Contributor Post: Tips for Reading with Preschoolers


Hi everyone!

It’s Sarah again from All Things with Purpose with some tips for reading with your preschoolers!

I don’t know about you, but I want to instill a love for reading in my kids, and I know it starts at a young age. The challenge of course, is keeping a squirmy toddler still long enough to read. It is a challenge, but it is SO WORTH IT! Some of my BEST memories from childhood were of my mom reading while I sat on the floor at her feet and colored. I can vividly remember the stories.

My goal is to give my kids the same memories and jump start on literacy. I am definitely not the best at it. I let the busyness of life take priority way too often. My other problem is having too high of an expectation. I have this romantic picture in my mind of a mother sitting by the fire in a rocking chair, with her children quietly and expectantly hanging on her every word. It doesn’t always work out quite like that.

Hang in there. You may not think of yourself as a reader and you may not love reading out loud to adults, but I promise you, your toddler wont mind.

Reading to your child when they are young:

  1. Communicates to them that reading is important and books are valuable.
  2. It communicates that they are important! In our fast paced society, you are taking a quiet moment to stop and nurture your child.
  3. It strengthens the bond between you and your child.
  4. It helps train their ability to sit quietly and listen. This is especially important in an age where most of our kids have touch screen technology and Netflix on demand  more than we would care to admit.
  5. Research has shown that reading to them while they are young can heighten their IQ and promote early literacy!

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
― Albert Einstein

Here are some tips:

  • Try reading in different spots! Read on the couch, with a child in your lap, on a swing, at the dinner table, in bed, in the car, etc.
  • Read while they are eating! This is the greatest bit of advice I have found to be true with all my kids. I have a 7, 6 and 3 year old and the time they listen best is when their hands are busy and their mouths are full!
  • Don’t expect to read for long periods of time. Maybe you were blessed with a child that naturally longs to sit on the couch with you and listen to book after book. If you don’t have one of those children, don’t feel bad about getting in a page here and there.
  • Vary the types of books you read. Read a fun board book or picture book that is silly, but also throw in a book that is slightly above your child’s level to challenge their mind.
  • Let them color while you read. Have your child draw a picture of something from the story while you are reading.
  • Ask comprehension questions after each page. “What just happened in the story?” “What do you think Charlotte meant by that?” “How did that make Wilbur feel”
  • Make it part of your daily routine. Read every night before bed or every morning during breakfast.

Some of our ALL TIME favorite read-aloud books include:



You may also be interested in my Printable Summer Reading Chart!

I’m using this with all three of my kids this Summer. My oldest daughter will be reading chapter books on her own, my son is reading Bob books and early readers and my Preschooler will get credit each time she sits and listens to a book or spends time looking at the pictures.

Find this free printable HERE!
Summer Reading Printable

Thanks for Reading

About Sarah Lemp

I am a "second generation" homeschooler. Full-time mom to 3, youth pastor's wife, musician, avid DIYer and artist. I love singing, creating, thrifting and eating. I hate doing laundry and am not a huge fan of cooking. I like fast and easy recipes, using healthy, inexpensive ingredients. I'll try to do anything myself if it will save money. When all else fails, spray paint it!

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