100 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Love Reading

Posted June 14, 2010

Reading is one of the most important ways to enrich your child’s education. It’s easy to fit into everyday life and offers excellent educational benefits that will follow your child for a lifetime. Check out these tips to find out how you can instill a love of reading in your children no matter where you are from Kentucky, , Hawaii, Delaware, Alabama, Arkansas.

General

These tips offer general ways to encourage a love of books.

  1. Be a good reading role model: Make sure your child sees you reading often, whether it’s magazines, novels, or the newspaper.
  2. Make reading fun: Ensure that reading is something your child looks forward to, instead of dreading it.
  3. Create reading habits: Carefully create reading habits for your child to follow regularly.
  4. Teach a respect for books: Show kids how to properly care for books.
  5. Create a fun and supportive reading environment: A good reading environment is important for encouraging reading.
  6. Don’t force it: If your child isn’t really into a recreational book, don’t make him finish it.
  7. Make time to read: Show kids that reading is important by always making time for it.
  8. Check your child’s eyesight: If your child doesn’t like reading, it may be due to poor eyesight.
  9. Create a routine: Read at the same time of day or in the same place-children like routines.
  10. Give choices: Don’t push your child into anything.

Making it Easy & Finding Time

Reading sometimes gets pushed aside for other activities-here’s how to find time and make it easy to fit reading into life.

  1. Promise to buy your children the books they want: Let your children know that you are always happy to buy books for them, or find a copy at the library for them to read.
  2. Limit computer time: Find extra time in your day by trading computer time for books.
  3. Read anywhere, any time: Always be ready to press pause on life and read.
  4. Build reading into your daily routine: Make reading a part of your home experience every day.
  5. Set up 20-minute read-a-thons: Get your kids started reading with short read-a-thons.
  6. Be careful not to schedule too many activities: Having too many activities can leave your child with no time to read.
  7. Fill free time with reading: Encourage your child to read whenever she’s bored or has downtime.
  8. Choose the right books: Find appropriate books for your child’s reading level to avoid frustration.
  9. Make sure your child has a library card: Be sure that your child has a library card so he or she can check out books with babysitters and other caretakers.
  10. Put books in your child’s backpack: Make sure your child always has a book available to read, no matter where you are.
  11. Share a wide variety of books: Don’t just keep books that your child has read before-stock their room with new books to explore, too.
  12. Find audio books: Encourage reading by listening to audio books in your car or at home.
  13. Join a Book of the Month club: With a Book of the Month club, you’ll have a new book to read through every month.
  14. Pick up books at the library often: Go to the library on a regular basis to pick out books and encourage your child to turn in old books for new ones.
  15. Hang out at the library: Even if you’re not going to check out books, spend time at the library curled up with a book.
  16. Participate in a library program: Talk to your librarian about programs and events that your library may offer for your child.

Sharing Reading

Make reading a family activity with these tips.

  1. Talk about what you’re reading: At dinnertime or in the car, discuss the books that you’re currently reading.
  2. Tell your kids stories you’ve read: Enthusiastically tell your kids the stories that you have read.
  3. Give books as a gift: Every time you give your child a gift, make sure a good book is a part of it.
  4. Encourage sibling storytime: Teach your child to read to his or her siblings for more enjoyment.
  5. Have a family book club: Pick out a book for all of the readers in your family, whether it’s something your child is reading in school, or a popular book you’d all enjoy, and take the time to share it together.

Storytime

Here’s how you can enrich storytime for your children.

  1. Trade off reading: Take turns reading pages when you read stories together.
  2. Make bedtime reading time: Each evening as your put your child to bed, read to them.
  3. Wrap up quickly when necessary: When your child loses interest, wrap things up fast.
  4. Share plenty of snuggling: Help your child associate reading with cuddling.
  5. Let your child draw while you read: If your child fidgets while you’re reading, give him supplies to draw with.
  6. Read to your child on a regular basis: Make it a point to sit down and read with your child regularly.
  7. Make storytime lap time: Increase bonding by holding your child on your lap as you read.
  8. Be patient: Be patient with your child and let them stay on pages, or even skip them if they’d like.
  9. Create your own stories: Make up stories about anything-your child’s favorite toy or family members.
  10. Turn pages when your child wants to: It’s OK if you don’t finish the text.
  11. Start as soon as your child is born: Read to your baby, even if it seems like he or she isn’t getting anything out of it.
  12. Don’t stop reading out loud: Even when your kids are old enough to read on their own, continue to read to them.
  13. Schedule family reading time: Set aside a certain amount of time each day, or an evening each week when every family member sits down with a book.
  14. Add drama: Make stories even more exciting by adding expression in different voices.

Reading Everywhere

Make reading a part of everyday life with these tips.

