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20 Creative Tips to Get Kids Reading

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20 Creative Tips to Get Kids Reading

A love of reading just doesn’t happen. I have three boys: a teen, a tween and a grade school aged child. We started early on to help foster a love of reading. While each stage is different and at times, tough to get kids to pick up a book each I have seen each one of them read, learn and express themselves through different mediums. One loves comics, one loves writing stories and the other loves always having a book within reach. All of this I would like to think is due to always having books around and the kids watching our example of always reading.

I have put together 20 creative tips to get kids reading and “hopefully” stay reading…

Little Ones

  • Start Early: Carry a soft chewable or board book in the diaper bag or attach one to the car seat.
  • Let Them See You Read: Whether it is a magazine, newspaper or a book, set the example.
  • Keep a Stash in the Car: Make sure to switch them out regularly so they don’t get bored.
  • Character Voices: When reading aloud, use different voices for the different characters.
  • Keep Books Throughout the House: Every room should have a few books here and there.

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Smithsonian ReadersElementary

  • The Library is Your Friend
    • Reading Time: Libraries offer story time for all ages
    • Summer Reading Program: A fun way to keep kids reading over the summer with special prizes to earn along the way
    • Sign Up for the Newsletter: Our library features listings of new releases for all ages and upcoming library events
  • Bribe Them: I am not above bribery! Whether it is monetary or extra screen time, at least they are reading. I have offered my son $1 per chapter book but he has to be able to answer questions about the book when finished.
  • Have your Child Write a Story: Start with a little each night then read it aloud at the end of the week.
  • Swap a Book with a Friend
  • Car Stash: Upgrade to books with facts. For my nine-year-old, these have held his attention longer since they offer short bursts of information.
  • Visit a Scholastic Warehouse Sale. I love these sales!! They offer all the best titles at up to 80% off, books for $1.00, slightly damaged deals, and discounts on the newest titles.
  • Set Aside at Least 20 Minutes Before Bed for Reading
  • Create a Reading Space: A beanbag, a cozy pillow… create an inviting place to read.
  • Follow Their Favorite Authors: Is there a series that your child just can’t put down? Follow on their social media, or sign up for their newsletter to stay on top of new releases. Some authors offer games, printables, and more insights into the series on their website.
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  • Find What Interests Them: Your kids may not want to read Harry Potter but will pick up a book to find out more about that sports player or a how-to book.
  • Catch the Movie: Read the book then see the movie and have them try to spot the differences.
  • Magazine Subscriptions: My thirteen-year-old loves sports so having a subscription to Sports Illustrated is a must. We keep several magazines in the kitchen so the kids can flip through while snacking.
  • Technology: Try a Kindle eBook, Kindle App for iPhone or iBooks: Since kids love their tech, try an eBook, you can download several books for free!
  • Encourage writing stories, exchanging letters with a pen-pal or even drawing comics
  • Switch it Up with Graphic Novels: These are great for kids who are hesitant to pick up a book. They are fast-paced, and the word-to-picture correlation provides an easy way to expand children’s vocabularies.

Personalized Princess Book Day in the Life of a Princess

Other Ways to Get Involved in Reading: 

⚉ Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails free books to kids aged 0-5. You can see if your neighborhood is registered and then sign up to receive one free book a month! If your neighborhood is not registered, you can simply apply.

⚉ Check out the Monthly Subscription Book Clubs that are available at CrateJoy. They offer over 50 different clubs for all flavors! From children’s, young adult, religious, romance, and sci-fi just to name a few.

⚉ Drop Everything and Read, or D.E.A.R, a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (pages 40-41). As D.E.A.R. has grown in popularity and scope, the program has expanded to span the entire month of April!

First Book is a non-profit that provides new books and educational resources – for free and at low cost – to schools and programs serving children in need, from birth to age 18.

⚉ Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program motivates children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition, and pizza. The program is simple, flexible, fun, and free to use in your classroom!

⚉ Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.

Do You Have Any Tips on Getting Your Child to Read?


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16 Comment

  1. Avatar
    KayLa Salazar
    April 10, 2017 at 10:51 am

    My son is in name that book club. They won first for elementary now to district finals. He would love to win this.

  2. Avatar
    April 10, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I try to read to my kids every night. We choose books together that focus on their interests.

  3. Avatar
    Amber Ludwig
    April 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I absolutely agree to start early!! Also choose topics that interest them and make it a treat!! My son and I get all cuddled up and read books together!! He LOVES it!

  4. Avatar
    April 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Read to/with them! Even my hyperactive niece will sit still for a book (or 10!) if I am reading to her.

  5. Avatar
    April 12, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Here are my tips!
    1. Starting with babies and toddles, have age-appropriate book in your child’s reach at all time – ie – sturdy board or cloth books in a basket on the floor.

    2. Let kids stay up 20 minutes later if they are in bed reading.

  6. Avatar
    Christina Gould
    April 13, 2017 at 6:27 am

    I think the more a child sees a parent reading, the more inclined they are to become readers themselves. My daughter and I are both big readers. Thanks for posting!

  7. Avatar
    April 13, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    These are all great ideas! My best tip is to lead by example; most children do what they see their parents do.

  8. Avatar
    Amanda Geist
    April 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    We were inspired by Pizza Hut’s Book It program and have implemented that same concept in our home. Our daughter reads for 15 minutes each day and if she reads consistently for a period of time, she gets a “good reader” reward, which is usually a small toy, another book, or whatever she wants for dinner.

  9. Avatar
    Darcy Koch
    April 14, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Some tips I offer are to start reading at a very young ago. Read at bedtime every night. Also, when they’re old enough allow them to join the library and be a regular visitor and even join the reading clubs they offer.

  10. Avatar
    April 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Thank you for these helpful tips. They will be very useful to use.

  11. Avatar
    Hannah C
    April 16, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    These are some great tips. I like the idea of keeping a stash in the car. It’s so important to get kids to read.

  12. Avatar
    Lauren U
    April 20, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I started reading to my children at a very young age. But I still appreciate any tips to help them keep it up.

  13. Avatar
    Nicole Lancaster
    April 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    I encourage my kids to keep reading by taking them once a week to the Library to choose books that interest them so they will enjoy reading. I also have a reward chart for every book they read, they get so many points to turn in at the end of the month for a special treat.

  14. Avatar
    Sandra Watts
    April 28, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    My son likes to read. I have always encouraged him. I am so glad. He regularly reads.

  15. Avatar
    ellen beck
    April 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Reading is the foundation for so many things. The tip I have is go with what they are interested in. If you take them to a museum, or a historical place and they get excited, find books on the subject.

  16. Avatar
    rochelle haynes
    May 5, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Loving the tips will use them

Comments are closed.