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7 Time-Saving Hacks to Get Your Child Reading Before They Head Back to School!

Do you find it hard to keep up with your child learning to read when life is packed with so many distractions and diversions?

Do you struggle to find time to teach your child those valuable reading skills you know they really need?

Family schedules can be chaotic, so finding time to fit reading into your day may seem like an impossible task. However, with a little creativity and resourcefulness you can squeeze those minutes in, and more importantly, find time for some quality moments with your children. If you’re wondering how, in your already overcrowded schedule, here are some quick and easy steps you can take to encourage yourself and your kids to make time for reading.

Having your child learning to read is an exciting milestone that children and parents look forward to but getting there can be quite a challenge (especially with multiple kids around).


  1. Reading - whether it’s learning letter sounds or words it can easily become an everyday activity that can set our children up for future success.

  2. Reading is a necessity for our children to positively interact with our world

  3. Time is on your side - A few minutes a day is powerful to those who learn to tap into it.

Just like exercising 10 min a day is powerful, so is getting our kiddos to read 10 min a day.

With some of these time-saving hacks, your child can practice their reading skills and develop new ones in the process, making reading a little easier and less stressful. Regardless of your child’s age and skill level, you are sure to find something that works for you here!!

With some of these time-saving hacks your child can practice their reading skills and develop new ones in the process, making reading a little easier and less stressful. Regardless of your child’s age and skill level you are sure to find something that works for you here!

Here are 7 summer hacks to get your child reading without even realizing it! These suggestions will seamlessly fit into your family’s busy schedule and make reading fun!

1. Morning Message: much like in school where the teacher writes the class a morning message, you can write a good morning or good night message on a whiteboard, your fridge, or even a binder propped open in colorful print to make it more noticeable. Don’t be surprised if they start writing back to you. Our kids loved their morning message and would often write back with funny drawings or comments!

Click here for 5 sample messages.

Variations: For younger kids you could simplify with friend’s names

and food items or letters. For older kids, you could definitely add-in more information and detail such as when you will be home from work, visitors, and the weather.

more information and detail such as when dad will come home from work, visitors, the weather is sunny outside.

2. Break Open A Song Book: Regardless of age, your children will be enamoured with your attempts to read a song and likely want to join in! Even better, make up some words along the way and they will ask to see the words to confirm you are not reading it right!

There are many available at the Library or you can get started with these here. Silly ones are our favourites!

3. Routine Charts: Create routine charts to encourage reading words for everyday tasks as well as teach responsibility. A great tool for getting your child to read is to get them involved in creating their own routine charts. When the charts have one or two words along with a picture of the task, they will start to recognize the initial sound and the word: Bath, Pyjamas, Brush Teeth, Set out clothes for tomorrow, Read book, Hugs and kisses, Sleep. Encourage your child to read their routine chart aloud as they check off each item. Completing the tasks they’ve set for themselves will help them feel capable, and reading the chart will help your child feel confident around reading.

Check out this free chart I created for you here.

4. Entertainment During Dinner Preparations: Have your child provide dinner entertainment. Turn one of their recent story books into a skit for dinner entertainment complete with props and characters. Fairytales are a great way to get started!

Variations: Cue cards can be added for older kids or you could ask them to read to YOU while you’re cooking dinner! He or she can read the next chapter in her favourite book or review recipes.

5. Read Aloud Poetry: Poetry is quick, it’s easy, and it only takes a few minutes to share while your child improves their vocabulary and learns the rhythm of language. Over the course of a day or a week, those few minutes add up to a whole lot of reading.

Start with one of these free poems here.

6. Spelling with Rocks: Write letters or words on rocks to make words or sentences. Spread them out leading up to the path of your house, campsite or backyard. Even better, hide the words or letters at a park and leave messages for others to see.

Examples include: Have a happy day! Smile you are nice. Be happy. I like you. You are a good friend.

7. Scavenger Hunt: For a little after dinner exercise and a fun reading activity try a scavenger hunt- either inside or outside. We have done them with all ages from pre-readers to more skilled readers. We go with list in hand and search for answers to clues, much like a scavenger hunt. We solved each clue with a partner, and checked off and wrote down the word on the list as we found it. Try our outdoor scavenger hunt here! Independent readers can carry their own challenge sheet and write down their answers.

Things to remember

  1. Do a little reading activity every day.

  2. If they are not yet reading, simplify and start with letters and sounds.

  3. Make it fun and enjoyable for them. Smile and laugh as they engage with you.

  4. If your child is becoming anxious or frustrated, step in and help them or set it aside.

Time may be at a minimum in your busy household, but when it comes to raising a reader finding a way to fit in those 10 minutes each day will be well worth the extra effort. Fitting in simple fun reading activities is a great way to help them develop more interest and skill using these simple hacks. Like with any habit, once you form even the simplest reading routine and stick with it, you’ll be amazed at how much your child improves over a short period of time. Enjoy! You’ve got this! Miss Mary

Dedicated to building a community of like-minded parents to build strong, confident readers.

You are welcome to join our Facebook community with other like-minded parents for encouragement and support as we band together on this wonderful journey of learning to read. For more information check us out at

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