As parents, we are always keeping an eye out for those golden opportunities to spend one-on-one time with our children, and we have to admit reading is one of our highlights. These moments are so much more than just reading a book—they are the perfect way to create memories and pass on your love for all things literary, but there is an added benefit—improving your child’s reading skills.
So, let's get started looking at what reading skills are and 10 of our top ideas to help take your child’s reading skills to the next level. We promise it’s going to be fun!
What are reading skills?
Your child's reading skills continue to develop and grow over time, which is wonderful as it is never too late to improve them! We found it fascinating to see just how many reading skills you will need in life.
Here is a list of some of the essential reading skills your child needs to master:
Your child should be able to read smoothly and accurately without having to pause. Research shows that fluent readers are able to focus on the flow of the story as opposed to spending time figuring out what the individual words are.
At this stage, understanding the meaning of the text is critical. Your child should be able to understand the main ideas, details, and nuances of the story.
We all know how important vocabulary is, and the best way to improve it is to read more and more. They should also be able to use context clues to help them figure out what unfamiliar words mean.
This is definitely taking it to the next level, as they should be able to make inferences based on what they have read. In other words, your child should be able to connect information and draw conclusions that have not been explicitly stated.
Critical thinking skills
This is where reading becomes so much fun. It's time to question what you’ve read, evaluate arguments and consider different perspectives.
Now there really is no need to stress out if your child needs help with any of these—grab your glass of wine or your favorite cup of coffee; we’ve got you covered with eight fabulous ideas to get you started.
How to improve your child’s reading skills
When you want to improve your child’s reading skills, we can’t stress enough that it must be fun. We are firm believers that reading should never be a chore; it should always be something that brings joy!
Whether it is learning new things or escaping to a new world filled with exciting places and interesting characters, reading is a skill that lays the foundation for success across all areas of your child’s life. And what better way than having fun mastering life’s most important skill?
8 Ideas to improve your child’s reading skills
At last, here are our top 8 ideas for boosting your child’s reading skills. It’s all about creating memories while having fun and learning without them even knowing it!
Idea 1: The game of 3-2-1
Grab one of your child’s favorite books and let the games begin. It’s a simple game that encourages engagement, speeds up reading progression, and helps develop critical thinking skills all in one go.
After reading the book or even just a few chapters, get your child to write down 3 things they’ve learned, 2 interesting points, and 1 question they have. You will be amazed at their insights and the conversations you will have.
Idea 2: Spot the mistake
Kids love this one! Spot the mistake involves you reading aloud while they follow along. Simply mispronounce, skip words, or replace a word with a similar-sounding one. It helps your child remain focused while you are reading, and they can get a point for every error they catch. We’ll leave the prizes up to you!
Idea 3: Themed reading days
We love this one almost as much as the kids. It's time to get creative and come up with your own special themed reading days—Mystery Mondays, Thrilling Tuesdays, Adventure Fridays, or even Space Saturdays work well in our homes.
It doesn’t have to be about reading fiction; you can easily introduce a bit of extra education with solar systems and astronauts on Space Saturday.
Idea 4: Page-to-popcorn movie nights
Page-to-popcorn movie nights are great for testing a wide range of reading skills. There are so many fabulous film adaptations that you won’t be spoiled for choice. Besides being a lot of fun, it is a great way to give their critical thinking skills a big push. Here are a few pointers:
- How did the characters/places differ from how you imagined them?
- Has the movie stayed true to the book?
- What was left out?
- What changes did they make in the movie?
Idea 5: Reading reward chart
A reading reward chart is always a win. We all love tracking our progress, and there is something quite satisfying about sitting back and seeing how much you have read. It doesn’t have to be about tracking books; it can be as simple as measuring the number of pages or chapters. The objective is to motivate your child, and every bit of reading should be celebrated.
Incorporating reading challenges takes it to another level. Whether it's family or friend challenges, you are bound to all have so much fun. We would love to hear your ideas!
Idea 6: Literary treasure hunt
Literary treasure hunts are a wonderful way to celebrate some of the books you all love to read. Cryptic messages, amazing bookish treasures—we’re getting excited already! Throw in some pizza, and you will have a night to remember.
Idea 7: Start a book club
Starting a book club for your child is always exciting, and with our monthly book box subscriptions, we’ve done all of the hard work for you. Once a month, you will receive a wonderful book box filled with the latest stories and packed with carefully chosen surprise gifts—bringing books to life the Once Upon a Book Club way!
We recommend starting off small with five or six members, and the first discussion will just have to be about picking the perfect name. As you know, we love book clubs and can’t wait to hear about yours!
Idea 8: Create your own ending
There is nothing quite like creating your own ending to get the creative juices flowing. So many skills are used, like comprehension, inferencing, and critical thinking. This is a fabulous activity to do together as it stimulates conversation and creates special memories.
Bonus Idea: Bedtime reading
Many of us have memories of bedtime stories with our parents or grandparents, bringing stories to life with the slightest inflection of their tone. This was what started a love of reading in many of our hearts, and a lot of us still go to sleep listening to audiobooks today. Create new bedtime traditions by choosing a family-friendly audiobook to read with your children as a new way to encourage a love for stories. So, sit back, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and relax.
We hope we have inspired you and wish you and your child hours and hours of literary fun. Sharing your love of reading is something that will bind you together. My mom and I still discuss books and recommend authors to each other. It’s our special thing, and we have progressed from the living room to the latest coffee shop! We’re always on the hunt for the perfect cappuccino and slice of chocolate cake.