5 Tips on How to Get your Kid into Reading

Remember that old ad campaign that said “reading is FUNdamental”? The point of the campaign was to convey to kids that reading was both important but could also be lots of fun. Wordplay aside, these two things are absolutely true and if you can impart this lesson to your kids, you’ll be able to create voracious readers whose lives will be better for it. Here are 5 tips on how to get your kid into reading.


1. Read to them

In 2020, it is now a well-known fact that reading to your kids from a young age is important and sets them up for success in the future. Before they can read (or even talk) hearing people read to them helps children develop language and comprehension skills. As a child learns to read, being read to or with still helps them pick up the skill faster and enjoy it more.

This is the number one way to get kids into reading. Start them young and keep reading with and to them as they get older. This not only helps kids kick start their love of reading but also helps create a bond between the parent and the child. As they get older and they start reading on their own, reading with them at home is a great way to reinforce what they learn at school and help them become top readers in their class.

2. Give the gift of reading

All kids love getting gifts. Sure, what they usually want is the latest and greatest toy, but any kind of gift will usually bring a smile to a child’s face. That is why it is such a good idea to create a tradition of giving books as gifts to your child. The fact that it is a gift makes it feel special and you can feel good that - along with the plastic junk that your kid swears they can’t live without (but will probably break or forget about in a few weeks or months) - you have also given them something that will contribute to their love of reading.

You can start this before the child is even born. Instead of people attaching cards to their gifts at a baby shower, have them write a note of love and congratulations in a children’s book. This will last way longer than any card ever will and, even if it costs a few more bucks, it will get a lot more use. This is a great way to stock your child’s library with meaningful books before they’re even here. If you are already past this stage, you can do the same for a young kid’s birthday party. If you are looking for book ideas for toddlers, check out this great list from Giftwits.

3. Make the time

An important part of creating great readers is helping kids understand how important it is that reading is a part of their life. When you create specific times for reading, you help communicate this message. It also helps create a routine where kids just understand and accept that a certain time is reading time.

You can create this time at any time of day but before bed is traditionally a great time to do this. Whether it is reading to your kids, with your kids, or having them read independently, reading before bed is a great way to relax and unwind from a busy day. It is also a great alternative to pre-bedtime screen time which, while it seems like it is relaxing your kids, might actually be overstimulating their minds making sleep more difficult.

4. Choose their own adventure

If you are like many people, even if you like to read, you don’t love being told what to read. It is the reason those books on the summer reading lists from school never get read until the last week of summer vacation! If you don’t like getting told what to read, chances are your child won't either. Letting them choose their own books is a great way to instill a love of reading.

When children pick their own books, they have more ownership over the entire process and it feels like something they are choosing to do instead of being forced to do. Also, they will start to develop their own likes and dislikes and gravitate towards topics that they enjoy reading about. When they find their niche, they are more likely to fall in love with reading.

5. Show the reading is cool

Your kids idolize you. At least until they become teenagers, kids think that their parents are the coolest people in the world. That is why it is so important to model the behavior you want your kids to have and read yourself. Even if you aren’t the world’s greatest reader, it is important that your kids see you reading books. The more they see this, the more they will want to do this themselves, and great readers will be made.

If you struggle reading books, there are all kinds of tips and tricks that will help you read more. Some of the tips on this list can apply to you too. Find books on topics that interest you, and reading with others – in adults’ case by joining a book club or reading group – can help with this. Also, take books with you wherever you go and carve out dedicated time each week where reading is your top priority.

Remember, reading is as fun as it is fundamental. No matter how you do it, trying to pass on this main concept to your children will help you get your kid into reading at a young age. When you read to your child, make books meaningful, create time for reading, let them choose books they are interested in, and let them see you reading, you will be well on your way to creating lifelong readers who will be more successful for it and ultimately pass this love on to the next generation as well.

Author Bio

Sandra Chiu works as Director at Ladybug & Friends Daycare.

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