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Tips on How to Encourage Children to Read

Updated on March 14, 2015
Encourage children to read by giving books that they enjoyed reading.
Encourage children to read by giving books that they enjoyed reading. | Source

Too Many Distractions to Focus on Reading

Parents are now facing challenges from computer games, PlayStation and other gadgets that made reading among children, a lost art. These distractions are giving parents real headache. So, how do you encourage your children to read for pleasure?

Below are some ideas that might encourage the children to read, either for pleasure or for their school work. The aim is to get them excited about reading.

I have put my suggestions under various Age Groups as well as under General, for easy reference. Some of these ideas may be applicable to the other age groups as well.

Kids can be distracted by so many things. So take it easy if you want to encourage your child to read for pleasure
Kids can be distracted by so many things. So take it easy if you want to encourage your child to read for pleasure | Source
You can read aloud to your baby when still in pregnancy
You can read aloud to your baby when still in pregnancy | Source

How to Encourage Children to Read for Pleasure - From Pre-birth to 2 years old

  • Start Early. It is never too early to start reading to your child. In fact, you can even start when you are still pregnant with a child. It may look weird talking alone to your tummy. Do not worry as your baby will be comforted and will remember that familiar voice. When your baby is born, and when you read to him, he will associate your voice to the quietening ambiance of the worm. Continue reading to your child after birth, progressing from just you, reading, to getting him to ask you question.

  • Read Bedtime Stories. Get into the habit of reading to your child at bedtime. Read them aloud. Reread his favorite books again and again. He will learn the story and will grasp the concept of reading. Not only will you be teaching him the pleasure of reading, but you are also bonding with your child.
  • Get Your Child to Participate. When you read to him, get him to participate and be engaged in the story. Exposed him to the many vocabulary in the story. As you read, ask him questions. For example, ask him what picture he saw in the book. Encourage him by saying 'Yes, that is right. It is a dog. A bulldog'. Ask him to repeat the word after you. This way, you are introducing a new word for him and by getting him to participate, it will build his confidence. This will be useful as he gets older, as he will find it easier to read later.
  • Sing Songs or nursery rhymes that have repetitive words. Your child will be able to pick up and grasp these repetitive words easily and this will build up his vocabulary.

Disney Playhouse live on stage.
Disney Playhouse live on stage. | Source
  • Watch Playhouse Channel on Television. Although watching television is seen as not encouraging children to read, Disney's Playhouse Channel however, is a good program that introduces some rich vocabulary to children. The many activities and color will stimulate the young mind and encourage them to learn and read. My grandnieces (1.5 - 2 years old) are the classic examples of the benefits of watching this channel. It sometimes amazes us at their correct usage of words and their ability to identify and name an object. As a result of this, they are able to read simple story books. If you have the opportunity, you can also take them to see Playhouse live on stage.

Tips for Encouraging Kids to Read - For Preschoolers Ages 2-5

  • Go on an Outing. Take your child to the bird park, the zoo, circus, shopping or anything that will excite him. Get books about these places and discuss with your child what he saw during these outings.
  • Read the menu. When you are eating at the restaurant or at his favorite food outlet, read the menu together. Describe the many choices and the prices for the items. This will encourage him to want to learn more.
  • Label his Stuff. Get him to write his name on all his books and belongings. Get him to label his toys and any presents that he is giving.
  • Visit the Library. Children enjoy storytelling and in most libraries this session is available. Check out your nearest bookshop, they sometimes do this as well. When you are at the library, let the kids choose the book to borrow.
  • Reading to the kids. Reading to the kids and with the kids, should be done on a regular basis. Some may choose at bedtime while others may choose after dinner. Whichever you prefer, make a point of doing this on a regular basis.
  • Be a role model by letting your kids see you are reading for pleasure, for work, for research, for doing D.I.Y., for cooking, etc. This will reinforce in the child's mind that reading is important to get things done.
  • Tablet. If you have tablet such as iPad, download reading and educational software for kids such as Read Me Stories. Loan this tablet to your kids and let them have fun learning through this medium. Kids will have no problem understanding and using the tablet!

