child learning reading comprehension tips

Reading Comprehension Tips for Parents of Beginner Readers

As a parent, your involvement in your child’s reading development is crucial. Not only do you play a significant role in your kids’ earliest experiences with reading, but you can also impact important outcomes such as their level of fluency, attitudes toward learning, and reading comprehension.  

By including some fun and interactive reading activities in your child’s reading practice, you can make learning a playful experience they look forward to. In this article, learn some activities and reading comprehension tips for helping your child learn to read. 

Create an Environment for Reading Comprehension 

Reading comprehension is the ability to understand and retain what you read. While it seems natural to those of us who have been reading for years, it’s a complex process that involves many cognitive functions. 

Beginner readers need lots of practice and guidance on their way to achieving comprehension with ease. At home, you can help them practice by first making sure they have access to the right environment and materials. 

Is there a quiet, comfortable place where you and your child can read without constant distraction? Are their books at home easy enough to understand but also challenging enough to strengthen their reading skills?

Helping your child choose books on topics they’re interested in can also help build reading comprehension. They’re more likely to be invested in reading material they enjoy. Look for age-appropriate, engaging texts that you can read with your child or provide them with during reading time. 

Have a Reading Routine 

A daily reading routine is important for developing strong reading comprehension skills, even before your child starts decoding words on their own. Set aside dedicated time each day for reading with your child. This could be a quiet time in the afternoon or a bedtime story. 

Family reading nights can also be a good idea. These make reading a fun, family-bonding activity. Choose a book to read together as a family and discuss it afterward. Listening and discussing books together not only strengthens your child’s comprehension skills but also fosters a positive environment where books are welcomed and celebrated. 

Ask the Right Questions

Asking questions while reading with your child can get them thinking about details critical to reading comprehension. Initiate Reciprocal Teaching strategies for reading comprehension, which are: predicting, questioning, summarizing, and clarifying. 

One helpful example of this for younger readers is using Before, During, and After (BDA) questions:

  • Before Reading Questions: “What do you think this book is about?” or “What do you think will happen?” These questions stimulate curiosity and set a purpose for reading.
  • During Reading Questions: Ask about the characters, their feelings, and why they think events are happening. For instance, “Why do you think the character did that?” or “What do you think will happen next?” These keep your child engaged and attentive.
  • After Reading Questions: Help your child reflect on the story. Questions like, “What was your favorite part?” or “Can you tell me what happened in the story?” encourage them to think about the narrative. This process helps reinforce what they have read, potentially improving retention.

As your child becomes more familiar with these practices during reading time, encourage them to come up with their own questions before, during, and after the story. Then, see if you can answer the questions together. Compliment them on good questions and see which types of BDA questions inspire them to think more about the story.

Play Activities and Games for Reading Comprehension 

There is a set of skills that create reading comprehension in pre-readers and early readers. Namely, it begins with language comprehension and decoding.

To break it down further, effective reading comprehension requires:

  • Background knowledge
  • Vocabulary 
  • Language structure 
  • Verbal reasoning 
  • Literacy knowledge 

Games that focus on building language comprehension and vocabulary skills first help children begin to learn to read and comprehend. Here are some related activities you can try!

Word Detectives

Help your beginner reader practice language comprehension and vocabulary by playing “word detectives.” Come up with a category your child understands (such as fruit, toys, grocery items, or things in the classroom). Have your child come up with a list of as many words as they can for that category, using each word only once. Make a list together and then try a different category next time. If your child is beginning to read, have them highlight words in the book that relate to that category.

Story Puppets

Use toys or finger puppets to bring the story to life. Encourage your child to use the puppets to retell the story in their own words, which helps reinforce comprehension and narrative skills.


If your child loves imaginative play, try role-playing scenes from books. Choose a favorite scene and act it out together. This not only makes the story more engaging but also helps your child understand the characters and rely on background knowledge in a fun way.

Storybook Bingo

Storybook Bingo is a fun game where you create bingo cards with questions or characters related to the book. As your child answers questions correctly, they can mark off spaces on their card.

Treasure Hunt

A reading treasure hunt is great for young kids who love to remain active and might struggle to sit still while reading. Hide objects around the house that relate to the story, and have your child find them based on clues as you read together. This game not only makes reading fun but also helps children make connections between the text and real-world objects.

Memory Matching 

Story memory matching involves creating cards with characters, events, or vocabulary words from the story. Children match pairs of cards, which reinforces their memory and understanding of key story elements.

Do Reading Apps Improve Children’s Comprehension?

Learning apps like use interactive stories and activities designed to improve children’s basic literacy skills, including comprehension. takes children from alphabetical letters to reading decodable books, without relying on illustrations or context cues—rather, the focus is on building comprehension skills over time. It also supports language comprehension and vocabulary development through fun games and reading comprehension question prompts parents can use with their child. was designed with parent-child interaction in mind. Parents and teachers stay actively present while the child learns, providing you an opportunity to ask questions, guide your child through mistakes, and observe their progress. 

Help Your Child Learn to Read and Comprehend

Reading comprehension is the ultimate goal of learning to read! It also lays the foundation for your child’s lifelong learning journey. Use these tips to help your child understand and retain what they read while developing a positive attitude toward literacy. 

For more educational tips and reading activities, explore the resources at Download the app today for a free trial and see how your beginner reader’s comprehension skills improve!

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