8 ways to foster the love of reading in kids

All three of my children love to read. Every time they pick up a book I think: how did we do that?? How did all 3 of my kids love reading a book? Today I want to share 8 ways to foster the love of reading in kids.

2 boys sitting next to each other in a feild. Both boys are wearing overalls and bucket hats. They are both reading a book. Over the picture are the words: 8 ways to foster the love of reading in kids. www.onedeterminedlife.com

8 ways to foster the love of reading in kids

1. Make books available

We have books all over the house, even the bathroom. Not only are there books in every room, but the children’s books are also easy to reach and always accessible.

We spend the majority of our day at home. With limited toys and limited TV, the children are easily drawn to the books that we have.

2. Lead by example

I think that children learn by doing but also by seeing. My husband and I love to read. Most days, you can catch us on our phones or reading a book. My husband likes business books while I like novels of all sorts.

Since my children were young, they have seen us read and they naturally want to copy mom and dad.

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3. Read to them regularly

We read to our children every day. We don’t have a set amount of time and sometimes we do miss this. But on most days, we read to our kids.

We follow the reading program from our kid’s school but we also read other books. Most educators suggest reading at least 20 min a day.

4. Take them to the library

We are so fortunate to have an amazing local library. Edmonton’s library was voted as the best library in North America in 2016. Not only do they have amazing books, but have great programs and access to a variety of online resources as well.

We take our kids to the library about once a month. When we take books out, we can keep them for 3 weeks, so that seems to be the cycle we keep.

At the library, our kids have access to so many books and get exposed to new cultures and authors that we may not have discovered had we not gone to the library. We often come home with our favourite books, but every so often we discover something new and it’s amazing.

5. Let them choose their book

Whether we are at home or at the library, I always let my kids choose what books they want to read and bring home. My kids have a general understanding of what I don’t want them to read and they know that I have the final say.

With this system, my kids choose books they are interested in and I have a way to make sure its appropriate content.

By having kids choose what they read, they feel more ownership over the book and there is a higher chance that they will read that book over and over again.

There have been many times that I picked books up for the kids that they never even looked at,  but will spend hours flipping through books they picked. 

6. Talk about stories and reading

When we read stories to the kids, we ask them questions and try to relate that story to our own lives. We don’t do this all the time, but when we do it’s a great way to connect with our children.

Not only do we talk about what we read to our kids, but we answer questions about what we are reading.

My eldest daughter is almost 8. Lately, she has been very interested in the books my husband and I are reading. She often asked what they are about and if I like reading it.

I will often answer these questions with enough information that answers her question, but not too much to give away or story or scare her.

Example: I just finished reading the Harry Potter book series. I love them but think that the content is too old for her. So when she asked me about the books, I told her the general content of the book without any of the details.

7. Don’t make it a punishment

I believe that reading should be a joy and not a chore. I think it is our job to make reading fun and interesting. To encourage children to read, reading should never be a punishment.

There are many consequences we can give our children, but reading should not be one of them. If we make reading a punishment then reading becomes related to negative feelings and memories and children might grow to hate reading.

8. Don’t rush them

My eldest daughter is in grade 2. In the middle of the year, we were told that she was below reading level. Instead of stressing and worrying about her reading level and we stayed the course.

We found books that she was interested in we set a goal. She wanted to be able to read a chapter book by the end of the year. Now, close to the end of the year, she has met her goal and is able to read simple chapter books. By not rushing her and making her feel bad about her ability she read at her own pace and caught up.

I believe that if we had rushed her or made her feel bad or pressured her then she might have stopped reading or grown to hate it.

9. Make a comfy spot

My kids love building a fort and then bringing in a bunch of books and reading them inside the fort. Making fun and comfortable places your kids can read in will not only encourage them to read more but will make reading so much more fun. My youngest son likes to sit in a box to read 😉 

In the comments below, share your tips on how to foster the love of reading in kids.

Please share this post with others. Thank you.

a boy lying on a widow seat reading a book. Aboove are the words: 8 ways to get kids to love reading. Beow the picture are the words: www.onedeterminedlife.com

Author: Anne Markey

Anne is a stay at home mother of 3 who has been married for more then 10 years. She loves the Lord and is passionate about helping women learn who they are in Christ and how to live a life that glorifies Him.