Activities to get kids interested in reading
Activities to get kids interested in reading | Source

Ways to Encourage Reading Habits Among Children 6-12 years

  • Get the Movie Book. If your kid enjoys a particular movie, get him the book
  • Travel Destination. If you will be traveling, get the kids to read up on places of interest, things to do and any events at that destination.
  • Hobbies. Get them to read about their hobbies or things that they like to do.
  • Make Friends with other kids who enjoy reading for pleasure, should be encouraged.
  • Visit Bookstores for any events like a book signing by authors
  • Reading to their younger brother or sister Kids like to show off and reading to their younger brother, sister, neighbors or cousins, will boost their ego.
  • Road Signs. Get them to read all the road signs, billboards and signage when you are out driving.

Get your teens to read reviews, another great way to encourage reading amongst teens
Get your teens to read reviews, another great way to encourage reading amongst teens | Source

Encouraging Lifetime Reading Habits - For Teens

  • Read Reviews. Encourage your teenage kids to read reviews of books, music, movies and even gadget & software before buying.
  • Blogs. Get them to write their own blogs and read their friend's blogs. If they hate the idea of keeping a diary (which should be encouraged, initially) then ask them to put it in the form of a blog. You can also ask them to write reviews of movies, music, books or gadgets in their blog. You may want to encourage them to express their opinions by giving comments on blogs and on other approved websites.
  • Keep books visible. Keep your books, newspapers or magazines in places that all your kids can see and use them.
  • Subscription to magazine (that is approved by you) can be a reward for having achieved some agreed milestone.
  • Have fun by doing crossword puzzles or playing scrabble with your kids.
  • Read Map. Let them read the map and be your navigator

General Guideline to Cultivate a Love of Reading

  • Share What Your Read. Share with your children the books, magazines or anything interesting that you just read. Tell them of your favorite books when you were young.
  • Listen to Your Kids. When you are with your kids, listen to them and answer their questions. If you don't know the answer, check together on the net, or from your reference books that you have.
  • Set a Good Example by reading books or magazines in front of your kids. If they see that you enjoyed them, they will follow suit.
  • Fun time. Reading may not necessarily be a serious activity. Read aloud riddles, funny stories or even jokes. This will show them that books can be funny besides giving information, tell stories, gives recipes and 'DIY info'. You can even ask them to compile a book of their favorite jokes.
  • Never Force Them. Lastly, never force a child to do things that he dislikes, like finishing a book that he doesn't like.

Reading aloud to kids are great to get their participation and attention
Reading aloud to kids are great to get their participation and attention | Source

Benefits of Children Reading at an Early Age

We all know the importance of a child able to read at an early age. But do you know what the benefits are? Listed below are some of its benefits.

  • Speech skills. A child is able to reinforce or form the basic sounds of a particular word by listening to your reading, Most of them will be able to talk at an earlier age.
  • Grasp of language. They will have a better grasp of the language and vocabulary. Hence, they will be able to express themselves better, resulting in better communication skills.
  • Higher Aptitude for Learning. Children who are able to read at an early age will have a higher aptitude for learning and hopefully achieve an academic excellence.
  • Better thinking skills. From listening to your reading, or through the child's reading, he will be able to visualize the ideas and concepts behind the story. He will be able to relate the many incidents within the story and will come out with his conclusion. This ability to think and apply logic is an important asset for a child.
  • Better concentration. Reading to a child or a child reading by himself will results in a longer attention span, hence a better concentration and self-discipline.
  • Reading is fun and not a chore. Your child will learn that reading can be fun and is not a chore. Once he knows this, then given a choice of watching a television or playing computer game, your child, as he grows older, might choose to read instead.

Have Fun Reading with, and to Your Kids

I hope the suggestions on 'How to Encourage Children to Read for Pleasure' are useful and will assist you in getting your child to read.

If in the past getting your kid to read has been a challenge, then start with one suggestion before adding in more.

Have fun reading with, and to your kids.

Tips for Reading to Children

Bus 52 :Book Trail (see reader Amy's comment below)

© 2012 Mazlan


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    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Amy thanks for the visit and sharing your work with readers of HubPages. I am sure they will find it useful and interesting. I will include your YouTube to my article.

