All kids struggle with reading at one time or another. Reading as a seven-year-old can be difficult since kids begin to become more independent in their reading skills and habits around this time. As a result, they may gravitate to other activities they like more than reading. So, how do you help your kid learn to love reading? You make it fun!
Making reading fun for a seven-year-old can be done in a variety of ways. The most popular ideas to make reading more fun are letting the child choose their books, reading aloud together, and finding different ways to read together.
In this article, you will learn different ways to make reading fun for a seven-year-old. The points will include looking at reading in new ways and creating space to read, among other things. You will also learn more about the developmental side of reading as a seven-year-old to better understand how to make reading appeal to your child.
How Can You Make Reading Fun for A Seven-Year-Old?
Making reading fun for a seven-year-old can be overwhelming (and quite frustrating). However, there are many ways to develop a love for reading in children. The following sections discuss seven ideas to make reading fun for your seven-year-old. Try one of these ideas or a combination of them to make reading more fun for your kid!
Let Your Child Choose Their Books
By choosing their books, your seven-year-old will have some control over what they read. It would help if you had an idea of the topics they like, from history to fantasy, so that you can steer them toward books that will pique their interest.
According to Brightly, parents have to sell reading to their children. You can do this by showing excitement about your child’s reading decisions.
By letting your seven-year-old decide on what they are going to read, they gain:
- Pride – They get to savor the feeling of satisfaction that comes with choosing their own story to read.
- Independence – They get to feel happy because of the independence of choosing a story without an adult’s help.
- Joy and excitement – They get excited about the book they chose because it is a topic they want to read and learn about, not something required of them to read.
Notice how your child feels about and during reading and try to acknowledge the positive emotions and behaviors. This goes a long way toward reinforcing the idea of reading being fun.
Read Out Loud with Your Seven-Year-Old
Reading aloud together is a great way to bond with your child. Reading out loud allows your child to hear your tone, cadence, and excitement around reading. This creates an environment where they can mirror you.
Do not be afraid to choose books that are a bit more challenging, even for you. Showing your seven-year-old that reading can be difficult even as an adult shows them it is alright to make a mistake. This will give them more confidence and ease with making pronunciation mistakes.
Find Different Ways to Read with Your Young Child
Reading does not have to only consist of sitting down and reading a novel or storybook. There are all types of other mediums to read. Choosing a new material to read from will change your seven-year-old child’s perspective on what it means to read. It will also show them that words are everywhere and can tell you different things about your environment.
Some different types of reading material you can introduce to your seven-year-old are:
- Comic strips
- Signs and billboards when on the road
Allowing your child to explore different ways to read creates excitement about new reading opportunities. Many of these mediums can be interactive as well. For example, Parents magazine suggests cooking a meal together and asking your child to read the recipe and steps out loud. You can also play I spy using words; grab a book and say, “I spy something that starts with the letter [insert letter here].”
Creating new ways to read with your seven-year-old will spark new interests, and they may develop new hobbies they enjoy due to the introduction of these new mediums. These alternative reading activities often create wonderful memories that both you and your child will cherish.
Create a Space Dedicated to Reading with Your Seven-Year-Old
Another way to get a seven-year-old excited about reading is by creating a single space that is only used for reading. This reading nook does not have to be large, but it should have a few staples. A dedicated space just for reading will make your child feel special and comfortable. Also, if this space is all theirs, it will add some more excitement around reading.
The following are staples to include in your seven-year-old child’s reading nook:
- Books – You should create an organisation system. This means you can store books on shelves, in a basket, or in another simple way.
- Comfy seating – There should be enough seating for you and your child to sit together, and it should be comfortable for them to sit at for extended periods.
- Rug and pillows – Having a rug defines the edges of a space and makes a space feel cosier. Pillows can be rearranged to make the environment more relaxing.
You may even enlist your child to help you choose some of the furniture for the new space. There are many options available. The bookshelves listed below are top-rated and provide various ideas to get you started in building a space dedicated to reading. Ask for your child’s opinion, and they will start beaming.
