Everyday Reading Comprehension Activities for Parents and Kids

Reading comprehension helps children in all school subjects, gives them an advantage in standardized tests and can turn them into lifelong lovers of literature. 

Parents and kids can do some fun reading comprehension activities at home to help improve their language and reading skills.  Here are some everyday reading comprehension activities for parents and kids:

  • Read, read, read!  Read to your children every day. Make it part of your bedtime routine, an after-dinner activity, or a fun way to spend time together on the couch.
  • Set a good example by letting your children see you read. Show them that reading is a good choice for leisure activity and sure beats watching TV. Talk about the book you're reading. Listening to you summarize your book teaches your children how to take what they've read, absorb it and condense it.
  • Use pre-reading comprehension techniques. Before reading a book, have your child look at the cover and the inside pictures and predict what the story is about.
  • Read books together and discuss. Read to your children every evening. At the end of each chapter, discuss what happened. Parents can still share books with older children by reading the same book separately. Ask your child every day, "Where are you in the book? Did you get to Chapter 5 yet? What do you think about what happened to Harry?" Allowing children to retell a story that they read lets them practice comprehension skills.
  • Play board games with your children. Board games require putting into action everything that is read, and can help increase reading comprehension. Help your children read the instructions to a new board game or review the rules of an old favorite. Ask if they'd like to change the rules or game play slightly and implement their suggestions.
  • Cook or bake with a recipe. Find a lengthy recipe for something that your children love to eat and make it together. Turn over recipe reading duties to your children and watch them take what they've read and turn it into something delicious.
  • Play Hangman. The simple word game is a good way to build your child's vocabulary. It only requires a pencil and paper and can easily be played while waiting in waiting rooms or the car. 
  • Use the book club discussion questions in the back of books. Many chapter books include discussion questions for book clubs, which provide good discussion points for at-home book talks.
  • Play with inflection. Try this with your young child: Read a line from a book and have your child repeat it back to you with dramatic expression, inflection and phrasing.
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