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5 Fun Ways to Engage Young Readers


As a mom, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to keep children focused during their reading time, especially young readers who are exposed to this fast pace era of technology. They often find listening to or reading a story too slow paced and quickly lose interest. If they are like my children, they would much rather play on the computer or a device that moves much faster and is seemingly more challenging . . .  but we, as adults, know that this is not always the case.

Perhaps the most challenging group among young readers are the toddlers. Toddlers are so curious about their world that getting them to sit still for story time can almost be impossible. Toddlers would much rather be off discovering new things in their world.

Here are five great ways to keep young readers of any age engaged during their reading time.

1. Fun Puppets

Puppets are a wonderful way to make a story come alive; using them to narrate or embellish a story is an exciting way to ignite a young readers’ vivid imagination. Young readers can have fun conversations with puppets like predicting what’s next in the story or why a character behaves a certain way. Puppets will make story time feel more like playtime as their love for reading begins to grow.


2. Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals are great to snuggle with during story time. Children always love to get cozy with something soft and fluffy, and stuffed animals definitely fit the bill. They will easily keep the attention of young readers as they sit with their new best friend. Another fun use is to simply make these cute animals a character in the story that is being read.


3. Act it Out

Children love to act, so why not let them retell the story that they are reading by having them act it out. This is a wonderful way for them to have fun with the story as well as become the characters in the story. Throw in a costume that fits the personality of the character, and you have something more than reading time. You have theater party time. Acting out a story is a fun way to help young readers build strong comprehension skills.


4. Create Art

Art is a trick that many teachers use to engage readers of all ages. Give young readers a crayon or pencil, and let them draw a picture of the story that they are reading. For older readers, they can fold a piece of paper into several boxes so that they can draw each scene in the story. When their art work is completed, let your young readers explain their picture as they retell the story.


5. Spell It

Boost young readers’ phonics skills, sight words, vocabulary, and their love of reading by setting out select letters, words, and word meanings from the book that they are reading. When the selected sounds or words are read, let them identify each one. For older children, let them spell the select words and/or match the words with the best meaning according to the story.  



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