When shopping for a bookshelf, you may consider any of the following options, which all offer different advantages and disadvantages:
|Fawn Hill Co Books Storage Basket||· Easy to access
· Easy to put books away as this basket allows for a fast clean up
|· Small size
· The flexible material is not very sturdy
· The open top keeps all items visible, lending to a cluttered look
|Costzon 6-Cubby Kids Bookcase with Cushioned Reading Nook||· Lots of storage for different sized books
· Built-in seat for an all-in-one space designed just for reading
|· The built-in reading nook bookshelf is larger than other options but provides a dedicated reading space|
|Homfa Kids Bookshelf||· Designed to keep book covers visible to children so they can easily pick out their next read||· Larger size
· Less space for books than a traditional bookshelf
|UTEX Kids’ Book Caddy with Shelf||· The simple design allows for easy book storage and added space for toys||· Less space for books than a traditional bookshelf|
These four options also cover a range of price points. When creating your seven-year-old’s reading nook, consider how each piece’s function will impact the rest of the space. If your child has any sensory likes or dislikes, make sure to take this into account, as well.
Set an Example by Creating A Reading Habit for the Whole Family
Creating a daily reading time for the whole family shows your seven-year-old that not only do kids read, but adults read, too. It also allows them to see different types of books and the fun adults have when reading. This is a great way to end your evening as a family, and making it a habit will only reinforce their love of reading.
Here are the steps to get ready for family reading time with:
- Remind your child. Let your child know that family reading time will begin in ten minutes.
- Shut off devices. Start by shutting off screens and turning phones and other devices to silent. This allows for complete focus and shows your child how serious you are about focusing when you read.
- Read together. This can be done by sitting in the same space and reading different books. Or you and your child can take turns reading paragraphs, pages, or chapters.
- Set an end goal or time. Set a reading goal or a timer, so you know when to end family reading time. A specific goal could be 20 pages or three chapters. A timer could be used to set a 20-minute limit. Time-based family reading time can be determined by how busy your schedule is, too. However, being consistent will create a solid habit and a sense of stability for your child.
Daily reading time with your seven-year-old child helps expand their vocabulary and is a great way to bond. Reading time may also be fun if you get other adults and children involved. Consider starting a book club with other families at similar reading levels.
How Long Should A 7-Year-Old Read Each Day?
When creating a family reading time, remember that children have much shorter attention spans than adults. A good length of reading time for a seven-year-old is 20 minutes per day. This is standard, and some schools even give students 20 minutes of reading homework each day.
Creating this habit early for your family will solidify your child’s love for reading at a young age. It will bring your family closer together and help you identify any struggles your child may be having.
Be Adventurous at the Library – Ask A Librarian for Help
Do not shy away from spending more time at the library to find a book that suits your seven-year-old child’s tastes and fits into their reading level or ability. Librarians are trained to answer your book-related questions. Many libraries even have special librarians for children’s books. Talk to your librarian to get some suggestions on the next book you check out for your seven-year-old.
The following are some questions to ask your local librarian next time you and your child are at the library:
- Where can we find [insert favorite genre]?
- What books would you suggest for a seven-year-old?
- Is there a particular author that is popular among school-aged children?
- Do you have any upcoming events that my seven-year-old may be interested in?
Your local librarian is paid to help you find the best books suited to your needs and answer your questions. Do not let this valuable resource go to waste. Often, librarians know all about the most recent additions to the library, so if your child has read most of the books available, your librarian is the perfect person to talk to.
Ask Your Seven-Year-Old Questions About What They Are Reading
Reading is great, but you also want to check for understanding and comprehension. To do this, ask your seven-year-old questions every few pages to have them recount what is going on in the story. If your child is not comprehending what is happening in the story, it may be wise to choose an easier book.
Here are a few easy ways to check for understanding and comprehension:
- Ask detailed questions about what is happening in the story.
- Discuss what your child is visualising when reading.
