5 Activities with Rudy, Abby and Tamir to Help Children Learn to Love to Read

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Over the years, lovable furry monsters and friends at Sesame Street have set our foundation for 123s and ABCs on screen. But off screen, they’ve worked just as hard to make reading fun and silly through every page you turn. Perhaps you recall learning which not-so-scary monster was at the end of the book. Or have referred to Potty Time with Elmo as your little one reached that exciting (and often daunting) milestone.

Sparking a love of literacy in young children as they are learning to read can sometimes feel like a daunting task too—but it’s also exciting to get to re-visit the worlds you loved as a child through the lens of someone who is embarking on exploring them for the first time.

Of course, your friends at Sesame have five big tips to get you started on making those beautiful, magical, warm memories around reading together.

1. Find Time to Make Reading Together Special

The most delightful way to make reading fun is finding moments in our busy days is to do it together. Like when Tamir needs to read for a presentation in class, while his mom, Kayla, is busy working in the community garden. As Tamir reads his book aloud, the caring presence and interest of his mom gives him the boost to overcome challenging words with ease. And they both got to enjoy a sweet hug to lock in the moment.

2. Keep Them Interested by Following Their Interests

Before children can focus on a single story, caring adults like you can guide children’s interest in literacy by letting their curiosity lead the way. Consider ways to incorporate pretend play into reading time, or a game they love with a book about the same subject.

Julia’s mom, Elena, does an amazing job directing (and redirecting, and redirecting once more) the attention of her students at the community center to help them engage with a book. Watch in this video as she guides Elmo, Abby, and Wes to switch playtime to reading time.

Elena is able to get the group excited because she connects information on flying bees from her non-fiction book, to the flying heroes they’re pretending to be in the moment.  If this sounds like improbable magic, take a look at the video and see if you can try the same at home.

3. Freshen Up the Stories You Both Love, But Have Already Heard “Again and Again”

Reading something over and over is a great way to build on your little one’s excitement. Since you may know the tales word for word, front to back by now, this is your chance to bond as you find creative ways to keep the story fresh together.

Rudy’s daddy, Freddie, is tasked with figuring out just how when him and Rudy start their daily ‘Daddy-Rudy reading time’ with their old standby The Three Little Pigs. They both engage with the old tale by doing silly voices, re-enacting scenes and adding new ideas to the story.

Keeping things light ensures that not only do both Rudy and his daddy stay laughing, but they both continue to stay connected with the story and each other. Ruby also gets to practice his reading comprehension and story recall skills. Think you know what happens in Three Little Pigs? Well, you may not know Rudy’s and Freddie’s version!

4. Try New Mediums to Review Books You’ve Already Enjoyed Together

Talking about the best parts of a book gives children a chance to express their emotions and encourages them to think critically about what they read, and what they enjoy. Try out this printable when you’re looking for new ways to review old stories with your little ones. You can also take time to color in new bookmarks to use during your next reading session!

5. Try to Act Along With the Story You’re Reading

Perhaps your child is not quite ready to learn how to read, but that’s an excellent time to build excitement around books, and routines around reading together. Try this printable activity, where you can act out different parts of a story together.

If you’re still searching for specific tips on how to cultivate a love for reading, there are specific articles with additional details whether you’re starting at birth or three or five years old.

A mother reads to her two daughters with Abby Cadabby.
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For more information and resources on Reading, explore our Reading subtopic.