate toward reading. McComb makes it a point to keep reading fun and silly when they do school assignments together.

“Seeing her open up her little books that they send home, and she was just going to town the way that she sounds it out, it’s amazing,” said McComb. “I feel like her imagination is just way more than it was before she started school.”

Her daughter was one of the dozens who got to pick out a new book and stuffed animal from the Sandy Elementary School’s library for a Read Across America day event.

“It’s fun, so I think it makes them want to read,” McComb said.

Angela Oviatt, an instructional coach at Sandy Elementary, said events like these are one way to help your little ones engage in the stories. She said her biggest tip for parents is to incorporate reading into everyday activities, like pointing out signs during car rides.

“You are looking at the signs, what letters do you see, what words can you make that start with that same letter, what sound does that make,” Oviatt suggested.

Another tip is to act out the stories you are reading to your children who aren’t old enough to read themselves, Oviatt said. 

“If you are that kind of fun parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle that can do funny voices, do that, so that they are engaged, and they are pulled into the story,” she said.

Oviatt also suggested setting goals, like reading a birthday card from grandma, as another way to make reading fun.

“Find something so that it makes it meaningful to them and help them achieve that goal,” she said.

For more ideas and resources on how to get your child excited about reading, visit 5B45kids.com.

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Everyday tips to make reading fun and engaging for young children