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Tips for Getting Kids Interested in Reading

Updated on April 28, 2015

Introduction to Getting Kids Interested in Reading

When I was young, I was lucky enough to be read to and I learned how to read at an early age. I am very grateful for this skill as it has seen me through college and beyond. Nothing gives me greater joy than getting stuck in a good book.

Today, reading to children seems to be neglected and as a result many people are not interested in reading as adults.

In fact, statistics actually state that a majority of adults do not read for pleasure in the United States and this is a real shame. Reading as a hobby is very beneficial as it makes people into better writers, readers and speakers and allows imaginations to flourish. Not only that, but teaching your kids to read is a great bonding process, so let's get started with some great tips for getting kids interested in reading!

Flickr Photo Credit: sundaykofax

Reading is one of the best gifts that you can give your child, because it lasts a lifetime.

Flickr Photo Credit - jessicafm
Flickr Photo Credit - jessicafm

When to Start Teaching Children to Read

You can teach your child to read from the moment they are born. No I'm not crazy!

You will talk to your baby everyday. You can read to them, tell them stories, sing to them, recite verses to them and all this will help them learn to both read and talk.

Reading to your child everyday is one of the most important things you can do for your child. A baby listens to everything that is said to them and stores it away. So really you should avoid using 'baby' words and use the correct names for people, places and activities. By doing this you will be allowing your child to broaden their vocabulary more quickly. In fact reading to your child everyday can very easily develop into lifelong enjoyment of a fantastic hobby for your child.

This repeated action of reading everyday will help ensure that your child will enjoy reading, as you progress from baby board books to books for kids that have a story line, which you can both read to your children and they can read to you.

It's not only reading books that will help your child develop an interest in reading and the English language, but engaging in conversations that encourage your child to tell you about their day and how they are feeling. You can also learn and sing songs together, play word games and have fun with rhymes.

Another good way of encouraging this is when you are out and about; you can point at things like advertisements, street signs and anything that has something written on it and ask your child what it says. Try to make sure that they learn at least two new words a day. Also make sure that they learn writing by having your child write out your shopping lists and sign their names on letters.

Do You Read to Your Child Everyday?

I do my best to read to my boys every night before bedtime, but I admit that some nights they miss their stories. Fortunately, their list of favorite books keeps on growing! Let me know if you read to your kids every day, and if so, how do you find the time?

Do You Read to Your Child Everyday?

Flickr Photo Credit - evilpeacock
Flickr Photo Credit - evilpeacock

Creating The Right Environment to Read

You might think that your child is not interested in reading, but there are several ways to spark their interest with a little patience and injection of fun into the process. If kids feel like they are being forced to read, then they will dislike it. But if you start the process at an early age, reading can become second nature to your children.

Kids learn a lot from their parents, so if you spend your time watching TV or playing video games, your child will see this as the norm. On the other hand, if they see you reading books, magazines and newspapers they will want to imitate you and will be interested in reading. If you are a little short on books to read at the moment you could get a book gift basket for yourself.

Make sure you are aware of your child's interest, and choose books accordingly. If your child is interested in a certain cartoon character, like Elmo, then you may want to get them a variety of Elmo learning books. A field trip to the library is a great idea, then they can choose their own books. You may be surprised to find what your child wants to learn about!

Books also make great birthday gifts or gifts for other occasions. If you have grandchildren far away, you could enroll them in a Book of the Month club, which would give them something to look forward to each month, and they could write you a letter describing the books they received.

Books can also be used to play games with your children, like library - encourage your children to put their favorite books in order of preference, alphabetical order and then decide what book to check out and read.

You can also encourage simple drawings that can be labeled with either a single word, a sentence, or a short story (depending on your child's age and writing abilities).

Praise and compliment your child's reading abilities, to build their confidence level and increase their enjoyment of reading. If reading makes your child feel good, they will continue to do it!

Flickr Photo Credit  -  Martin LaBar
Flickr Photo Credit - Martin LaBar

How to Teach Reading

One of the most successful techniques for teaching your child to read is the show and read technique. This is where you read to your child while pointing at each word as you read so that your child can see the words and repeat them. Doing this on a daily basis will not only help your child learn to recognize words, but it helps with their memory skills as well!

When a child sees a word and hears it being pronounced at the same time, they will in time learn to recognize the word, how it is said, what it means and how to use it in a sentence. This can take many repetitions, but they will get there.

This is a very basic approach to reading. Of course as as your child gets older, you can start teaching phonics - where your child learns sounds of words. First the child must know the alphabet (this can be done with the help of pictures) and sounds needed to pronounce the letters. Then they can start putting simple sounds together to make words like be, in, cat, men, that and dog.

Phonic programs can be purchased in book form, computer software, videos, or toys that help your child learn basic letter sounds. I have found that flash cards with a letter on one side and a picture of something starting with that letter on the other side is just as much fun as the more expensive learning tools.

