Skip to main content.

Subscriptions are no longer available to new customers. Don't worry - you can still find many Noggin shows on Paramount+.
Active Noggin subscribers can continue enjoying Noggin for a limited time and will be notified in advance of the sunset date.

Encouraging Early Reading This Summer

Written by Israel Flores, Ph.D., Senior Manager of Learning & Impact at Noggin

Learning to read is one of the most important things that we can teach our children. The early literacy skills crucial for reading play an important role in their future academic and life success. Developing these skills can be made all that much easier when children possess a passion for reading. That’s where we as caregivers can really shine. There are many ways to get your child involved with reading this summer (at any age!) and ignite a lifelong passion for it. Here are a few simple strategies to get you started.

Introduce books as early as you can

The simple act of reading to your infant can make a big difference in their life. Not only does it help to develop their language skills, but these early experiences also reinforce positive social bonds between you and your child. The warmth and closeness you share with your child while you read at every age can set the foundation for a future love of reading. Consider using baby friendly cloth and board books that your infant can freely explore – yes sticking it in their mouth counts.

Make reading part of daily life

One of the best ways to incorporate reading into your child’s life is to make it part of their daily routines. Consider picking up a book before naptime/bedtime, at or after mealtime, or to signal playtime. It helps if you can create a designated space where your child’s books are easily accessible and where you can sit together to read (a rug or cozy corner is a perfect place). Introducing books into your child’s daily routines with consistency will eventually turn book reading into a healthy habit that your child engages in instinctively! [Find out more about establishing healthy habits]

Make reading fun

Everyone loves a good show! Tap into your theatrical skills – use different voices for different characters, emphasize words by reading them slowly or changing the volume at which you speak, and exaggerate wherever you deem necessary. Your child’s enjoyment during reading is intertwined with your own, so have fun with it! They will always be your most captive audience.

Pick stories with purpose

Books have a magnificent power – they can be a gateway for introducing your child to new topics or learning more about their current interests. Consider these tips for picking out books:

  • Let your child take the lead on picking out what you read together
  • Have options available that speak to your child’s interests
  • Pick stories with characters and themes that you and your child can relate to (we all may be all a little afraid of the dark and of having to make new friends)

Embrace repetition

Sometimes children, especially preschoolers, just want to hear the same story over and over again. This repetition is really important because it helps your child pick up story details and new words. Your gut reaction might be to pick up another book instead, but you can mix things up to promote greater learning and save your sanity! (See the next section for some great techniques)

Participation is key

Whether your child is reading on their own or the story is read to them, you want them to be an active participant. Here is one proven technique you can use:

  • Ask questions related to the story or the illustration (“What’s that horse eating?”)
  • Be sure to acknowledge your child’s response and give some feedback (“It’s okay if you don’t know. It’s called hay!”)
  • Follow up with more information (“Horses love hay! It’s just really tall grass that gets dry.”)
  • Encourage your child to repeat back what they learned (“Can you remind me what hay is?”)

Asking a question can be a powerful tool to help your child get the most out of reading with you. Try these types of questions:

  • Wh-questions – who, what, when, where, and how
  • Fill-in-the-blank – start the sentence, and give your child the chance to add the last word
  • Open-ended – use questions that encourage your child to really flex their vocabulary skills by using full sentences.
  • Distancing prompts – the most fun (in my opinion) and challenging of the bunch. These questions relate parts of the story to your child’s life. It could be as simple as drawing a connection between your family dog and a dog in the story – or as complex as asking your child if they have ever felt the way the main character in the story is feeling.

Make your own books

Print books reign supreme for a lot of really good reasons. But they aren’t the only option available to foster a love of reading.

Consider creating your own books! Take turns telling your own stories inspired by real life or concocted from your imaginations. This is also a fantastic way for your child to commemorate important life events and connect with your family's history and heritage. Write out the story as it’s told, and let your child illustrate. Even small scribbles are important for building early writing skills! Once you have a story, consider revisiting it and exploring language in fun ways, such as swapping out words with their synonyms. You’ll eventually have a library of books that your child has helped author and illustrate; they’ll feel so proud.

See What Kids Learn with Noggin

Discover Your Child's Favorites

Give Noggin a Try

Kid-safe & ad-free

Accessible on multiple devices

New content added weekly

Downloadable books & games for offline play

Kid-safe & ad-free

New content added weekly

Accessible on multiple devices

Downloadable books & games for offline play

About Ailey

Since its first historic performance in 1958, Ailey has been innovating and evolving the perception of American modern dance throughout the world. Noggin is honored to partner with them in helping kids all over get up moving, learning, and expressing their feelings through dance. Because movement has meaning when we dance how we’re feeling!