Encouraging children to read can take a bit of planning and strategizing, starting with choosing books that they can enjoy. Let’s face it: some kids just aren’t excited about reading, and that’s OK! However, we can still raise proficient readers by engaging them with content that both supports regular reading practice and appeals to their personal interests.
Let’s take a look at some ways we can make reading more engaging for our children:
1. Pick subject matter based on personal interests
Choosing a subject or theme your child is interested in could make all the difference. A great way to get your kids to practice reading is to give them content they want to read about.
As your child gets into the book, ask them what they’re reading about, or take turns reading aloud with breaks to ask questions and discuss the content. This supports developing comprehension skills and makes the reading experience more engaging.
2. Get On Their Level
Not all children develop their reading skills at the same pace, so it’s important to know what level your child is at when choosing reading materials for them. Sometimes, a child will want to read a book that could be slightly too advanced for their reading level, which can result in a negative association with reading over time. Even if a book with trendy characters may seem popular among your child’s peers or in pop culture, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your child!
Try looking for age-appropriate book titles that make sense for your child’s reading level. You can choose content that is slightly below your child’s level to help them build confidence or challenge them with something a bit harder that you can help them work through. You’ll be glad to find that there are tons of interesting reads out there!
3. Explore a different book format
Upon first glance at the pages of a book, seeing continuous strings of text can be intimidating -- maybe even triggering the perception of a long or boring story. If you’ve noticed your child isn’t all that interested in novels, try books that have larger font sizes, different layouts, and include visuals like pictures or other graphics..
Reading is reading, so don’t feel confined to just books. Comics, short stories, or even recipe instructions can be great kickstarters for reading. How about trying an ebook? Digital formats can be a source of great content for enhancing literacy, and some kids love using technology for reading. Have fun mixing and matching your reading content, and explore options that go beyond traditional books.
Whether you have an avid or reluctant reader, all kids who are learning how to read should be practicing regularly to develop their literacy skills. Another great way to inspire your little one(s) is to lead (read) by example! It’s very helpful that children have a reading role model at home. Having a loved one share a passion for books, storytelling, and reading can just be the motivation that young learners need!