How to Help Your Child Read with Common Reading Strategies

Learning to read can be an exciting time for both parents and children. Bedtime stories not only allow you and your children to explore new worlds, they are also an opportunity to develop lifelong literacy skills. Once your children begin learning to read, they are introduced to a variety of reading strategies at school. We know that it can be overwhelming to understand and to help your children practise these different strategies, so we are here to help with a look at four of the most commonly used ones.

Strategy 1: Skippy the Frog This reading strategy encourages children to skip tricky words, read to the end of the sentence, and then go back and see if they can figure out the tricky word within context. In this example from Just a Little Bit written by Anton Kurtz, we might expect a child to struggle with the word walked, so we would encourage him/her to skip that word, read the sentence, and go back and try and figure it out.

Strategy 2: Flippy Dolphin

This reading strategy is great for children that understand both short and long vowel sounds (a short ‘a’ like in apple’, a long ‘a’ like in ‘ate’). When sounding out a word, children usually try the short vowel sound first, but they often need encouragement to flip the vowel and try the long sound. In this example from Who would win? Hammerhead Vs. Bull Shark written by Jerry Pallotta, the word size has a long ‘i’ sound. If they are confused about what a long vowel is, you can remind them that when a vowel is long, it says it’s name.

Eagle Eye:

This reading strategy teaches children to use the picture to help them figure out a word when they are stuck. In this example from Flashing Fire Engines written by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker, we would expect that an emerging reader might struggle with the words fire engines. Taking a look at the picture would help children figured out out that tricky word.


Chunky Monkey:


This reading strategy encourages children to look for smaller words or parts of a word that they know within larger words. In this example from Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple by A. H. Benjamin and Gwyneth Williamson, the word nearby would be a perfect word to practise the chunky monkey strategy. To do so, you would encourage your children to find a part that they know and then cover that part with your finger and have them sound out the rest of the word. Finally, take your finger off of the word and have them put it altogether.

We hope that you have found these reading strategy tips helpful! Let us know which ones you and your little ones found most useful!

For more information on helping your children with reading,  please contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at 416.925.1225 or visit our website.

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