My child (6), before she learned reading for real, had a habit of "reading" things like toy instructions, or promotional fliers, etc... - we joked that she learned to read from my T-shirts :)

What puzzles me is that now, several years later, when she's a fluent and voracious reader and reading books above her grade level with ease, she STILL keeps several of these faux reading things in her room and once in a while "reads" them as a game (they are clearly NOT a source of information - she'd use the same ones for months before I throw them out as too dirty and she gets new ones).

First guess would have been that this is emulating a parent reading a newspaper - BUT we don't have any paper newspapers/magazines in the house, only electronic.

When questioned as to why she does this, she doesn't have any coherent explanation aside from "it's fun". Which is good enough for me but still leaves me with a giant "WHY!?!?!" in my head.

So, why would a child exibit such a peculiar behavior? When I recall myself at that age, I never "pretended" to read like that.

2 Answers 2


It doesn't seem that peculiar to me. My friend's 5 year old daughter loves "reading" from adult books (i.e. turning the pages while telling stories about princesses and mermaids). It's fun to make up stories, and "reading" them just gives the imaginative play some context. Can't that be it?

  • Does she read kids books with no problems?
    – user3143
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 19:48
  • I may be off on this since it's not my own child, but I believe that she can read simple kindergarten-level books. She definitely can not read the books that she uses for the pretend reading.
    – andi
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 19:58

As kids advance sometimes they will go back to previous behaviors because they are comfortable and make them feel good.

  • This isn't "going back" though. It's not replacing actual reading in any way - which is a LOT more comfortable for her than this play given how much she does each one.
    – user3143
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 17:27
  • @user3143 Note that this answer doesn't say "more" comfortable. Old behaviours are comforting all by themselves because they are familiar, not because they are easier than something else.
    – Septagon
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 19:26

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