    • profile image

      Amy 5 years ago

      This is a great list of tips! I'm part of a non-profit called Bus 52 that travels around the US making videos of people who are doing inspiring things to help their communities and we made a video about a non-profit in Colorado that was set up to encourage children to read.

      Book Trails is a great organization that has started summer camps for children that have activities based around a different books each week. The children read the book, and are then encouraged to discuss their ideas about the book. They also get the chance to learn and act out things that the characters in the books do, and explore the outdoors while doing so.

      It really is a very cool organization. The short video we made about it is here in case you and your readers are interested:

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks bizwin for dropping by and for the votes & comment

    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 5 years ago from England, UK

      These are great reading tips for parents to use for children. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi aDayInMyLife1, Thanks for dropping by and giving your compliments. Good of you to take immediate action. They say that people who take immediate action will have success in their life! Best wishes in all your future endeavors.

    • aDayInMyLife1 profile image

      Amanda S 5 years ago from CA

      Great Hub! You have presented some terrific tips on how to encourage reading in children. After I comment I am going to carry some out right now! Thank you so much :)

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Brett.Tesol. Thanks for your comment & votes, and thanks for Sharing

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Extremely good advice. It is so important to get children to read. Not only can it benefit their education, but also it focuses their brain, helps them to relax and can lead to better sleep.

      Socially sharing, up and awesome.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      PegCole17, I am glad reading had bonded and brought you both, closer together. That's the magic of reading to your child. Congrats on your success

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Some of my fondest memories are of reading books to my young stepson. As an instant Mother to a child who had lost his mother, it was a challenging task to develop a rapport with my new son but the warmth of his interest and closeness helped us to become a family. I still remember the words to many of the books he wanted to read together over and over again as he learned to read. Thanks for this insightful hub and for the fond memories.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi AliciaC, Thanks for your compliment and thanks for stopping by. Your avatar must be one of your cats?

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You have some great ideas in this well organized hub, greatstuff! Thanks for all the useful suggestions for encouraging children to read for pleasure.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi NJ Blake, I see that you just joined HP..welcome to the community and thanks for dropping by. You home-schooled your kids? I am glad you succeeded in getting your kids to read

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi tirelesstraveler. Thanks for your compliment and votes. Reading aloud is indeed important and I can't agree with you, more.

    • NJ Blake profile image

      NJ Blake 6 years ago from United States

      Lots of great ideas here! I have four grown children, all avid readers and I did many of these things, but I think the most important thing I did was keep them out of school which allowed them to read what they wanted to read when they wanted to read it!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Reading aloud to children is of the utmost importance. It doesn't matter the age. Reading aloud gives pleasure and when a child enjoys reading they will learn to read. Excellent hub. Voted up and useful.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi hoteltravel. You are lucky to have no problem with getting your son to read. You are right about keeping books within their reach. If we try too hard, it might look like the child is being forced, and he will reject and resent it. The idea is to get them to enjoy doing it.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      rlaha, I am glad you found the hub informative. thanks for all the votes and sharing.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi susanm23b, Thanks for dropping by and thanks for your nice comment and vote. Your hub on a similar topic is also a great read.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Thank you thebookmom for your compliment and thanks for being my first commenter. Hope to hear from you again.

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 6 years ago from Thailand

      Thankfully, I never had to try or struggle to get mine to read. It was as natural as eating or bathing. I still remember our son lying down with an upside down book at night trying to imitate us. Don't get me wrong, I think parents are trying too hard to get their children to read. If they are interested, you just need to keep books within their reach. Starting early is a good suggestion.

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      This is great information. Thanks so much for sharing! Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

    • profile image

      susanm23b 6 years ago

      You have an excellent hub here! You have included so many great suggestions for parents to help their children develop a love of reading. Voted UP!

    • thebookmom profile image

      thebookmom 6 years ago from Nebraska

      What a complete hub. You have wonderful age sensitive ideas that are really easy for parents to try. I loved the section on reading behaviors you can model for your kids to watch. Well done.