Learning to read is a vital skill for everyone to learn, so parents welcome anything that helps their kids on the path to literacy. Children’s reading expert Amy Mascott notes that learning using multiple senses, like sight and sound, makes it much easier. Many parents already point to words and objects while reading storybooks aloud, but some special tools can make this practice even more effective.

Read on to learn about Reading Sidekick, a feature on Kindle that reads to kids and helps those struggling to read, and Readyland, a partner who makes books for Kindle which enable kids to interact with the characters. With these resources, you can make reading more fun, more enjoyable, and easier to learn for your kids.

Kids learn better when they read and listen to stories

Multisensory learning is any teaching technique that incorporates more than one sense. As a reading specialist and educator, Amy Mascott suggests thinking about how you can incorporate each of the five senses into teaching kids to read.

“The more we can engage the senses, the more likely children are to learn—any subject, any topic, anywhere,” she said.

You likely practice this already with young children—for instance, many parents point to words with their finger as they read through books.

“Especially for our struggling readers, allowing students to look at the words on a page while they are listening to a recording of a text is hugely helpful,” Mascott said. “When students are able to listen to any type of fluent reading, they are learning. When they can engage in this multi-sensual approach, they can both enjoy the story while decoding words alongside the recording. This eliminates students needing to stop at difficult words, and allows them to continue the flow of the story.”

Reading Sidekick for Amazon Kids+

The kid-friendly experience families love, now with more content and features designed just for kids.

Amazon Kids+ makes reading easier with a large library of kids’ books available on Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and audiobooks on Amazon Echo devices. A recent feature added to Kids+ is Reading Sidekick. Grab a physical book and say, “Alexa, let’s read,” and story time will begin. Alexa and your child can take turns reading.

Alexa listens for areas where kids are struggling and helps them with encouragement and corrections. It even works on third-party devices through the Amazon Kids+ mobile app, so young readers everywhere can enjoy it. The library of supported books includes hundreds of kid and parent favorites, like Good Night Football and Around the World Right Now.

Whether parents are busy or kids want to practice reading all by themselves, Reading Sidekick is a great way to help kids build confidence and stay in the habit of reading, even as they grow up.

Our partnership with Readyland Books

Another great tool for making reading more fun is getting involved with the books’ characters. Thanks to a partnership with publisher Readyland, kids can explore a growing library of Alexa-compatible books and interact with the characters inside those books.

To use the Alexa feature, open your Readyland book and say, “Alexa, open Readyland.” The feature unlocks an immersive and interactive reading experience where kids can talk to the books as they read along. Readyland gives kids hundreds of different ways to explore stories. For example, characters will prompt young readers to choose things on the page, engage in fun conversations, and even invite them to be part of the story.

Amazon offers many tools that parents can use to get their kids into reading. Here are four tips from Amazon and industry experts on how to maximize those tools and make reading a habit at home.

How else can you help your kid learn to read?

Amazon has plenty more ways to help young readers gain confidence in their reading abilities!