Magic Reading Fingers

Children need practice reading out loud on a regular basis.  They need to read passages over and over to gain fluency (the ability to read smoothly).  However, reading out loud is often tricky for new readers and can quickly become a chore.  To add a little interest to reading time, you should try giving your child a magic reading finger.

What are Magic Reading Fingers?

The idea behind magic reading fingers is simply to give children something to focus on while they read.  The magic reading finger should always be the index finger of the hand your child writes with.  You can make a finger magic in many ways.  The simplest way is to put a small sticker on the pad of that finger.  You could also let your child wear a witch finger from a past Halloween.  Another option is to purchase a small finger flashlight for your child to put on that finger.  Anything you do to make that finger special creates a magic reading finger!

What are Magic Reading Fingers Used For?

Magic reading fingers can be used to focus on many different aspects of reading.  Here are the three most common:

  • Focus on sounding out each letter – When using the magic finger with beginning or struggling readers, it can remind them to point to every letter.  This helps them remember to sound out every letter in the word before they read it.
  • Focus on touching every word – For readers who tend to skip words or even lines, the magic reading finger can help them remember to read all the words.  Remind your child to touch every word with the magic finger so that they will stop skipping words as they read.
  • Focus on fluency – Once your child is reading the words correctly and not skipping words, the magic finger can also help create smooth readers.  Instead of touching every word, now the magic finger should move under the line of typing in a smooth way without stopping for every word.  Encourage your child to try to read as smoothly as their magic finger moves.  Remind them that the goal is not to let their magic reading finger stop at any one word.  It should stay moving until the end of a sentence.  This forces your child to focus on reading an entire smooth sentence instead of just individual words.

While it probably seems a little silly to us as grownups, magic reading fingers are just another way to make reading practice fun for children.  How else do you make reading fun for your child?

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