  1. Use multimedia: Take advantage of reading that offers video illustrations and more.
  2. Keep reading material in the car: Store books and magazines in your car.
  3. Share notes: Write notes to your child and put them in their lunch and under their pillow.
  4. Play bookstore or library: Play pretend bookstore or library to encourage a love of books.
  5. Encourage reading everywhere: Cartoons, cereal boxes, and websites involve reading, too.
  6. Bring books to life: Do activities like crafts, cooking, and field trips that are related to books.
  7. Put labels around the house: Put labels on doors, walls, and items to have your child read them as they walk past them.
  8. Play reading games: Play reading games with shopping lists and recipes.
  9. Encourage all forms of reading: Be careful not to discourage less "literary" forms of reading, like comic books and magazines-reading of any kind is good.

Discussion

These tips will help you spark critical thinking and discussion in your child’s reading.

  1. Talk about books when you’re finished with them: Ask questions when you’re done reading a book to find out what they think of it and keep the story fresh in their mind.
  2. Point out familiar items: Talk about things that your child will recognize.
  3. Have your child describe what’s happening: While you’re reading, have your child explain what’s happening on the page.
  4. Look up facts: If your child asks a factual question, look up the answer together.
  5. Encourage online reviews: Have older kids leave online book reviews to share their opinion of books.
  6. Point out similarities: Point out similarities between a character’s life and her own when you’re reading to your child.
  7. Encourage questions: Let your child point and ask questions on each page of the books you’re reading.
  8. Ask what’s happening: Ask them what they see happening in the story and pictures.

Reading Selection

These tips will help you choose the perfect reading materials.

  1. Read their favorite books: If your child has a book they love, be sure that you reading it yourself so that you can discuss it with your child.
  2. Read age appropriate mysteries: Make reading an adventure with mysteries.
  3. Choose picture books for young readers: Simple pictures will help keep your young child interested in reading.
  4. Get board books: Use board books with babies and small children so they can play with them without ripping pages.
  5. Use the five-finger rule: Every time your child comes across a word she doesn’t know, ask your child to hold up a finger, and if she gets to 5, it’s too hard.
  6. Allow difficult books: If your child picks out a book that’s too difficult, still let your child try it. If he needs help, you can read it to him.
  7. Start reading non-fiction: Non-fiction books can be just as interesting as storybooks.
  8. Buy lots of cheap books: Always check out books at garage sales and flea markets to find great deals.
  9. Find award-winning books: Look for award-winning books to find ones that are sure to please.
  10. Start with interactive books: Use touch and feel books, or those with mirrors and smell.
  11. Try rhyming books: Kids love to listen to rhymes, which helps develop their ear.
  12. Allow your child to pick out books: Let your child pick out what they’d like to read with you.
  13. Keep books short for toddlers: Younger children have a short attention span, so keep them interested with shorter books.
  14. Ask your librarian for help: Your librarian can help you locate the perfect book for your child.
  15. Find books with repetition: Books with lots of repetition are fun for kids.
  16. Help your child pick a magazine subscription: Offer your child a kid’s magazine subscription to get in the mail and read every month.
  17. Follow authors: Encourage your child to follow their favorite authors online, finding out about events and book signings.
  18. Use cloth books: If your child likes to chew on books, get clots ones.

Tricks

Here are some fun tricks for making the most of reading.

  1. Pick out books with their name: A fun way to encourage children to love a book is to find one that uses their name, or your name, for a main character.
  2. Take turns picking books: If you’re sick of reading your child’s favorite book over and over again, tell your child you will choose the book one day, and they can choose the next day.
  3. Relate to life experiences: Find books whose characters share experiences that your child is going through right now.
  4. Cater to your child’s interests: Find books that fit your child’s interests, like horses or soccer.
  5. Read books that became movies: Find books that have been made in to movies, then read and watch each version.
  6. Draw pictures: Have your child draw a picture of their favorite book character.
  7. Make puppets: Create puppets out of socks and mittens to use as puppets when reading.
  8. Read it again: Give in to your child’s demands to read a favorite book over and over again-it’s a great way to improve comprehension and self esteem.
  9. Start a book club: bring your child’s friends together to read and discuss books.
  10. Have your child create a book: Have your child write and illustrate a book of their own.
  11. Encourage funny voices: Encourage your child to use funny voices when reading to you.
  12. Role-play reading: Act out books with lots of dialogue with your kids.
  13. Write a family book: Sit down together as a family on a regular basis to write your family’s story.
  14. Encourage analyzation: Ask questions about books that will stir your child’s curiosity.
  15. Encourage discussion: If your children beg for more when you’re done reading a book, start a discussion instead.

Incentives & Encouragement

Use these tips to encourage your child to read even more.

  1. Make reading competitive: Keep a tally of how many books each of your children has read, and share a special reward with the one who reads the most.
  2. Find out about freebies: Businesses like Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen offer freebies for kids who read.
  3. Set reading goals: Set a goal of how many books you’d like your child to read over a certain amount of time.
  4. Give stuffed animals and dolls from books: Give characters as gifts for birthdays, holidays, or rewards.
  5. Reward your child for achievement: When your child meets a goal or gets good reading grades, reward their effort, possibly with a new book they’ll love.

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