Tuesday, February 14, 2012

20 Ways to Get Children to Love to Read

In one of the social networks that I participate in, I asked the question, “How do you get children to read?”

A little more than 40 people responded with the suggestions that worked for them. I’ve listed them below in the order of the most frequently mentioned suggestions with the percentage of how many people mentioned that particular suggestion.

I have to admit that I’m not surprised by many of the suggestions. We used most of the suggestions with our own children and have had great results (* indicates those we’ve used in our family.) That said, I think it takes a multifaceted approach. You have to find what works best for your family, but there are probably multiple things you need to do to be successful in fostering a love for reading in your children.

List of top ways to get children to read or develop a love for reading:
  • Read every day or frequently to your children, starting at a very young age.* – 55%
  • Find books they will enjoy or that interest them specifically. Every child's tastes are different (i.e., Harry Potter, comics, non-fiction, magazines, etc.)* - 21%
  • Let your children see you reading.* - 14%
  • Take children on frequent trips to the library.* - 14%
  • Make reading fun.* (i.e., competition, family read-a-thon, games, flashcards, races, let them create their own books) - 12%
  • Be involved in what your kids read. Know what they're reading. Discuss with them what they're reading.* - 12%
  • Buy them books as gifts or let them pick their own out at the store.* - 10%
  • Leverage fun DVDs, websites, or books that help young children learn to read.* - 10%
  • Limit computer and TV time.* - 7%
  • Make lots of interesting books available to your kids. (adventures, mysteries, classics, biographies, fantasy, encyclopedias)* 7%
  • Find books that match their age or ability. (Librarians can be a great help with this)* - 7%
  • Determine if they have a certain condition that makes reading less enjoyable. (Needs glasses, audio learners vs. visual learners)  - 5%
  • Don't force a book on a child. Let them read what they want.* - 5%
  • Turn on closed-captions when you watch TV, especially for shows in another language, like Japanese cartoons. -  5%
  • Provide them books with lots of interesting or entertaining pictures.* - 5%
  • Listen to audio books.* - 5%
  • Let them stay up past their bedtime to read.* - 5%

Other Mentions of How to get Children to Read
  • Have fathers read to their children.*
  • Encourage children to read books aloud.* (Especially helpful for audio learners)
  • Stay away from mediocre books
  • Read together as a family.*
  • Have a place in your house just for library books so that it's easy keep track of them.
  • Create a special reading nook in your house.


  1. Great post! Another idea is to read everyday items as you live your everyday life. For example, read the cereal box (while making up interesting questions or ideas about the content), or discuss a billboard message or sign that you see as you travel on public transport.

  2. Wow, who is that adorable child? :)

  3. GREAT POST !! and we want give particular time to read every day then that become a habit

  4. Julie and Prasanth, you're both right. The more we can make reading habit, the better.

    Riss, she is adorable and still is. :)

  5. That's a good list. I would like to say that "start reading to them at a young age" should be more specifically..start reading to them at birth. I actually took books to the hospital with me when I gave birth.