Reading is important, and it’s a great habit for children. But how do you get your kids to read? I turned to the experts. These moms share how to get kids to read and how to encourage reading in your house!
Love of Reading
I love reading, and I hope my kids will grow up with a love of reading as well. I know that many parents feel the same way and want to encourage reading in a positive and healthy way. Reading benefits children in many ways, from improving their vocabulary and comprehension skills to enhancing their imagination and creativity.
Besides surrounding kids with books from a young age, these moms share how they encourage reading in their children in positive ways.
1. Give Them Books They Want To Read
Jodie from Life Unboxed says to give kids books that they want to read.
She shares, “As a mom of 6 very different personalities, I use a different strategy for each child. For all my kids, I find books that they enjoy reading. The books don’t have to be deep literature, especially if you have a reluctant reader. Forget the “must-read” lists and share a wide variety of books on many topics.
If you have a very reluctant reader, I suggest graphic novels to get them started. These have been a lifesaver for my reluctant reader. He has now moved on (somewhat) to large chapter books that he enjoys reading. My daughter loves Nancy Drew mysteries, so I keep giving those to her.
My oldest son prefers living books to textbooks. So his curriculum is comprised of chapter books. My 2nd grader is reading books that he can easily master to gain greater confidence in his reading skills”.
2. Let Kids Choose
Mckayla from Everyday She Moms says to let kids choose and control what they read.
This is how it works in their house: “Before bedtime and nap time, we read two books – one basic, educational kids book and another “funner” busy book that they lead. We encourage them to pick out their second book and point to the sections they want to have me read to them or help read. Then, we allow them to control and have fun with it even if we skip pages or sections.”
3. Make It Silly and Incorporate Reading Everywhere
Elizabeth from Discovery Play with Littles explains how she makes reading fun by reading EVERYWHERE!
She says, “We love to read! We read different books all the time, and to keep it interesting, we read in different places. Sometimes we read in the bathtub, under a table, or in a fort. It’s fun looking around the house to find a new place to read. Just changing the location makes it fresh and exciting!”
4. Take Them to the Library
A library is a magical place where kids and adults alike can get as many free books as they want.
Jasmyn from Just Jass says that taking kids to the library encourages them to read more.
She says, “I encourage my child to read more by taking her to our local library weekly! We participate in the Storytimes they have there, and then afterward, we will check out a couple of books to take home and read before bed at night! It has definitely become something that my daughter looks forward to!!”
Jenn from Dinkum Tribe agrees, “We also make visiting the library a special event and set our kids up with library cards as soon as they are old enough.”
Sarah from Homeschooling 4 Him says the library is a big part of their life as well, “I also like to take my kids to the library regularly so they can choose books that they enjoy. I let them choose their own books to read as much as I could.
I also ask them what they would like to learn about and help them find books about those topics. My kids are always more excited to read when they can choose books they enjoy.”
5. Make Books Available
“I always make sure we have books available to them,” Says Chelsea, from Love Like a Mother, “Even my youngest, who was a big chewer, had books that were chew-proof. I make sure anytime I see my kids with a book, I offer to read it to them.
When my kids get excited and bring me a book to read to them, I never turn them down, no matter how busy I am. I make sure to incorporate reading books with them throughout the day. I sometimes find YouTube videos of people reading their favorite books if they’re in more of a TV mood that day.”
6. Make It Part of Bedtime
Bedtime is a great time to read to your kids. Reading is calming, and it is a great way to bond before sleep.
From Mommy to Mom, Alice is a big believer in the bedtime reading routine. She told us how she gets her kids to read before bed: “The way that I’ve encouraged my kids to read is by incorporating books as part of their bedtime routines since they were babies. Now that they’re older, they can read on their own.
My 7-year-old son loves to read his favorite books in different ways before going to sleep. Sometimes he’s in the mood to read quietly by himself, and other times we gather all of his stuffed animals together, and he reads to them.
My 13-year-old daughter reads daily as part of her homework assignment but often will read extra because she’s enjoying the book she’s reading. Since reading at bedtime is all they’ve ever known, it’s never really been something that I have to try to get them to do. I loved having that bonding time while also helping them relax and unwind so they can sleep better at night!”
Sarah’s son also enjoys having books at bedtime, “My son is an independent reader. He spends the last half hour before his bedtime each night reading in bed. He loves getting to stay up late each night to read, and having this time as a part of his routine every day is a great way to encourage him to read.”
7. Have Books Everywhere
“My husband and I have always loved reading, so we knew we wanted to help our son enjoy it too. One of the most significant ways we encourage our toddlers to read is to have books in most rooms of our house.
We have baskets of books in the living room, bedrooms, and even the car! Plus, I ensure that the baskets are easily accessible; they are typically on the floor near his play areas.
