English Reading for Kids: 9 Tips to Help Your Child + Fun Reading Practice Activities

English reading for kids is essential and should be practised at home. That’s because English reading promotes vocabulary development, grammar and spelling skills and the ability to speak English. As a result, strong reading skills in English will help your child succeed in school and the workplace later in life. 

But how can you help your child with English reading at home? This article provides practical strategies for improving and teaching English reading for kids. Plus, we’ll share a list of the best English books for kids!

The Importance of English Reading for Kids

Many parents wonder - “why is reading English important?” The answer is - English reading for kids is important because it offers numerous cognitive and educational benefits

For example, English reading promotes:

  • English vocabulary development
  • Grammar skills
  • Spelling skills
  • World knowledge
  • Cultural awareness
  • Empathy
  • A strong imagination

English reading for kids is also a powerful way to support language development. That’s because whenever your child reads a book, they will likely encounter a new word. 

According to studies, books contain approximately 1.7 times more unique words than child-directed speech. In other words, the language used in books is more diverse and broader than spoken conversations. Therefore, reading kids’ books is an effective way to expose your child to the English language and to help them learn to speak English.

How can I teach my child to read English? 9 Helpful Tips.

You can do several things to help teach your child to read English. Here are some tips to help you get started. 

9 Tips for Teaching English Reading for Kids at Home

1. Help your child develop phonological awareness.

Phonological awareness is the ability to comprehend and manipulate sounds in spoken language. This skill is essential for decoding, blending and reading written words.

You can help your kid develop phonological awareness by reading English poems, chants, songs, and read along books. These tools are helpful because they allow your child to hear and reproduce English language sounds.

2 Create a print-rich environment.

Creating a print-rich environment in your home is also helpful for promoting English reading for kids. This means having lots of English language content in your home - for example, books, posters, items with English labels, etc. An environment like this will expose your child to written English.

3. Encourage your child to read every day.

When learning to read, especially in a second language, the more practice a child gets, the better! So, be sure your child reads English books for kids every day.

Looking for a cost-effective and convenient way to access English books for kids at home? The Booka reading app for kids provides a simple way to improve reading skills in English. With Booka, your child will get access to hundreds of books. Best of all, the stories can be accessed anywhere, any time - all that’s needed is an internet connection.

4. Read the same book multiple times.

To develop fluent English reading skills, it will help your child to read familiar texts. So, have them read their favourite story numerous times!

5. Help your child practice reading in your native language.

While English reading for kids is essential, children must also practice reading in their first language. A child who is a strong reader in their native language will find it easier to learn to read in English. So, in addition to reading English books for kids, ensure your child reads in their first language daily.

6. Highlight similarities and differences between English and your native language.

By comparing English words, phrases, sentence structures, etc. to your native language, you can help your child better understand how English works.

7. Discuss important vocabulary before reading a book.

If you have good English skills, you can help your child by discussing the important terms they will encounter in a book. For example, use pictures, real-world objects, charts or other tangible materials to demonstrate what a word is referring to. Discussing vocabulary before reading a book will help your child better comprehend the story they read.

8. Choose a “just right” book.

Just right books are stories that are not too easy and not too difficult for your child. 

When practising English reading, choosing a just right book is essential. That’s because a “just right” book will challenge your child and teach them new things without discouraging them.

9. Make English reading for kids fun and engaging.

Kids like to have fun. So, it’s important to make English reading exciting! One of the best ways to make English reading fun for kids is to use games and activities.

Need some ideas for fun English reading activities? Check out the engaging activities and games below.

Mother using Booka’s tips for teaching English reading for kids at home

Fun At-Home English Reading Activities & Games

To help your child develop and improve reading skills in English, try these exciting and simple activities and games. You should have everything you need at home! 

The Label Game

What you’ll need to play this game:

  • Paper
  • Pen

How to play: Create tags to label items around your house with paper and a pen. After you’ve labelled several items, remove the labels. Then, have your child try to place the labels back where they belong. Do this English reading activity every day - until your child can correctly and independently label each item.

Benefits of “The Label Game” for English reading for kids: This fun game supports English vocabulary development and decoding abilities to help children improve their English reading skills.

This game can also be adapted for classroom use. 

PRO TIP: Use this activity to practice any noun-based vocabulary words - for example, food items, animals, clothing, etc.

Got You!

What you’ll need to play this game:

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Bowl or coffee cup

How to play: Use the pen to write words (or short sentences for more advanced learners) on small pieces of paper. Place the pieces of paper in a box. In addition to random words or sentences, write “Got You!” on a few pieces. Then, take turns drawing words from the bowl/cup and reading them aloud. If the word or sentence is read aloud correctly, the person reading it gets to keep the paper. If a “Got You!” paper is drawn, the person who drew it must shout “Got You!” and return all the pieces of paper they’ve collected into the bowl/cup. The person with the most pieces of paper after a set time (e.g., 15 min if play) wins!

Benefits of “Got You!” for English reading for kids: This exciting English reading activity helps kids practice decoding skills and promotes vocabulary development.

PRO TIP: The words you write on the pieces of paper shouldn’t be too easy or too difficult for your child to read. In addition to words your child is familiar with, consider mixing in words they haven’t seen before to promote new vocabulary.

Not sure what English vocabulary words to use in this game? Here are some basic English words for kids that you can use.

  • Ball
  • Bag
  • Fruit
  • Juice
  • Watermelon
  • Egg
  • Orange
  • Friend
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Shoes
  • Hat
  • Toys
  • Towel
  • Cellphone
  • Flower
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Kite
  • Rainbow
  • Box
  • Dog
  • Cow
  • Monkey
  • Goat
  • Butterfly
  • Park
  • Library
  • House
  • Zoo

Story Teller

What you’ll need for this activity:

  • English books for kids
  • Items around the house (e.g. buttons, rocks, characters, bottle caps, etc.)

How it works: Start by reading a familiar story with your child. After reading the book, gather items from around the house that can be used to retell the main parts of the story. Items like buttons, rocks, characters, bottle caps, etc., will work great! Once you and your child have collected some suitable objects, have them retell the story using these items.

Benefits of “Story Teller” for English reading for kids: This English reading activity promotes imagination, storytelling abilities and reading comprehension.

PRO TIP: More advanced English learners can practice retelling the story by writing and drawing their recollections on a piece of paper.

English Reading Practice for Kids - Recommended Books

Looking for stories your child can use to practice their English reading? The following books are great options to help your child develop English reading skills. These books include topics that will hold your child’s attention and promote a love of reading.

These English books (and more) are available on the Booka reading app for kids.

Yuk or Yum by Kim Thompson

Hickory Dickory Dock by Twin Sisters Media

Dog’s Day of Shapes by Eve Heidi Bine-Stock

I Like! by Cecilia Smith

100 First Animals by Anne Paradis

Simplify Teaching English Reading for Kids with Booka

Ready to promote English reading for kids at home? Booka makes it easy and fun!

Booka has hundreds of English books for kids and unique features that make is one of the best reading apps for kids. Booka’s features include:

  • Booka Reads - a curated library based on your child’s preferences. So they can quickly and easily find a book they’ll love.

  • Read To Me - does your child need help reading English books? As parents, we understand that it’s not always easy to find time to read aloud with your kids. Luckily, Booka can help. Booka’s Read To Me feature lets your child listen to professionally narrated books and follow along with the words.  

Start teaching English reading at home today with the help of Booka!

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