Learning to read isn’t merely about reading books. For a child to fully grasp and absorb all facets of learning – reading included – it is vital to develop their ever-growing, sponge-like brains using a vast array of activities, tasks, and games, designed to help their grey matter work more efficiently, and, therefore, more effectively. In short, boosting their overall development is the quickest way to boost reading skills. So, in today’s article, we’re going to furnish you with five fun activities you and your nine-year-old can do together to get their highly-receptive neurons firing on all cylinders.
Five Activities To Boost Reading Skills and Development in Nine-Year-Olds
By the age of nine, your child will typically be both reading completely independently and reading for a range of purposes. That being said, it is still vital to encourage games and activities at home to supplement school learning to promote further development. Children love playing games, so setting aside time for such activities is win-win for everyone! Your little one gets extra time to learn; you get to spend quality time with your child, and you both get to have heaps of fun! It really is the perfect scenario.
#1 – Action Activities
By the time your child reaches the latter stages of primary school, they will likely have specific hobbies and interests that they’re keen to enjoy on a regular basis; therefore, basing activities and games around these is always a good idea. Encourage them to take part in said pastimes as much as possible, but always try to ensure a balance between having fun and learning. During school holidays, many activity centres and places to visit will have games and activities for children to partake in, such as treasures hunts, puzzle-solving, and quizzes; take full advantage of such activities as not only will it help to further your child’s development, they’ll also make new friends!
#2 – Reading Together
It’s a common misconception than when your child is able to read independently there is no need to continue reading to them when quite the opposite is actually true. Many children aged nine still love being read to, so carry on doing it! Reading to them is one of the best ways to improve their listening skills, in addition to expanding their vocabulary – particularly if you select books a year or two above their learning age. Don’t forget to ask them to read to you, though! This will enhance their expression and fluency, which are two critical components of learning to read. Furthermore, encouraging your child to keep a book diary will help them to remember which books they’d like and disliked – and why. This is an effective way to introduce early reasoning and analytical skills.
#3 – Technology Games
Although screen time should be limited, the use of technology shouldn’t be viewed in the same manner. Using technology is part and parcel of today’s world; therefore, it’s important to verse your child in how to use technology not only for educational purposes but also how it can help them in life. Educational tablets, PC or console games can be educational, so if you own or can afford to purchase any of the aforementioned bits of kit, it can be a worthwhile investment. Encourage your child to read the instructions before playing. Reading books and watching movies adaptations of said books is a fantastic way to combine technology and learning. Ask your child to discuss the differences between the book and the movie, and their opinions on which they preferred.
#4 – Board Games
We all know how much fun board games can be, but they’re also really educational, meaning they’re a fantastic tool for furthering your child’s development. Games such as Junior Trivial Pursuit requires lots of reading and will help to develop general knowledge; Cluedo will encourage your child to sharpen their powers of deduction to solve a crime, and classic games such as Mastermind are exceptionally useful for fostering logical thinking and puzzle-solving.
#5 – Cooking
Cooking with your little one is a superb way to combine reading and maths practise all in one. Ask them to read the recipe, tell you how much of certain ingredients you need, count out certain ingredients – even get them involved in the cooking process. The more fun and enjoyable it is, the more beneficial it will be! Plus, you get a very tasty treat to enjoy at the end of it!