How to Motivate Kids to Read

How to Motivate Kids to Read

How to Motivate Kids to Read – In the world of kids and reading, interest and motivation are hugely important. Increased interest equals increased motivation!

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For a young child, interest in books and reading translates into motivation and readiness to learn how to read when the time is right.

For a struggling reader, interest in books and reading can translate into motivation to keep going when learning to read doesn’t come easily.

For a reluctant reader of any age, interest in books and reading can ignite motivation and liberate an avid reader within.

Here are helpful tips for increasing your children’s motivation by raising their interest in books and reading.

Create a Family Culture of Reading

The best way to support your children’s interest in books and reading is to create a family culture of reading, right from the start.

how to get kids interested in reading1. Read aloud to your babies from the very beginning.

2. Launch your family library with a variety of awesome board books and cloth books designed especially for babies.

3. Keep a few board books in the crib, in baskets around the house, and in the car. Your goal here is to make books as readily accessible as toys all through childhood.

4. As your baby becomes a toddler, create traditions and rituals around reading, such as a nightly bedtime story routine.

5. Make reading time fun, and make sure your child can see how much you enjoy it. Your little ones are looking for you to model what is important in your family. In this case, it is books and reading! If you take delight in books, so will your child.

6. For kids of all ages, let them see you enjoy reading on your own. Keep books and e-readers around the house where your children can see them, and see you reading them. Let your kids hear you talking with other adults about what you have read.

Discover and Follow Your Child’s Passions

when do kids start to read7. Make regular trips to the library and/or the bookstore so that your child can explore different types of books.

8. When your child shows an interest in something, provide books on that topic. I really can’t emphasize this enough. With toddlers and preschoolers, you are embedding books and reading into all parts of your child’s life. With older kids, you are showing them that reading is a way to enrich any part of their life. This tradition can continue for years – I still bring home relevant books for my young adult children, and my parents still pick up books for me on topics they know I am interested in!

9. With older kids who may not be spending enough time reading on their own, find engaging books that match their passions, and are slightly below their independent reading level. Read a few pages out loud each day, and leave the book in a visible, accessible place, without comment. It may take a while, but eventually you are likely to see your child pick up the book on their own. Another variation of this strategy is to read the first book in a highly regarded series, and leave the second book in a handy place.

Use these tips to super-charge your children’s interest in reading and books, and watch their motivation soar!

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Cute blond boy laying down and looking at a book.young girl with pigtails and glasses resting folded arms on a stack of booksyoung girl standing between bookshelves in a library

 

 

 

 

Find the Letter Alphabet Pages – Fun and Easy ABC Learning for Kids

Find the Letter Alphabet Pages – Fun and Easy ABC Learning for Kids

We just added something new to the subscriber resource library! Have you ever wondered how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet in a fun, natural way?  Find the Letter Alphabet Pages are the answer. They are a great way to make ABC Learning for kids easy and fun.

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These Find the Letter Alphabet Pages pages are simple, yet versatile and powerful. There’s a page for each letter A through Z. Each page has the featured letter in lowercase and uppercase, mixed in with other letters.

If you want to use the pages more than once, you can laminate them, or slip them into a clear plastic sleeve. Then, your child can write on them with dry erase markers or crayons. Erasing the crayon does require a bit more elbow grease, but its entirely do-able.

Depending on your child’s age and stage of reading development, choose from the following activities, or make up your own!

  • Find the featured letter in lowercase and cross it out or cover it up with a small “counter” object such as a pom-pom.
  • Find the featured letter in uppercase and cross it out or cover it up.
  • Find the featured letter in both lowercase and uppercase and cross it out or cover it up.
  • Find ALL the lowercase letters on a page.
  • Find ALL the uppercase letters on a page.
  • “Read” the page by pointing to each letter and saying its name. This is a great opportunity for your child to practice tracking from left to right.
  • Point to each letter and say its sound.
  • Point to each letter and say its name, its sound, and a word that starts with that letter.
  • Play “I Spy” with your child, emphasizing whatever concepts they need support with; letter recognition, letter naming, or letter sounds.
  • Using small letter tiles or letter cubes, cover up each letter with its matching piece.

Click to gain access to our subscriber resource library and start reinforcing your child’s letter knowledge today!

