Tips to Get Kids to Fall in Love with Reading
I’ve always been enamored with the power of reading. Ever since I was a young boy, books have been a constant source of wonder and adventure for me. I would lose myself in their pages, imagining myself as the hero and experiencing the story right alongside the characters. This love of reading has been the spark that ignited my passion for storytelling, and it is what drives me to this day.
As a boy, I enjoyed reading the Greek and Norse myths; great sports stories; biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, and Albert Einstein; Anne Frank’s diary; books on moral philosophy by people like Socrates and John Stuart Mill; the poetry of Wordsworth, Frost, Keats, and Dickinson; and nature writing by Thoreau, Carlson, and Muir.
Those powerful stories are what have filled my life with so much joy and opportunity over the years. They’ve allowed me to travel to faraway places, literally and figuratively. They’ve brought so many wonderful and intriguing characters into my life, both real and imagined. And they’ve also given me perspective, inspiration, and hope at times when I’ve most needed it.
It’s a gift I wish I could impart to every young reader. In fact, the gift of a love for literature is one I find truly priceless!
If you have a youngster in your life who hasn’t quite found their happy place among books, here are some things that may help them fall in love with reading.
Tips to Get Kids to Fall in Love with Reading
Give them literature-rich spaces to exist in.
When books are ever-present and readily accessible, your child will be more likely to explore the pages out of curiosity, and then, when they are able, start reading with vigor.
Fill their spaces with age-appropriate books of various genres, so they’re used to interacting with both fictional and informational texts. Also, consider swapping the books out or moving them around from time to time as something new may catch your child’s attention and inspire.
Read to them.
Reading books aloud to your child is a wonderful and meaningful experience for you and your child. Beyond the joy you’ll feel from spending time together, it’s also an incredibly important step in helping your child discover the magic of reading. Long before they can read on their own, young minds will become captivated by enticing stories. When reading is woven into the tapestry of your daily rituals, be it sharing a chapter or two before falling asleep or telling stories around the breakfast table, your children may connect those stories and the act of reading with fond memories. These times together will help give them a love for the written word and a willingness to delve into books on their own when the time is right.
Be a reading role model.
Tell your children about the stories you’re reading. When they witness your delight in the stories you read, and the passion you have for them, they will be more inclined to discover the joy of literature and books themselves.
Visit the library.
Libraries are a treasure trove of books, and they are often free to use. Take your kids to the library and let them explore the shelves and find books that interest them. Libraries often have Storytimes, events where a librarian or volunteer (sometimes even authors themselves!) will read stories aloud to a big group. These are fun, often interactive, experiences where children can see other kids enjoying books, words, rhymes, songs, and more – and can help spark a lifetime love of books.
Don’t let it become a chore.
Reading and reveling in tales should never be a burden! Our goal is to inspire in our young ones a love of the power of words and the emotions they evoke. To do so, we must create a joyful, enriching, and captivating atmosphere around books, where families can come together in comfort and support. The experience should be one of magic and wonderment, rather than responsibility, in order to foster and perpetuate positivity around reading.
Celebrate their reading milestones.
When your child finishes a book, celebrate with them! Whether it’s taking them out for a special treat, giving them a special book, or simply acknowledging their accomplishment, these small celebrations help make reading a positive experience.
Think outside the box.
Creating a love of reading can be fun! It definitely shouldn’t be a mundane task, but rather an adventure waiting to unfold. Imagine the giggles that come from playing word games, composing silly poems, spinning tales of merriment, composing melodies, bringing stories to life through images and gestures, performing scenes from a beloved book… the possibilities are endless! By making books an interactive and lively experience, you’ll show your children the vast wonders that await within the pages, and ignite in them a passion for reading that will guide them on a journey of discovery for a lifetime.
Reading is one of the most important skills a child can learn, and it opens up a world of possibilities. With a little effort and creativity, you can help your kids fall in love with reading and set them on a path to a lifetime of learning and adventure.