Encouraging Children to Read: Five Strategies for Developing a Bookworm

Are you looking for ways to get your child excited about reading? As publishers of children's books, we often hear from parents about their reluctant readers and what they have done to encourage their child to read. Here are five parent-tested strategies.

  1. Let them read comics. No, we are not kidding. There are more words than SPLAT and KABAM. Interest alone is a big motivator for getting kids to love reading. If comic books are what they are interested in now—OK. You’ll be glad to know that comics include vocabulary-stretching words in addition to the pictures.
  2. Read yourself. Set time aside each day to read something; a book, a newspaper, or a magazine. Show by example that reading is something you do throughout your life for many reasons—enjoyment, to learn something, or to keep up with what is happening in your field of interest.
  3. Have a family reading time. My Mom is British, so each afternoon we would have tea-time. We would drink our tea and nibble on cookies while Mom read a chapter to us from a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. You will all enjoy the family time and your children will learn to enjoy reading and listening.
  4. Give books as presents. Pick out books on topics your child likes. Animals, princesses, trains, magic; you name it—there is a book out there ready to be enjoyed. Having a book to call their own is always special. Don’t forget to include a nameplate in the front with their name on it.
  5. Put money between the pages. This is especially motivating to teens. Many parents of children older than 10 have mentioned this technique to us. So if nothing else is working, perhaps your reluctant reader will get excited about this approach.

Reading opens up new worlds; creates understanding; and enriches lives. Help your child learn the wonder that can be found between a book’s covers by using these strategies.

Other Articles of Interest

Visit our Reference Desk page for a complete listing of articles and worksheets.