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how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabethow to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabethow to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Free Printable Alphabet Flash Cards (Plus 15 Fun and Easy Ways to Use Them)

Free Printable Alphabet Flash Cards (Plus 15 Fun and Easy Ways to Use Them)

Alphabet flash cards can be powerful, versatile tools for teaching the alphabet. Keep reading and watch the videos to discover fifteen fun and easy ways to use flash cards to help children learn the alphabet. You can use any flash cards for these activities. In the videos I use all four sets of the free printable alphabet flash cards found in our subscriber resource library. I printed them, mounted them on construction paper and laminated them.


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Tips

  • Keep it light and fun. Try out activities to discover which ones your child enjoys the most.
  • For any of these activities, start with a limited number of cards and work up to using a larger set.
  • As you prepare a game or activity, choose a mix of letters your child knows well with a few that they are working on.
  • Keep activities and games non-competitive.
  • Consider laminating your alphabet cards to make them sturdier.

Introduction

Memory or Concentration

Choose two sets alphabet flash cards you want to work with. Create 3-5 matched sets, mix them up and place them face down in rows. Take turns flipping over two cards. If the two cards match, leave them face up. If the two cards don’t match, turn them back over. Keep playing until all the cards have been matched in pairs and are face up.

Some variations allow the person who turned over matching cards to keep them. For young children, I prefer Memory to be a non-competitive activity, rather than a competitive game, so we leave the matching cards face up.

Memory/Concentration

 

Bingo

To play bingo with alphabet flash cards, create a “bingo” board. Place the cards face up. Use small items such as puffballs or Lego pieces as markers. You can call out the names of letters or the sounds of letters. Or use the picture cards and ask your child to place a marker on the letter for the sound they hear at the beginning of that word.

Bingo

SlapJack

For alphabet SlapJack, use the vowels as the “jacks.” Place a set of alphabet cards face down in a pile and turn them over one at a time. Decide with your child if each card is a consonant or a vowel. When a vowel comes up, the first person to place their hand on top of the card “wins.” Instead of having the vowels be the “jacks,” you can use the letters in your child’s name.

Slapjack

Go Fish

The object of the game is to collect matched pairs of cards. Choose two sets of alphabet flash cards and organize them into matched pairs. Choose a limited number of pairs to create a playing deck. For example, you could start with ten pairs to create a deck of 20 cards.

Each player receives five cards. With older children you can keep the cards secret. When I play this with younger children, we lay our cards face up so that I can help them create pairs. The remaining cards are spread out face down between the players.

If a player has two cards that match, they set those cards aside, face up.

Player One then looks at the cards they have, and asks Player Two for a card that will create a pair. “Do you have the letter ‘m’? If Player Two has the requested card, they give it to Player One, who sets aside the matched pair. Player One goes again until they do not get the card they asked for.

If Player Two does not have the requested card, they say “GO FISH!” and Player One chooses a card from the face down cards. If it is the card they wanted, they create the pair and then go again. If it is not the card they asked for, their turn is over.

The game ends when either player runs out of cards or the cards in the middle are gone. The “winner” is the person who has the most pairs.

Old Maid

The object of the game is to collect and discard matched pairs, and not get left holding the “Old Maid.” To play Old Maid, choose two sets of alphabet flash cards and organize them into matched pairs. Choose a limited number of pairs to create a playing deck. Then add a letter on its own. This card is the “Old Maid.”

Place all of the cards face down. Players sort their cards and set aside any matched pairs. To start the game, Player One keeps their cards face down and offers them to Player Two. Player Two chooses one card without seeing it.

If it makes a pair with a card they have in their hand, they set the pair aside. If not, they keep the card. Then, it is their turn to offer their cards face down to Player One. The game ends when both players have paired up all of their cards. The player who is left with the Old Maid “loses.”

Create a Game Board

Use alphabet cards to create a path in whatever shape you like. In the video I made a grid, but with more space you can create curves. Take turns rolling dice and moving markers. Depending on your child’s needs, decide what to do once you land on a card. Say the letter name? Provide the letter sound? In the video I do both, but this activity is so flexible. Modify it as needed to match your family’s needs.

Create your own game board

I Spy

“I Spy” is a simple, versatile activity with flexible guidelines.  Choose a set of alphabet cards and lay them out. With letter cards you could say “I spy lowercase b.” Or, “I spy the letter for the /b/ sound. Then have your child point to the card that matches what you “spied.”

