The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

How Multimedia Helps Reading Instruction

December 7, 2015

Young girl using tabletNowadays, teaching children how to read can take many forms. High-quality, one-on-one education via parents, teachers or tutors can be supplemented, for example, with a wide variety of useful multimedia. Many theories exist about what works best for teaching children to read, so if you’re not sure if multimedia is right for your child, consult with his or her teacher or a local librarian for direction.

Here are a few multimedia options designed to support children’s reading instruction:

Educational Television

The TV market for children is full of choices including many that are educational. Some of the best television options for reading instruction tend to be “Sesame Street” and other PBS programs such as “Super Why,” “Martha Speaks” and “Word Girl.” These kinds of programs reinforce awareness of the letters of the alphabet, phonics, sight words, and other reading fundamentals as relayed through stories, characters and songs that kids find interesting and engaging. Several use word meanings, comprehension, and the ability to read as the means of solving conflicts or challenges within the stories, which helps kids to form a positive perception of reading.

Electronic Reading Toys

Numerous electronic reading toys are available for young toddlers through to grade-school age children, as one can see on such websites as Some interactive toys focus on building blocks of letters and sounds for children who have not yet learned to read. Others support phonics, assisting early readers to page through story books while sounding out each word, to better help them get through the text. Still other electronic reading toys also use games to “test” your child’s knowledge and make learning to read increasingly challenging as well as fun.

Scholastic Apps

Each of the major stores that sell apps for smart phones, tablets and similar devices carries educational apps that can assist children in learning to read. Common Sense Media, San Francisco, Calif. an independent group that rates, educates and advocates for children, families and schools, has created a list of their top recommended learn-to-read apps. As with other kinds of multimedia reading-support materials, educational apps can be useful for kids of varying ages and stages of literacy.

Whichever kind of multimedia you may seek for teaching reading, you’ll likely find a variety that can support your child’s reading progress and help him or her to develop the skills necessary to read independently.

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Categories: Parenting Tips
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