Find time to read with your kids to build literacy skills. There are many ways to make reading a part of each day — even when you don't have time to sit down with a book. Find the Reading Moments Car/bus/train trips, errands, and waits in checkout lines and the doctor's office are all opportunities for reading. Keep books or magazines in your car, diaper bag, or backpack to pull out whenever you're going to be in one place for a while. Even if you can't finish a book, read a few pages or discuss some of the pictures. Encourage older kids to bring favorite books and magazines wherever you go. While it's tempting to provide electronic games and e-readers, be sure to alternate electronic media with lots of opportunities to read print books. Other reading moments to take advantage of during the day: in the morning, before breakfast or getting dressed after dinner, when kids are relaxed bath time (with plastic, waterproof books) bedtime Reading Opportunities Outside the Home Reading opportunities are everywhere you go. While riding in the car/bus/train, for example, encourage your kids to spot words and letters (on billboards, store signs, etc.), turning it into a game ("Who'll be the first to find a letter B?"). While shopping, ask your preschooler to "read" pictures on boxes and tell you about them. Point out the difference between the words and the pictures on the boxes. Encourage older kids to tell you what's on the shopping list. Turn Daily Routines into Reading Moments Even daily tasks like cooking can provide reading moments. You can read recipes aloud to younger kids, and older kids can assist you as you cook by telling you how much flour to measure. Give your child a catalog to read while you sort through the mail. Even when you're trying to get things done, you can encourage reading. While cleaning, for instance, you might ask your child to read a favorite book to you while you work. Younger kids can talk to you about the pictures in their favorite books. Reading with Family and Friends Ask relatives and friends to send your child letters, e-mail, or text messages, and read them together. Help your child create letters or messages to send back to relatives and family friends. Encourage older siblings to read with their younger siblings. These activities help kids see the purpose of reading and of print. Provide Quiet Time for Reading Make sure kids get some time to spend quietly with books, even if it means cutting back on other activities, like watching TV or playing video games. Most important, be a reader yourself. Kids who see their parents reading are likely to copy them and become readers too! Back to Articles Related Articles Creating a Reader-Friendly Home A home filled with reading material is a good way to help kids become enthusiastic readers. Here are some ideas. Read More Raising a Summer Reader Kids' reading skills don't have to grow cold once school's out. Here are some ways to make reading a natural part of their summer fun. Read More School-Age Readers From kindergarten through third grade, kids' ability to read will grow by leaps and bounds. Although teachers provide lots of help, parents continue to play a role in a child's reading life. Read More Helping Kids Enjoy Reading For many kids, reading doesn't come easily. But these simple steps can help them become eager readers. Read More Finding the Right Read Books make great gifts for kids. Here's how to pick one to fit a child's interests, maturity, and reading level. Read More Reading Resources Regardless of your child's age or reading level, almost every community has programs and resources that are helpful. Read More How to Pick a Great Book to Read If you find yourself overwhelmed when choosing a book, check out these 5 simple steps to picking a book you'll like. Read More How to Pick a Great Book Reading on your own isn't like reading for school. You can pick something that's all about your interests — whether it's ancient martial arts, computers, or fashion design. Get tips on how. Read More Reading Milestones This general outline describes the milestones on the road to reading and the ages at which most kids reach them. Read More Reading Books to Babies Reading aloud to your baby stimulates developing senses, and builds listening and memory skills that can help your baby grow up to be a reader. Read More Toddler Reading Time Reading to toddlers lays the foundation for their independent reading later on. Here are some tips. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.