Ways to Raise a Reader

Make reading a part of your children’s lives by encouraging them to read for fun. Allow kids to choose what to read, have ready access to books in your home, visit the public library, and demonstrate good reading behaviour yourself so you can become a family of readers.

If your child is having difficulty learning to read, you may wish to read the article 8 reasons why kids might struggle with reading. You can find additional resources on the Accessibility page

Literacy for pre-readers (ages 0-5)

You are your child’s first and best teacher. The five key skill-building practices to raise a reader are play, talk, sing, write and read. The TD Summer Reading Club gratefully acknowledges that this information is adapted from the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read® program.

  • Play: Kids learn about the world through play, which helps them understand stories
  • Talk: Kids learn about language by listening to you talk and joining in the conversation
  • Sing: Singing with your child increases awareness of the sounds of words
  • Write: Writing helps your child learn that letters and words stand for sounds and that print has meaning
  • Read: Shared reading is the most effective way to help kids become good readers

For a list of resources and activity ideas based around these skills, visit earlylit.net. Practise these activities every day to build language skills and help your child become a reader!

For school-age children (ages 6–12)

Parents play a key role in supporting literacy growth, even after their children learn to read on their own. Here are a few tips and resources to keep kids reading at all ages.

  • Join a reading club: Studies suggest that reading clubs are an effective tool to prevent learning loss and improve children’s reading performance. The TD Summer Reading Club is the biggest bilingual reading club in Canada, and it’s free to join.
  • Connect kids with a book series: Sometimes all it takes is one special book series to spark a love of reading in a child. Ask your local librarian or check out popular recommendations online.
  • Build reading excitement: Check out online book lists, author interviews and other downloadable content to help build reading excitement in kids and connect them to communities of readers. Here are a few great sites to get you started:

For more activity and reading suggestions, follow the TD Summer Reading Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Remember: It’s never too early to start, and it’s never too late to learn more!