Teaching Tools for Reading

chalkboard portrait

As I mentioned in my post, Alphabet Books Are Awesome, I find reading to be a very important yet difficult skill to learn and master.  It actually involves several areas of the brain to work together.  I know it was intimidating for me as a child so I was determined to introduce reading to my children in the least threatening way possible.  It goes without saying that reading to your children everyday is important but I also find it is important for them to be actively participating and engaged.

So far my efforts have been effected so I thought I would share some of my ideas and tools.

  • Have your child choose the book (or if you are less than jazzed about their taste, how about they choose one and you choose one).
  • Pause after the words on each page to comment on the illustration or asked your child a question about the story.
  • Read books that rhyme multiple time and let your child complete the rhyme.
  • Get magnet letters for you fridge to play with together.
  • Have your children watch Super Why, a great show on PBS which teaches some reading basics.
  • Get some rebus books for you to read together.  In place of some of the words are pictures which you can have your child “read”.  I found a great series called All Aboard Reading, Picture Readers.
  • Once you are ready to actively start teaching reading, Bob Books are by far the best series to start with that I have seen.  We were introduce to these by my children’s preschool.  They are 12 page mini books that come in sets of about 12.  In Bob Books Set 1: Beginning Readers each book tells an actual story with three letter words starting with only a handful of letters that can all be sounded out. Initially I was skeptical because of the somewhat primitive illustrations but my daughter found them funny and she got so much satisfaction out of successfully reading each book by herself!
  • I also write “mystery sentences” on a chalk board easel (that we got at Ikea for 15 dollars!) and help them sound it out.  Sometimes I write about what we are having for dessert or about a fun weekend activity coming up.
Every child is different and somethings will work for some and not other which is also why it is great to get a head-start at home before they enter the one-size-fits-all classroom.  I hope you find this list helpful and please share any ideas and tools you like!


I'm inspired by nature and blog about creativity and practical mom stuff. Interested in subscribing? Check out that blue box at the top of my sidebar. I also happen to be an aspiring children's book author/illustrator and a product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. As an Amazon affiliate, if you purchase through my links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here and elsewhere on the internet.


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