- If your child is in a book club, get the children talking about the characters and plot
However, it may just require a reread. Sometimes your child may need to go back and reread a section of a story to comprehend what is happening better. This is especially true if there are more challenging or new words within the story. This can create a distraction of sorts from the actual meaning of the story.
How to Figure Out Your Child’s Reading Level
Figuring out your child’s reading level can be difficult. It is important to understand your child’s reading level so you can direct them toward books they will not get too frustrated with while reading. Finding ways to avoid increased frustration while reading will help your child stick with reading.
The non-profit Understood explains how to determine your child’s reading level; their list has been adapted below.
There are three simple ways to determine your seven-year old’s reading skills:
- Ask your child’s teacher about their reading level, or have your child take a quick assessment.
- Search for books that match their reading level, or ask librarians and teachers for recommendations.
- Check your child’s vocabulary and comprehension by asking them what they read about every few pages. Quiz your child on new vocabulary. If they are unsure of what many words mean, the book may be too difficult.
Once you know your seven-year-old child’s reading level, you can focus on helping them master that reading level and building them up to higher reader levels.
What Level Should A 7-Year-Old Be Reading At?
Every child is different when developing their reading skills. Most seven-year-old children are reading at a level in line with their grades in school. Most seven-year-old children are in first or second grade, so those in first grade should read at a first-grade level, and those in second grade should read at a second-grade level.
According to Dr. Kandia Lewis, if you are concerned about your child’s reading capabilities, get them help as soon as possible. It is easier to deal with the problem sooner rather than later. Talking to your child’s doctor or teacher is a great place to start.
Ways to Strengthen Your Seven-Year-Old’s Reading Skills
There are a few basic skills that can be focused on to develop your seven-year old’s reading skills further. This age plays a critical role in increasing your child’s language and reading capabilities. Scholastic has some excellent resources for strengthening your child’s reading skills and offers great book suggestions.
Focus on building the following skills in your seven-year-old to enhance their reading and comprehension:
- Pronunciation and rhyming – At this point, your seven-year-old is getting better at pronouncing more difficult mouth sounds. Continue to sound out words together and build your child’s confidence. Rhyming is another great way to hone their pronunciation skills.
- Storytelling and writing – Allow your child to string together their tales from the school day and the adventures they had. You can also get them writing, which helps with reading comprehension and expands their vocabulary.
- Reading out loud – This is an amazing way to bond and to build your child’s reading skills. So, in addition to letting your seven-year-old read on their own, spend time reading together.
One suggestion Scholastic makes is that choosing a book that is right for your seven-year-old can be done by examining the characters of the book of choice. If the book’s main character is the same age or grade, it will most likely be an appropriate reading level. The opposite can be said if the age or grade does not match with your child.
Find A Book That Excites Your Child
Finding an exciting book is important so that your child actually enjoys reading. Sometimes school requires their students to read certain books. Encourage your seven-year-old to find a book that they think they will enjoy and then support them. Showing support and excitement are great motivators for children.
The following are a few Step into Reading Level 3 books that are great for 7-year-old readers:
- Twinky the Dinky Dog – A story about a determined and brave dog overcoming people’s ideas about him
- Twisters! – A book for those who love science, storms, and all things tornado
- Eat My Dust! Henry Ford’s First Race – Blast to the past and learn about Henry Ford and his journey to get the money to build cars for everyday people
The Step into Reading books provide leveled books for reading at all ages. The level 3 books are geared toward 5- to 8-year-old children. Depending on your child’s reading abilities, they may prefer reading at a higher or lower level. They also have a variety of topics. You will easily be able to find a topic that your child will enjoy.
Another way to find books at your seven-year-old child’s reading level is by using Scholastic’s Book Wizard. This search tool allows you to sort books by grade levels and different reading level systems.
Reading and Special Needs
“Special needs” is a broad term used to describe the following: autism spectrum disorders, attention disorders, learning difficulties, and other needs. A seven-year-old with special needs may not find reading fun for a variety of reasons.
