Motivate Beginning Readers with DIY Reading Pointers

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Here’s a fun idea to try with your beginning readers. Instead of tracking the words on the page with your finger, make your own super snazzy reading pointers.

Tracking while you read means that your eyes can work together to follow the line of print from the left side of the page to the right. Once a child becomes proficient at this, the use of a finger (or pointer) becomes unnecessary.

When you read with your beginning reader, or to him, use your finger to model how to track each line. (My primary teacher friends do this to me and it drives me crazy. I got it, guys. No need to track for me.) 🙂

Imagine the challenges with reading if a child can not track from left to right. If a child struggles with tracking, it’s very important for her to get a comprehensive eye exam by a developmental optometrist. (This is not an exam to check if his vision is 20/20 but way more involved.) If there is a problem, generally vision therapy can help. My own daughter experienced both a tracking issue and vision therapy so I speak from experience. The Children’s Vision Information Network offers a wealth of information and examples if you want to learn more.

Make Your Own Reading Pointer

how to make reading pointers

1. Gather craft supplies, glue, craft sticks, and printable photo props.

2. Have your child decorate a craft stick and glue something fun on the tip for the pointer.

It could be a jewel.

make your own reading pointers

Or an eyeball.

googely eye reading pointer

Or a printable photo booth prop — like a bow tie, mustache or glasses. I like the props on CelebrationsLil Blue Boo, and Catch My Party.

reading with a pointer makes reading fun

We also used washi tape, glitter glue, buttons, stickers, and pom-poms to decorate our pointers.

Arrange your fancy dancy reading pointers a container for easy access. Maybe by your books?

Then, your child can pick a favorite reading pointer for each different book.


It’s just another way to make reading, and tracking the words more fun. Who doesn’t like more fun?

DIY reading pointers for early readers

Don’t you think your kids will have fun with these?

See also:
Sight Word Games
Phonics Scavenger Hunt
How to Help Your Child Comprehend His Reading

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