How to Get Your Child to Read – Kindergarten and First Grade (ages 5-7)

 How to Get Your Child to Read Now!

All kids are different, some show an interest in reading at a young age and some - not so much!! There are tons of ideas to get your child to read, but all research shows that you should not push them, otherwise they may shut down and really not want to read.

get your child to read

Sometimes there are other reasons a child doesn't want to read - it could be that they'd just rather do something else other than reading,  or it's possible they don't feel successful in their reading. They may not be able to read the words or they may not be able to understand or comprehend what they're reading.

Ask your child's teacher and they would be able to advise you on your child's reading progress. Sometimes, very simply, they just need more time or they just need the RIGHT book!! For whatever reason, there's tons of help to get your child to read.

Let them read anything they want to start. Even if it's the dumbest series you've ever heard of! The interest in that dumb book will excite them and they'll still be using their strategies to tackle the words in that book and those skills will spill over to better books!

And for the child who hasn't entered kindergarten yet, it's so important to get them ready for kindergarten and the experience of attending school and making sure that they are ready to read.

The summer before they start their adventure into elementary school, there are a variety of ways to touch upon what is needed without them even realizing that you are preparing them for kindergarten success!

There are tons of easy and fun ways to get them prepared for kindergarten in each of the cognitive, physical, language and social/emotional developmental stages.

How to Teach a Child to Read

I have been asked numerous times, "How do I get my child to read." There are many parts of reading instruction and there are several resources to guide you through the various elements of reading instruction.

Your child's teacher should be able to guide you to the areas of concern.  Two main parts of reading are decoding and comprehension. Another part of the reading instruction is remembering and analyzing the story. And of course, you have to find the right book to get a child interested in reading!

These are just some of the steps your child's teacher will take starting in kindergarten to ensure your child's success in reading.

Oral Language - a child's understanding of the structure of language.
Phonemic Awareness - a child being able to hear the sounds in words.
Letter recognition/Identification - when a child sees a letter, he/she should be able to recognize the letter and be able to identify it.
Letter/Sound Correspondence- a child needs to know each letter and the sound that goes with that letter.
Sight Words - these are words that each child should practice so that they will know them immediately when they see them in their reading assignments.
Vocabulary - a child should know the meaning of multiple words.
Comprehension - a child will also need to put the words and meanings together to be able to understand what he/she is reading.

This is a quick video of strategies to get your child to read:


Promote Reading

1. Visit your Public Library. Have your child explore different types of books. Many times libraries have storytime for your child to attend!
2. Also, visit a Book Store and have your child explore. Many times bookstores have story hours for your child to attend.
3. Be a Role Model for your child. Have them see you enjoy reading.
4. Read every single day with your child!

Try Read Different Types of Reading Materials

Recipes from recipe books or magazines


Read Using Different Types of Devices                                                                         
Amazon Fire
Apple iPad
CD Player


This activity chart has a large variety of tasks and some contain tasks using the internet. You can pick and chose which tasks are right for your child.












Also, check out my Reading Challenge document. Please contact me at if you'd like an original copy of this document or the Reading Challenge document.

Tips for buying books for 5-7 year-olds

One or two sentences a page.
Rhyming words - rhyming words help the child build knowledge of similar sounding words to help with reading strategies.
Words that repeat - a child feels success when he/she knows the word and it helps if the word is repeated within the story.
Big Fonts - big fonts helps the child focus on the word.
Pictures in the book - pictures to go along with the story - the pictures give clues to the words so that the child can feel success in figuring out the word.

How to Select a Book: The five finger rule used to pick a "just-right" book:

Read the first page of the book and get your fingers ready:

  • If you have 0 or 1 fingers up after reading the page,  it's too easy.
  • If you have 2 or 3 fingers up after reading the page, it's just right.
  • If you have 4 fingers up after reading the page, it's very challenging.
  • If you have 5 or more fingers up after reading the page, it's too hard.

Below are some of my favorite series for kindergarten and first-grade children, but younger children and older children may also like them. These books are either popular authors or series:

Fun Ways to Get Kids to Read

    • Purchase or make a "reading" tent in your home!
    • Wear special fake glasses while you read!
    • Copy the words to a song and sing it!
    • Use a flashlight to focus on words as the words are being read!
    • Use a magnifying glass to focus on words as the words are being read!
    • Have a turn off the tv and read night, game night, movie night, etc.
    • Make a bookmark or other craft to promote reading.

Mix it up sometimes when you’re reading with your child:

  • Read the pages at the same time.                                                                
  • You read one page and then they read the next.
  • Find a new spot in the house or outside to read.
  • Have your child read to your pet.
  • Have your child read to a stuffed animal.
  • Have your child read to a family member or friend.
  • Make a craft connected to the story they are reading.



These are just a few of my suggestions for getting kids ready for kindergarten (and beyond) at my post 50 One-Minute Ways to Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten.








There are tons of resources available for your child to get your child to read. Your child's school may be able to help you with the materials needed to assist your child's reading progress. If you'd rather purchase your own, these are a few items that can help but visit this page for more.

Reading Tools

Just a few reasons to use Reading Guide Strips are they help a child to keep their place,  it helps with concentration, and is easy on the eyes. It also helps a variety of other reading issues.



Blue Toobaloo Auditory Feedback Phone - Accelerate reading fluency, comprehension, and pronunciation with a reading phone. The Auditory Feedback Loop is basically the process of saying what you hear and hearing what you say. This device accelerates reading, fluency, comprehension, and pronunciation.



Recommended Books for Teaching a Child to Read

And check out these posts:

There's a book out there that will turn the key to the love of reading. Sometimes just have to give it time - be patient as there are lots of resources available to you.  What works for one child may not work for another one, and sometimes when you try a product or technique and it doesn't work, the timing could have been off - try it again! Please feel free to leave a comment or question below or email me at


  1. Hi Jean Rose, what an exceptional post! Thank you! Bookmarking so I can come back to it when my son is ready to start reading. He’s only 3 and already loves books. We go to the library often and storytime is one of the special moments in our day. I especially loved your idea of the reading tent! Gorgeous! And your 5 finger rule for selecting a book is brilliant. Those courses look fab but I’m guessing he’s still a bit young?

    1. Thank you for your comments! He is already off to a great start in that you’ve given him books to love and explore! He’ll be reading before you know it as he already has an interest in books – soon he’ll learn a word, then a couple of words, and then a sentence! The best of luck to you!

  2. Thanks for sharing these information.

    My cousin has dyslexia and is in kindergarten now. But we’re encouraging him to read more books as possible. We provided audio books and a few word games. We’re glad that he likes to read and is cooperating with us in all our efforts. I find the aforementioned steps quite interesting. I’ll definitely refer this article to his parents.

    1. That’s great that you are working to help your cousin. If you need any further suggestions, please let me know.

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