Using the above techniques and a few techniques aimed at special needs children discussed below will set you and your child on a path toward enjoying their time spent reading.
Is Your Seven-Year-Old Dyslexic?
For a dyslexic seven-year-old, you want to find ways to make reading exciting and understandable. It is very easy to get frustrated (both yourself and your child) when reading with dyslexia. Mitigating frustration by demonstrating patience and grace will help your child feel more comfortable.
Use the following tips to help you modify how you approach reading with your dyslexic seven-year-old:
- Focus on word pronunciation and the sounds used to make words.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Try audiobooks as a way to build comprehension without the stress of written words.
- Invest in books printed in Dyslexie font.
There are a few Dyslexie font books for children available on the market and in a wide variety of topics, such as:
- The Kents’ Quest: Sam Is Stuck
- Spelling Pen – In Elf Land
- Here’s Hank Series: Book 1 Bookmarks Are People Too!
These three options are well rated and printed in a font more easily readable by children with dyslexia. Investing in these types of books improves confidence and overall excitement surrounding reading.
Is Your Seven-Year-Old on the Spectrum?
Reading abilities will be unique for every seven-year-old. However, a child on the spectrum can be distracted by their senses, a need to fixate, and new routines. Again, frustrations are a big roadblock when it comes to learning how to read. Understand that it may take longer for your child to get comfortable and focused because they are on the spectrum.
There are a few things to consider about reading if your seven-year-old is on the spectrum:
- Create a suitable environment for reading – This could include picking furniture that will not create a sensory issue or finding a quiet place to limit other outside distractions.
- Make it into a game– Making learning how to read into a game can make it a more enjoyable experience overall.
Providing an environment specifically for reading and creating a consistent routine around reading may also help increase excitement around reading for your seven-year-old.
Does Your Seven-Year-Old Have Intellectual Impairment?
Cognitive delays or disabilities may delay your child’s ability to read. It can make the reading experience more difficult if they struggle with understanding new terms or being overwhelmed with words easily. Depending on your child’s understanding, you can start by building the skills that lead to reading or straight to learning how to read.
The following list presents different ideas that can be used to help make reading more fun for children with cognitive disabilities:
- Practice letter sounds using phonics.
- Keep reading sessions short.
- Use multiple forms of communication: posters, pictures, written words, listening to words, and more.
- Build slowly on previous material and be patient.
Patience is key throughout the learning how to read stages. Allow your child to progress at their own pace and offer guidance as you see fit to help them flourish.
How Does A Child with Special Needs Focus on Reading?
Having devoted parents is very helpful when teaching a child with special needs new skills. To build focus and make reading fun for your seven-year-old, you will have to try different things. Knowing what your child likes and dislikes will help guide you toward book topics they may find interesting.
There are some overarching ideas when making reading more fun for your seven-year-old with special needs:
- Create an environment conducive to focusing – Allow time and space for settling down and then introduce their book of choice.
- Give positive feedback and encouragement – As a parent, providing encouragement and excitement around your seven-year-old child’s reading progress keeps them wanting to learn.
- Use a reward system to increase motivation– If your child responds well to rewards, this may be an opportunity for you to introduce a reward system into your reading practices.
Every child is different, and your seven-year-old may change over time. So, what worked one day may not work the next. Keep this in mind as you may need to modify your plan for making reading fun more than once.
Making reading fun for a seven-year-old is relatively straightforward. Typically, if parents show excitement around a skill or task, the child will respond positively. This logic can be used even when teaching your child how to read—as a parent, showing your child that you like reading and making time to read with them goes a long way toward helping your child develop a love for reading.
Some great memories can be formed for both you and your seven-year-old as you show them reading is an important and fun part of everyday life. From letting your child design their reading nook to participating in a family reading each evening, there are many ways to bring positive attention toward reading.
If your child has special needs, you may need to adapt your approach to making reading fun. Hopefully, some slight changes will help your child succeed in reading, and eventually, they will find reading fun.