ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How do you get kids interested in reading?

Updated on November 15, 2012
child reading a book
child reading a book | Source

We all know how much information and knowledge can be gained from reading books, and it is fair to say that a large amount of the general knowledge we possess frequently comes from the books and newspapers we have read. If we can get our children interested in reading books from an early age we maximise their chances of being successful in life, and of being capable of securing well paid employment upon reaching adulthood. Of course the next question is going to be, 'But how do we get our kids interested in reading books in the first place?' The problem is so many children see reading as a chore, boring, hard work etc. What we need to do is find a way to encourage our children to want to read, not feel like they are being forced into doing something just because their parents and teachers want them to do it.

When I was growing up I quickly grew to love reading, in fact I was frequently to be found hiding under the duvet with a torch and a book long after I had been sent to bed. My problem was I would get so involved in the plot of the book that I simply had to read it to the end before I could put it down. It was not uncommon for me to finally finish the book and settle down to sleep when daylight was already filtering through my bedroom curtains. It got to the stage I could easily read my way through three books a day, and even on our trips to North Wales on holiday I would miss most of the delightful Welsh scenery we were driving through due to having my nose buried in a book (much to my Mum's frustration). The good news is that in the long run this love of reading paid off, and as a result I absorbed lots of useful knowledge along the way, as well as ending up with good spelling abilities and a strong desire to write for myself.

reading with your children
reading with your children | Source

The Advantages of Getting Your Kids Interested in Reading

So firstly what are the advantages of getting your children or kids interested in reading? Some of you may turn around and list examples of successful people you have heard of who could barely read at all. The bottom line is that those people are rare, and this is usually the reason you hear about them. In a day and age where securing good employment is becoming more and more challenging, it is important that your children maximise their potential to be high achievers. The very basic requirement of most employers will be that their candidates can read and write, and they will quickly rule out a candidate who can't even fill in the application form properly. Some of the many advantages of being able to read include:

  • Better Qualifications
  • Better Job Prospects
  • Better General Knowledge
  • Better Spelling
  • Better Punctuation
  • Better Grammar
  • Better Social Skills (can read menus in restaurants etc)
  • Better Romantic Prospects (potential partners will have more respect for someone who can read easily)

child reading a newspaper
child reading a newspaper | Source
bedtime stories
bedtime stories | Source

How to Get Your Kids Interested in Reading

Getting children interested in reading can be done very subtly most of the time. For instance when my sister and I were growing up our Mum would read us bedtime stories every night. The ones I remembered best though were the C.S. Lewis Narnia books. We would lie in our beds riveted by the storyline, and of course when Mum said 'that's enough for tonight', we would immediately plead for 'just one more chapter'. I strongly believe this need to know 'what happened next' lead to our deciding to read and find out for ourselves rather than wait for our next bedtime. Of course the key to this strategy working is to read your children exciting books that capture their imaginations, and today books like the Harry Potter series spring to mind. I would recommend the following methods to get your kids interested in reading without them seeing it as a chore.

  • Read to them every night before bed, making sure the books are interesting and exciting. Always finish reading at a point in the book where your children are left itching to know what is going to happen next.
  • Add sound effects when reading out story books, e.g. make animal noises to represent the creature you are reading about or creaking/squeaking sounds to represent an ancient door closing. Children love this and it helps to bring the story alive for them.
  • Buy them books that are on subjects they are already very interested in, e.g. football, horses, fantasy adventures, 'how to' books etc.
  • Encourage them to set up a book club with their friends where they take it in turns to suggest a book they all read at once, then meet up to discuss their thoughts on the book itself.
  • Enroll them in the local library. Most libraries have a children's section which is bright, fun and designed to capture their imaginations.
  • Buy them a magazine or comic subscription, ideally again on a subject they will enjoy or are already interested in.
  • Read yourself as this will encourage your children to follow your example.
  • Buy them some books of jokes suitable for children. Reading these will make them laugh, and as a result they will then associate reading with making them feel good.
  • Buy them quiz books and challenge them to organize a quiz for their friends . They will have to read the book to come up with the questions, and they will be learning at the same time on this basis. You could even get other parents involved and suggest it as a regular event. Each parent could provide the prizes for the winners when it is their child's turn to host the quiz.
  • If you know a popular book is being made into a movie then promise them a trip to see the movie if they first read the book so they can draw comparisons as to which was better and discuss them with you afterwards.
  • For those kids who are gadget and computer fans buy them a Kindle or other eBook reader, then let them choose a few books they would like to read from one of the online stores.
  • Make reading a game for your children from an early age. Ask them to read out the names of products in the supermarket or information on the back of their breakfast cereal packets. Give them lots of praise when they get it it right.
  • For young children choose books with lots of pictures or books that do things like play sounds when you press buttons. Popup books are also great fun for children.
  • Because reading tends to go hand in hand with writing (after all you can't really write a letter if you can't read), encourage your children to write thank you letters to family and friends who have bought them presents.
  • Keep books in the car so that on long journeys your children will read them to pass the time. Even games you keep in the car can be games that require reading out loud such as Trivial Pursuit.
  • At home play games like Scrabble as a family, again this is a great way for children to learn to spell and to read.
  • Challenge your children to create a crossword puzzle for you, their friends or even for a classroom project. Again they will need to check the spelling of the words they include as well as write the clues.
  • With very young children encourage them to read out loud to you and if they are struggling with a word get them to sound it out syllable by syllable. Demonstrate if necessary by following the syllables with your finger below the text as you slowly read out the word, then get them to have a go. The child will quickly learn to do this for themselves when they get stuck.
  • Create a treasure hunt, with one clue leading to the next clue and so on. You can then accompany your child on the treasure hunt and help them to read out the clues. At the end of the trail have a fun prize that will make your child want to play this game more often.

An Excellent Video

young girl enjoying reading
young girl enjoying reading | Source

It doesn't matter what your kids read, so long as they are reading. Even if you don't think a comic or a cereal packet is very educational, remember that 'out of little acorns mighty oak trees will grow'.

I for one grew up simply adoring Enid Blyton books, and to this day I would highly recommend them to anyone for their children. I know they were considered politically incorrect for a while, but I never understood why as I just found them incredibly exciting, magical and educational. Try some of the following for starters.

The Enchanted Wood

The Magic Faraway Tree

The Folk of the Faraway Tree

Up the Faraway Tree

The Malory Towers (boarding school) series

The St Clare's (boarding school) series

The Children of Cherry Tree Farm

The Children of Willow Farm

More Adventures on Willow Farm

#6 of 30 in March 2012 Challenge


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)