There is also the language experience approach where the child can draw lots of pictures and then sentences are formed to explain what the picture depicts. If the child draws themselves playing on a swing, they could write under the picture 'I played on the swings.'

Books on Teaching Your Kids to Read

Flickr Photo Credit  - Mathom
Flickr Photo Credit - Mathom

Some Final Words on Reading to Your Children

The basis for learning to read for any child is through what they hear. So a good way of teaching your child to read is to just read to them, play word games and encourage them in every way you can without applying pressure.

In fact, if you read your child a large variety of books, they will learn to recognize a number of words and phrases, and it will be easier for them to eventually identify larger and more complex words due to the exposure they received when they were young.

Remember - reading is one of the best gifts you can give your child, because that skill will help them develop into a successful student and adult!

What are your views, opinions and advice on teaching kids to read?

Tell us your experiences with teaching children to read...

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Reading to a child early in life gives a good foundation for one to grow up with a desire to learn. It is therefore important for parents to start them off early so that the child can pick up the habit from them.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I think the best way to get your child interested in reading is to read to them from infant onwards. They are not only more likely to be interested in reading, they will likely be better readers for it!

    • babyandme profile image


      6 years ago

      I loved your lens! The pictures are so cute, and the content is phenomenal. This subject is something I am very passionate about. I love kids books, and I love reading to my kids. I also am really supportive of early learning. In fact, I have a lens a bit similar to this called "Reading to Toddlers." I would love to hear your thoughts on it. :)

      I love teaching babies and kids. Actually, I created an early learning program called MonkiSee. I taught my son and daughter to read when they were little. I love to talk about early learning and I could keep going on and on. However, this is a comment - not my own article- and I'll stop myself before I get carried away. Anyway, fantastic lens! May God bless you! :)

    • Moon Hunter profile image

      Moon Hunter 

      6 years ago

      Great lens. Instilling a love of reading in kids starts so early!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      When my kids were young we read books together almost every night. Reading really does open up a magical world of adventure for children to discover. There is no other place like being in the middle of a really good book.

    • squid-janices7 profile image


      8 years ago

      Fantastic advice! My parents never really cultivated a love of reading and I wish they would have. My husband on the other hand spent his entire childhood reading books and he is so much more knowledgeable because of it.

    • pacrapacma lm profile image

      pacrapacma lm 

      8 years ago

      I have a blog and write here on Squidoo giving tips and resources to parents teaching children to read. I've become your fan! Nice lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

    • profile image


      8 years ago

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image

      Tom Fattes 

      8 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Great lens and some great advice on getting kids interested in reading. It's very important to teach them to love to read as that one skill helps them with everything they do in their lives.

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 

      9 years ago

      My daughter didn't take to phonics. She had reading class every day, but she wasn't getting it. Then one day, after going through a series of Now I Can Read Books, she got it. She didn't need help reading any more.

      The same thing happened for chapter books. One day I checked out an American Girl book to read to her, the thing I know, she had read it herself.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Be patient, have fun helping your kids learn to read. Some children grasp reading skills much later than others, but often spurt ahead from age of 7 onwards.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for this great lens! I'll be lensrolling it and adding it to favorites. Maybe it is because I am a writer, but I believe reading for pleasure and knowledge is important and something that just cannot be replaced by "watching the History channel"

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      We homeschooled our sons, starting with reading to them from birth. Reading was always very important in our household and there is no doubt in my mind that both did so well in college and have done well in life because of reading.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 

      9 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I'm a great believer in reading to children as early as possible - as soon as they can sit still and look at pictures even if they are too young to follow a story. I'm sure it encourages them to love books and want to read. Lovely lens, blessed by an Angel.

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 

      9 years ago from Earth

      Great lens on a critical topic regarding education. Thanks for this lens - 5 stars and a blessing!

    • dustytoes profile image


      9 years ago

      Kids have to be interested in what they read. Nice suggestions here. I am lensrolling to my "Books for Boys" lens.

    • RuntFarmSeries profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens! You've got some really helpful information here. Please feel free to stop by my lens and say hi when you get the chance.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Excellent. Blessed by an Angel today (

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      nice lens. i love reading with my kids, not only an educational but also a bonding experience for us.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Love your lens! Reading aloud makes great memories for time spent together as well as teaching important reading skills to children to help them succeed in school and life. Please visit my Read Aloud lens - for my favorite read aloud books.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      10 years ago

      I homeschool so I have "taught" my four kids to read ... I put that in quotation marks because I find that as long as they are read to prolifically, they pick up the skill themselves with very little "reading instruction" from me! 5***** for a lens on a great topic!

    • kimmer1491 profile image


      10 years ago from Big Lake, MN

      I agree that it's very important to read to children, it opens their mind to so much new information! I love when my 6 yr old has questions about a book we are reading - he is especially interested in sharks so we find nature books that give information about sharks and their habitat. Thanks for the great suggestions!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great lens.........u have almost covered all possible sub topics under the heading.very useful.


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