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How to Encourage Young Children to Read

Updated on November 1, 2012

Who Am I?

My name is Dawn Collins and I have been an avid reader and writer from an early age. I have also taken several classes in child development and developmental psychology both in high school and college. I am also the proud aunt of seven children ranging from ages 4-12. My parents encouraged me to read and it has served me well both academically and recreation wise.

Finding the Right Material

Children are naturally curious and like adults they have certain subject material they prefer. For example, if you have a child who is interested in dinosaurs show them books about dinosaurs. Age appropriate material is important as well. You don't want your child reading to far above or below his or her content level. I would also like to point out that content level and reading level are different things. For example, when I was six I read the C.S. Lewis series for the first time which although they are fourth or fifth grade level books, I was able to read them because I read at a fifth grade level. They were also well within my content level which means they didn't contain a high level of adult situations or other things better suited to an older reader.

Show a Good Example

Read to your young child or read your own book while your older child is reading. After you're done, discuss what you both read. Also most libraries have summer reading programs where your child can win prizes for reading books!

Setting Aside Time to Read

For a few hours every night you should encourage your child to turn off the television and stop playing video games and read a book even if it's not part of a homework assignment. Reading stimulates the mind in a way that even the most educational tv program or video game can't substitute. After a while you may start to notice that your child will become absorbed in a certain book or series and will not want to put the book down!

Reccomended Reading For Early Childhood

These are books by authors that I recommend for kids who are just beginning to read:

Also books with the 'reader level' number on the sides of them are good. They have various authors and are written on a wide range of topics.

Dr. Suess

Dr. Suess is my mother's favorite author so we were read his books quite often. He has books specifically aimed at beginning readers.

Eric Carle

Eric Carle has been a widely popular children's book author for years!

Tweener Readers

These are books I reccomend for ages 11-13

High School and Beyond

Books I recommend for ages 14-adulthood

These get darker as the series goes on...


These suggestions are based what I enjoy reading and what the people I've been around recommend. Have your child find what they enjoy reading and encourage them to build up their own library!


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    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Hey - great hub with some wonderful suggestions. One gentle comment: You have Dr. Seuss spelled incorrectly. Seuss, not Suess.

      Great Hub, thanks. Voted up and awesome.

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 

      6 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Good hub and suggestions. Voted up!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      There are so many distractions for the kids this days, they are bumbarded with electronic games and toys, it is even more important to make the effort to get them reading. I suppose electronic books will help them to feel hooked up. Great ideas, voting up.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Great suggestions here from a teacher too! Getting kids to read is really difficult sometimes. Thanks for sharing and I'll do my part to make sure this gets out there!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dawn, you are a writing machine! I'm trying to do 365 hubs in 365 days and I think you will end up beating me. :) As a former teacher I can give you a thumbs up on this hub; great suggestions.


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