Encouraging kids to love books is the first step in raising kids who love books, which then leads to raising readers! Luckily, this first step is pretty straightforward:
- Read books yourself. It doesn’t matter what they are; kids will think books are important if they see you reading them yourself.
- Have books around the house. We buy some books and borrow many more! We visit the library at least once a week.
- Read with them. I find that sitting down with a picture book is one of the easiest ways to get my kids to snap out of a bad mood!
- Have them tell you about the books they are reading. This tells kids that you are interested in the books they read. It also builds reading comprehension and narrative skills!
- Start young. It’s great bonding time!
- Don’t get frustrated if your child doesn’t automatically love books. Some of my kids loved being read to from an early age; others took time to really get into it. But they all love books now – even baby Anna, who was one of my kids who enjoyed books from the very beginning!
- If you have more than one child, encourage them to read to each other. Right now, six-year-old Emma is helping five-year-old Johnny learn how to read, and they both love it. It’s great bonding time, and an excellent chance for readers to practice reading out loud. Three-year-old Lily often “reads” books to baby Anna, by describing the pictures or reciting memorized text from her favorite books.
- Find books that interest them. We borrow Star Wars books and superhero books from the library every single week for five-year-old Johnny – and American Girl books for my six-year-old Emma.
How do you encourage your kids to love books?
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
26 thoughts on “Encouraging Kids to Love Books”
Great piece! I have another trick to get kids to read. Audiobooks. They’re not as good as books, but they’re far more engaging than TV. It’s a good half step. We download them for free on this site. http://www.twirlygirlshop.com/stories-for-kids Just thought I’d share!
It is so important to start when kids are young. I wonder if kids would like reading more if they were read to consistently when they were younger. I love books and we have started a fun collection for my firstborn. :)
My baby loves reading board books with me – it’s such nice bonding time, even when babies are tiny.
Finding something that interests each child is a great way to encourage reading!
This is such an important topic and I think you are spot on in your bullets! We also like to go to different libraries in our area when we get in a reading rut.
I love your idea of visiting different libraries to get out of a rut!
Encouraging love of reading was a lot easier for me than encouraging love of crafting :)
You have a very impressive reader!
I read to my kids when they were little while I nursed them. I loved starting them young with appreciating and loving books. Joshua says he doesn’t like reading but if he finds a book he likes, he can’t put it down!
Nursing is a great time to read to kids!
Yes, yes, yes! Great tips! I definitely think modeling is a huge part of it. Our kids watch both of us read constantly so it is in our DNA. We also like listening to audio stories. This is a really good way to listen to stories/books that are above their actual reading level!
I need to start doing audio books again with my kids – got out of that habit. Thanks for the reminder!
Great post! I love reading! …but none of my kids have fallen in love with it??? I can’t figure out why???
Great post, MaryAnne!!!! I always like it when I hear that my own reading helps my kids love to read. It validates my lazy parenting — i.e. I’m usually reading a my own book instead of crafting with them. Ha ha!
Thank you! I highly doubt that you are really a lazy parent ;)
Greetings from another book loving family! We haven’t tried the ebooks yet, but we’ll do it! Here’s what our reading corner looks like http://stepfordska-supruga-en.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-encourage-children-to-read-and.html
Off to check out your post!
I love watching kids read to each other and I love your tips. We have also been toying with the idea of an ipad but they are pricey. That app sounds great – especially that you can have a different account for each kid to track their process.
I like that each kid gets their own account, too.
We are swimming in books! The 6 yr. old wants an Ipad so she read books and watch movies. We spend a lot of time doing library activities too!
I love ebooks as a way to mix things up. Kids really do respond well to them and some apps are great literacy tools for learning to read. Look for apps where the words light up as the narrator reads like the ones for Dr. Seuss. Love those.
I love the portability of ebooks!
I love your tips about encouraging children to read. Setting the example and modeling a love for reading is so important. Also for you and Ticia about the iPad. We do not have one , but my husband does have a different tablet for work that he uses with Sky sometimes. He really research before purchasing (and we use Apple computers), but he selected to go with a different tablet because it had better capabilities and was half the price. Something to consider.
That is good to know – thanks, Jen!
I go back and forth on getting an ipad. On the one hand it’s so incredibly tempting, on the other hand……. I’ve had horrible luck with Apple’s customer service.
We don’t have one because they are so much more expensive, but it is tempting – especially with all the apps. I’ve only heard good things about their customer service, though – too bad you’ve had a different experience.
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