With alphabet picture cards you might say “I spy a picture that starts with the letter b,” or “I spy a picture that starts with the /b/ sound.”

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

Place/prop alphabet cards next to objects in your home that start with that letter. When your child finds a card, have them tell you the letter name and letter sound, and the name of the object.

Bean Bag Toss

Arrange alphabet flash cards in a group on the floor. Have your child toss a bean bag on to the cards. Whatever card the bean bag lands on, have your child provide the letter name, letter sound, or a word that starts with that letter.

Hopscotch

Arrange alphabet flash cards in a line on the floor. Have your child hop or jump from letter to letter, next to the cards (rather than on top of them like traditional hopscotch.) At they land next to each card, have them say the letter name, letter sound, or a word that starts with that letter.

Which One Does Not Belong?

Choose three lowercase letter cards and one uppercase letter card. Help your child figure out which card is doesn’t belong with the others and why. You can do this activity with consonants and vowels, or letters with curved shapes and letters with straight lines.

What’s Missing?

Arrange a set of alphabet flash cards in alphabetical order. Then remove a few and scoot the remaining cards close together. Help your child figure out which letters are missing. Keep an alphabet chart handy to use as a reference.

Sort by Letter Shape

Sort a set of lowercase letter cards by shape. “Monkey” letters have tails, “giraffe” letters are tall, and “chicken” letters are short. You can also sort by letters that have curved lines and letters that have straight lines.

Brainstorm Words

Pick a card and think of as many words as possible that start with that sound. This is a fun activity to play as a family during dinner or on car rides.

Practice Letter Formation

Teach your child to trace letter shapes with their finger. If you have laminated your cards, your child can trace with a crayon or dry erase marker.

 

Our free printable Alphabet Flash Cards provide a ton of fun and easy opportunities to help children learn the alphabet. Which activity or game will you try first? Let us know how it went in the comments section below.

 

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Free Printable Alphabet Flash Cards and 15 Fun and Easy Ways to Use Them Free Printable Alphabet Flash Cards and 15 Fun and Easy Ways to Use Them

 



Free Alphabet Printables (Where to Find the Best Alphabet Resources for FREE)

Free Alphabet Printables (Where to Find the Best Alphabet Resources for FREE)

I love teaching the alphabet, and the free alphabet printables available from these amazing blogs and websites are incredible. Whether you are homeschooling or just looking to enrich at home, I promise that in this post you’ll find what you need to make teaching the alphabet easy and fun.

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This Reading Mama

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

This Reading Mama has a website that is jam-packed with valuable information about teaching reading and writing to kids ages birth to elementary school. Look for This Reading Mama’s beautiful free Alphabet Printables here. Most of the resources offered by This Reading Mama are free, and she plans to keep it that way! I love this website so much. If you had the time, you could read her blog posts and download her free resources and be well equipped to teach reading and writing without buying anything at all. (To save you time, she has bundled some of her free resources together and sells them at completely reasonable prices. But still, tons of printables are available for free.)

 

 

This Reading Mama Video Presentation

 

The Measured Mom

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

The Measured Mom is another blogger who totally knows her stuff, and creates alphabet printable worksheets and activities that are spot-on. Find The Measured Mom’s free Alphabet Printables here. Like This Reading Mama, she sells bundles of her freebies for your convenience, but there is plenty available for free. Her blog provides valuable information for parents and teachers, explaining how we should teach reading, writing, spelling and math, and why. Another free resource you’ll find at The Measured Mom is extensive book lists for kids. No matter what type of book you’re looking for, you’re sure to find what you need on one of these lists.

 

 

 

The Measured Mom Video Presentation

 

Totschooling

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Totschooling is a website that focuses almost exclusively on free printables in every subject area imaginable. Find Totschooling free Alphabet Printables here. What struck me about Totschooling’s printables is their bright color and engaging design. I look at them and think “oh, I want that for my students.” Believe me, these printables are gorgeous in addition to being well-crafted for instruction. Although most printables are free, you can find the Totschooling store here.

