How to Encourage Children to Read

How to Encourage Children to Read

While reading is an essential skill needed through out life, encouraging children to read can be quite a challenge.

Developing a life-long reading habit at an early age can set children up to succeed in learning environments. Through reading children can develop their vocabulary and spark a curiosity for knowledge. But what if your child doesn’t love reading?

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A love of reading opens the door to adventures, learning new things and a whole host of key language skills such as speech development and vocabulary building. Spending time with books also creates special moments for you to bond with your child and enjoy each other’s company.

Make time for reading

If your child has a jam-packed schedule and reading is shoved between gymnastics and band practice, reading may seem like an unwelcome chore. Allow reading to be a relaxing and enjoyable time, free from pressure.

Make sure reading material is easily accessible

Children with a large collection of reading resources in their homes score higher and perform better on standardized tests. Provoke a reading habit in your child by having a large array of interesting books and magazines at her reading level.

Read together every day

The more children are exposed to literature, the more reading will become part of their daily life. Each day, make a habit of reading at least 15-20 minutes as a family. If you have older children, allocate more time for reading longer books. According to research, reading aloud to children is the single most important activity that improves language development and promotes literacy skills. In addition to reading aloud at random times throughout the day, story time is a standard part of the bedtime routine. 

Give gifts of books

When friends and relatives ask for gift suggestions, put books on the wish list! We always give books for birthday and holiday presents. Why? The gift of books suggests that reading is special and important, and you want to share it with people you care about.

Give them the ability to choose

Reading for pleasure is one of the best ways for a child to improve his performance at school, but teaching a child to love reading involves a lot more than simply handing him a book. Letting children have choices in their reading material goes a long way in raising life-long readers. Kids who choose what they read, regardless of whether it’s a novel, a comic book, or a magazine, are more engaged with what they are reading and more likely to retain the information.

Lead by example

Try to let your child see that reading is part of your life too. There is particularly strong evidence that seeing an adult male role model as a reader has a big impact on boys' enthusiasm for reading. Even if you're not able to relax in a corner and read a book in full view of your child, you can still show that you read by talking about it from time to time and by leaving the evidence (such as books, magazines and newspapers) around the house.

Ask them questions?

This enhances comprehension—and enjoyment. (It’s no fun if they don’t get what’s going on.) “It’s not about grilling, it’s about checking in,” says Dr. Carlsson-Paige. Ask which characters he likes best, what he thinks will happen next, what he would do in that situation. “If you over-focus on letters and sounds at the expense of the story, children aren’t as likely to become good readers,” she explains. “If you’re a good reader, you read fast—you’re not looking at every letter, you’re reading for meaning, which is what fuels the reading process.”

Focus on their interests

When learning engages children in areas and subjects of interest, learning becomes fun and children engage in learning. If you really want to help your child to become a good learner, encourage him to explore topics and subjects that fascinate him. If he likes dinosaurs, help him find engaging and interesting books and stories about dinosaurs. Then challenge him to identify his five favorite dinosaurs and explain why he chose each one.

Create a cozy reading space


A special reading space may be all the encouragement your child needs to settle down and spend time with a good book!

Host a book swap

Sharing books with friends is a great way to keep your child topped up with new reading material, and to encourage them to read texts that they might not otherwise have discovered, so use peer pressure positively and invite a few of your child’s friends round for a book swap.

How to Encourage Children to Read

How do you encourage children to read?

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