35 thoughts on “8 ways to foster the love of reading in kids”

  1. These are such good tips! They really help make reading a lifestyle and not just an activity. I’m an editor and former elementary school teacher, so reading is an important part of my life — something I want to pass on to my kids!

  2. Great advice! I loved reading growing up – and still do – and much of that is down to my mom reading to me every day and taking me to the library every week. Being immersed in books constantly started my love of reading at a young age, and I hope the same is true whenever I have kids in the future.

  3. Such great suggestions on ways to foster a love of reading! My daughter just finished Kindergarten and is not a big reader. We are planning lots of trips to the library while she is out of school for the summer. Thanks for your excellent post!

  4. We love books in our house! I actually find it hard to read for myself, so I actually started audible books this year and am already on book 7! I am not sure if that counts as showing my kids a love for reading or not though.

  5. Great advice! One of our favorite times of day is when we read together on the couch. I’ll read chapter and picture books to my 8 and 5-year-old, and then they’ll read to me at their level. We also love visiting the library. My daughter struggled to learn how to read this year with some basic phonic readers, but after backing off and not pressuring her, she’s eager to start reading more challenging books!

    1. I am so glad that she is getting into books. I know that when I have to do something I am less likely to do it. It’s the same with my kids.

  6. Hi! Anne, Great advice! Readers are leaders, and if you give them a love of reading they can teach themselves anything! We want to provide lots of opportunities for them to enjoy books! When My boys we little we turned one of our walk-in closets into a “library.” My husband lined the closet with shelves, and I put a cozy rug, and comfy bean bag and pillows and the floor, and put glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. They loved having “library time.” Blessings, Misty Your neighbor at By His Grace Bloggers today

  7. Love this post! There is nothing better than reading to your kids. I love the idea of finding a comfy spot! Who doesn’t love curling up and reading a good book!

  8. Great tips here! I’ve used most of them with my children. Both my girls, (12 and 9) really enjoy reading books. My boy is just starting to read (it’s been a lot harder for him than it was for his sisters) but he certainly enjoys listening to stories. I start each school day with read a louds as we homeschool.

  9. I love all these tips! 🙂 My son is two and already loves to read. I was homeschooled and my mum always started the school day by reading a chapter of a book to us. We completely loved it. 🙂

  10. All of this YES!!! Another thing I’ve found is that when they get older and are beginning chapter books it’s important to steer them towards series books, because they keep their interest book after book and really keeps them going. Also I found that I have to continue to buy/check-out the next in the series BEFORE they finish the current one because if they finish and there is a gap of time they might not be interested enough to read the next one 🙂

  11. This is so sweet! I was drawn to read although I’m not a mom yet. I definitely want my kids to be readers because my parents raised me to be one! My mom always had books around the house about literally everything, and as I got older my dad would be the one buying me new books every other day! (He always jokes about how I’d finish a book within a day lol)

    I’m still very much a bookworm. Definitely agree with creating a comfy space so that it’s made fun for them! Lovely tips.

  12. Love these suggestions Anne! We also keep books throughout the house. My daughter is only 14 months, but she loves to flip through books. I always leave a couple in her crib too and so many mornings she will wake up and start “reading”.

  13. So, I love this post because I LOVE BOOKS, and I love reading, and I host an online book club for moms and daughters, and wow, you think that would easily translate to my kids loving reading, but that’s not the way it always works.

    My favorite two tips from here are talk about what you have read and let them choose. SO important.

    Thanks for the post, Anne!

    1. It’s hard to let that control go to let them choose, but I think it’s an important key. That way they will gravitate to what they like and will read more

  14. Anne, you have amazing tips here . It is a very important message that book reading must not be a punishment because books will be a bad memory for them. I used to read lot of books before I had kids, thank you for reminding me that I start reading again as a good role model 🙂

    Diana – http://dianasdiaries.com

  15. Thanks for the great tips! Our little girl is only 1 but we’ve been reading to her everyday since she was about 5 months old. I really could do better about reading myself.

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