 

 

 

Totschooling Video Presentation

 

Prekinders

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

PreKinders is a website that theoretically caters to PreKinder teachers, but these high quality resources are perfect for preschool, PreK or Kindergarten. Click here for free Alphabet Printables from PreKinders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PreKinders Video Presentation

 

Fun Learning For Kids

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Fun Learning for Kids offers a blog with excellent information about teaching all subjects, with an emphasis on alphabet activities. Find free Alphabet Printables from Fun Learning for Kids here. These are wonderful printables with great activities for teaching the alphabet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Learning for Kids Video Presentation

 

BONUS TIP – Teachers Pay Teachers

Follow this link at Teachers Pay Teachers. If the link doesn’t work, or you want to do your own search, follow these steps: on Teachers Pay Teachers, search for “alphabet.” When the page comes up, on the left hand side scroll down to “Prices” and click “free.”  When I did this I came up with 9,283 results!

 

Free and Fabulous

After 25 years of teaching, I marvel at the diverse, top-quality teaching resources that are so readily available to us now. There are so many fabulous free alphabet printables out there, and I hope this post helps you find just what you need.

Let me know in the comments – what alphabet printables did you discover and download?

 

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  Click through to discover the best FREE alphabet printables available on the internet. You'll find just what you need to make it easy and fun for your child to learn the alphabet! Click through to discover the best FREE alphabet printables available on the internet. You'll find just what you need to make it easy and fun for your child to learn the alphabet! Click through to discover the best FREE alphabet printables available on the internet. You'll find just what you need to make it easy and fun for your child to learn the alphabet!

 



How to Choose Great Books for Kids

How to Choose Great Books for Kids

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What is a Great Book?

A great book pulls kids in, and then holds their attention.  It has clear, engaging illustrations, or uses language that makes it easy to visualize the story. A good book might be comforting and familiar, or new and exciting. It might be an award winner that comes up in your Amazon recommendations or on Pinterest, or a simple board book you pick up in the checkout line at the grocery store. The bottom line is, a great book is any book that your family enjoys.

How to Choose Great Books

Take look at current favorites. Do your kids love silly rhyming books with whimsical illustrations? Or do they gravitate towards non-fiction books with realistic photography? Is there a chapter book series they enjoy? Consider current interests.  Has your child recently become obsessed with buses or garbage trucks?  Or do your kids settle right down when you reach for a book that depicts warm cozy family or school situations? Ask your kids for input – what would they like to learn more about?  What is their teacher reading out loud right now? What books do they see their friends reading? Involving your children in this process will skyrocket their buy-in and excitement for reading.

Books for Infants and Toddlers

Look for:How to Choose Books for Babies and Toddlers

  • Books with big, bold, colorful pictures of familiar or everyday objects or activities.
  • Sturdy books made of heavy cardboard, washable cloth, or plastic.
  • Small books that are easy for little hands to hold and turn the pages.
  • Stories told in short, simple sentences with pictures that explain the text.
  • Poems and rhymes that make the book fun to read aloud and fun to listen to.

Books for Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)

Look for:

  • Books that highlight basic concepts, such as colors, shapes, letters and numbers.
  • Rhyme and repetition.
  • Photographs and illustrations that are clear, colorful and engaging.
  • Simple, fun plots with action that moves quickly.
  • Stories about everyday life and familiar events in a child’s day-to-day life.
  • Main characters (human or animal) who are your child’s age or just a little bit older.

Books for Elementary School Kids (Ages 6-11)

Look for:

  • Books that reflect your child’s interests and passions.
  • Other books with your child’s favorite characters, or by favorite authors and illustrators.
  • Illustrations and photos that directly support the text and give clues to the meaning of unfamiliar words.
  • Project, craft, and recipe books with clearly worded instructions and supportive illustrations.
  • Picture books your child enjoyed hearing when they were younger. Most picture books are written at a third or fourth grade level, and are terrific to revisit when your child becomes a more independent reader.
  • Chapter books that your child can read independently, or higher level chapter books for you to read aloud.
  • Fact books, such as world record books, trivia books, and almanacs.

Books for Adolescents (Ages 12 and Up)

Look for:
How to Choose Books for Adolescents

  • New genres – biographies, mysteries, spy thrillers, classics, historical fiction, and mythology.
  • Books about places in the world that interest your child, or that they are studying in school.
  • Novels that depict characters dealing with the daily challenges of growing up.
  • Graphic novels that re-tell classic stories.

 

Involve Your Child

Perhaps most importantly, involve your kids in choosing new books.  Encourage them to join you as you look for new titles, and model your thought process as you consider new books to add to your family library. Learning how to choose great books is a reading skill that your child will use forever.