BookTrust tips on reading with children of any age
Set aside some time
Find somewhere quiet without any distractions – turn off the TV/radio/computer.
Ask your child to choose a book
Sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters. This means they are more likely to engage with the book.
Sit close together
Encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages.
Point to the pictures
If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.
Encourage your child to talk about the book
Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling, or how the book makes them feel.
And lastly, above all – make it fun!
It doesn’t matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don’t be afraid to use funny voices: children love this!
For ideas of questions to ask children during reading, download our ‘Parent Reading Prompts’ in the parents resources folder.
This website has lots of ‘read the passage and then answer the questions’ style activities, which will be really useful practise. It is an American website, but replicates SATs style questions pretty well.
- http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/ – More questions about texts on this website. Choose the reading comprehension exercises.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/english/reading/ – The English area of the Bitesize website is split into different sections. The reading area has some useful resources, especially the deduction and finding information section.