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How to Develop and Instill Good Reading Habits in Young Children

Updated on February 6, 2016
Felisa Daskeo profile image

I am a certified teacher and have been tutoring young children for more than 30 years. I am sharing my experience in the tutorial business.

Develop Good Reading Habits

Reading is a very important activity that children should develop while they are young. If you teach your children to read early on, they will more likely develop the habit of reading. Most children love books. Even if they don’t know how to read yet, the fact that they appreciate books is enough sign to show that they can develop the habit of reading with your assistance and guidance of course.

Reading has many advantages to the children. If your children love to read, the tendency is they learn many things from the books they read. As the saying goes: "Reading widens the horizon and helps you explore many things."

In my personal observation as a teacher and a parent, children who love to read books are more knowledgeable than children who do not read books at all. This is the reason why you need to develop reading habit in your children.

Developing reading habit is easy once you start early on. Children get used easily to what they always do and what they always see. If you start developing reading habits early, then reading will be instilled in the kids. Instilling something in children is like painting pictures on a canvass. When you instill a habit to the children, it will stay with them until they grow old, unless of course they will not continue doing it.

Most kids love books.

Rami is only one year and 2 months in this picture.
Rami is only one year and 2 months in this picture.

Here are some simple tips to consider if you want to develop good reading habits in your child:

Start Early On

Start to develop reading habits and instill it to the children very early. If you do that it will more likely work better as well as more effective. It is never too early to teach children to appreciate books.

Even at a 0 age; you can start developing reading habits in your child. The sound that the child hears as you read him a story in the book helps in developing reading habits in your child. Very young children use their senses to develop characters or behaviors. They may not be reading or talking to you but they are sensing what’s happening around them.

Allow for Easy Access of Books and Other Reading Materials

Put books where the children can easily access them. Even while the children are too young to read books, you should provide books around that the children can hold and flip the pages to appreciate just the pictures.

Colorful books and magazines are good for the children. They will not be reading but they can appreciate the pictures and the big prints in the books and magazines.

Have time to read with your child.

Reading Time

Always set a time to read books with the kids no matter how busy you are. Children love stories. If you read them stories and talk about it, the more they will have fun. Talk about the story with your kids and have fun perusing the pictures and explaining what happened in the story. Asking questions will make the story time more adventurous.

Show Good Examples

Before you can develop and instill reading habits to your children, you have to show that you love reading too. The examples that you show your children will help in developing and instilling reading habits to your children. Remember that what they see in you is what they will follow. Make sure that you have good reading habits too.

Show good examples:

Make Reading Part of the Family Activities

How can you make reading part of the family activities? You can set a time to read books with the children. Say for example, you can read books before going to sleep or during weekends when everybody is not busy, gather the kids in the study and read together. Give them time to read the books that they love. For young children who do not yet know how to read, sit with them and help them appreciate pictures in the book.

Asking them about the pictures will help them develop good reading habits.

My nephew started holding books when he was 6 months old. When he was one year old, he can hold a book several minutes perusing the pictures and sometimes murmuring unintelligible words. When he was 1 ½ years old, he can name several animals. He knows his shapes and colors and he knows a few letters of the alphabet. So when he was two, he can name most animals and has perfected his shapes and colors. He also knows most of the letters of the alphabet. Now that he is three, he is starting to learn the sound of the letters.

My nephew cannot sleep without first holding his books; not only one book but sometimes up to 5 books. He flips on the pages, talk about the pictures up to the last page then picks another book. Sometimes he complains if we tell him to go to bed because it is already too late.

When you instill good reading habits to your kids early, it is seldom that they will not love books.

Have Time to Buy Books and Other Reading Materials

Buying books and other reading materials will teach the children to value books and other reading materials. If they see you reading them, even without telling them to read, they will pick a book or magazine and flip over the pages. This will help develop their reading habits.

Remember to include shopping for reading materials with the kids so that they will learn to choose the type of books they want to read.

Library Visits

Bringing the children to the library will help them understand the value of reading and the reading materials. It is also good if you let them choose a book from the shelves and sit down with you to read.

Go to Book Sales

Children who love to read will always love to go with you and find books they love to read. Make buying books fun for the children by bringing them to book sales where they can choose the kind of books or reading materials that they want.

Subscribe to Magazines

Subscribing to useful magazines for the children will help develop their reading habits.

A family who loves reading has several books and other reading materials around the house. They will always have time to read and will always love reading materials.

If you have developed and instilled good reading habits in your children; then you know that the children will always seek for knowledge.


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