Another thing I have found helpful is to encourage my son to pick a book to read together once he loses interest in his current activity. After regularly suggesting this to him, he has started bringing me his favorite books to read without prompting.”
8. Make It a Gift
If you make it exciting, your kids will think it’s exciting too! So that is why Jenn gives her kids as presents.
She says, “We give our kids books all the time! Usually books from Goodwill, so they’re not prohibitively expensive. They get a stack of books at birthdays, Christmas, holidays. We also have bookshelves all around the house and in bedrooms.
Our kids have to be quiet in their beds at night by a certain point, but if they want to read quietly, they can do that. Mom and Dad are also avid readers, and we often discuss our favorite book series at mealtimes.”
9. Make It a Family Activity
Making reading a family activity is a great way to get your kids reading. Sarah says, “one of my favorite ways to encourage my kids to read is spending a lot of time reading together as a family. In addition, I love to read to my kids while they eat. This is a great way to help younger kids focus on a story since they can listen while they enjoy their meal.”
10. Shut the TV Off
Crystal from Simply Full of Delight has a bit of a different approach to encouraging her kids to read, “Books are the only item allowed in our living room. Our kids naturally gravitate towards them because no toys are found in that room, and we keep the tv off during the week. We rotate the books to keep the selections fresh, and I’d say it works because we have four avid readers!”
11. Don’t Force It
Mai from Mommy Instinct advocates for a hands-off approach to reading.
She says, “I do not buy many toys at home for my son; I instead try to buy at least one book or 1 set of books for my son every month. I installed a bookshelf at the center of the house, not in the corner, so my son can easily see and have access to it. I don’t force him to read at all! That will kill his interest in books, but I read aloud with emotions when he doesn’t focus on the books so that he thinks books are exciting.”
12. Model Reading
Subama from TheMommysCorner says modeling reading is the best way to get to read: “As we all know kids don’t love to listen but they very good in observing the people around them. So if we want our kids to read, first, we have to be their role models.
We too have to spend our leisure time reading books. Or we can spend family time by reading aloud the books they like to them. One thing more I would like to add is to gift them books on any special occasion. Make them realize books are their best companion.”
Mai also models the behavior she wants her kids to follow; “I believe it all starts with the parents. If parents love to be on the phone or TV, the kids will never love books. So I limit screen time for the whole family and instead try to let my son see his parents grabbing books more than seeing us turning the TV on.”
13. Read Aloud and Make It Fun by Bringing Reading to Life
Reading aloud to kids from a young age will inspire a love of reading. Especially if you do what Desiree from A Conscious Mama does: “I enjoy bringing narration to life. Giving characters different voices and letting them point out what they notice on the page.”
Susan from Writing With Crayons says that they read two books at a time in her family.
We have “A read aloud and a silent read. I rotate between having the read-aloud and the silent read be books of their choice and ones of topics I want them to experience. For example, our current read-aloud is Who Was Marco Polo, and his silent read is one of the Jack Stalwart books.
In our next rotation, our read-aloud will be a fun book, while his silent read will be books on the countries Macro Polo visited. I include hands-on activities. For example, he invented a spy gadget that Jack could use. We have marked Macro Polo’s route, and I plan on having crafts, songs, and foods from the countries as he reads about them.”
What a great way to have stories come to life!
14. Teach Them To Read
If your kids are willing, teaching them how to read will inspire a love for reading, says Chrissy from Lyoness and Cub.
She says, “I took a Montessori course about teaching 2- to 5-year-olds to read and am following this method. It starts with matching shapes and easy motor exercises. I read a lot to my 3-year-old in bed in the evening, in German and English. We practice letters and phonics. In addition, we have a subscription to ABC Mouse and work on his learning path.”
15. Make Storytime Meaningful
Cristina from What Does Mamma Say tries to make storytime meaningful for her kids. She says, “I believe that you must instill the love for books from an early age. Reading has incredible benefits for our kids. So, to encourage this activity, I started reading to them from an early age. Also, I made sure that the reading experience was meaningful to them. Thus, I always tried to connect the story to a real-life experience. Social stories are perfect for this.
I found that choosing books together is a great way to spark my kids’ interest in the contents of the books.” She adds that you also have to “lead by example. If the child sees you reading and enjoying books, chances are that you will inspire the same love for reading to your little one(s).”
16. Start Them Young
Reading to very young kids is a great way to get your kids interested in reading. Misty from Life Between the Dishes says, “Since our son was born, we have read every night with him. Now that he is beginning to read independently, we still read stories together, and then he gets to pick a book to read to us. I think the biggest thing we do to encourage him to read is to choose a variety of books and read consistently.”
Encourage Kids to Read
Encouraging our kids to read positively is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. Books are life-changing! Hopefully, some of these tools and tips will help you encourage reading in your home and give your kids the fantastic gift of literature!
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.