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Encourage Children to Read More

a woman sits with a girl child as they go through a book

Reading is a wonderful way to explore another land, fly to the moon, or inspire a dream. Sadly, too many American children are turning away from books and toward the screen. Computers hold so much information and potential for learning, but books hold magic. Scrolling down a screen can not compare to holding a book in your hand and turning the pages. Books ignite imagination. To encourage your little ones to pick a book up, try these tips.

Create a book nook—this can be as elaborate as an upholstered chair with perfectly angled lighting, or a fort with blankets draped over chairs and a headlamp or flashlight.

Look for activities that support and relate to the books your child is reading. Do they love science? Take them to a planetarium or aquarium. Do they love giraffes? Take them to the zoo.

Read aloud so that everyone can enjoy a book at the same time. This can be a great activity on long car rides.

Offer an incentive. Let your child stay up 30 minutes past bedtime if they agree to spend that time reading.

A large selection of books is more inviting than a piddly choice. Fairy tales, history, mysteries, how-to, and fun facts are all good choices. Studies show that the number of books in the home has a direct effect on a child’s desire to read.

Little ones love to read the same story over and over and over. They love recognizing the pictures, turning pages at the correct time, and reciting the words they can remember.

Encourage children to write their own books. This can begin as young as preschool age by letting your child draw or cut out pictures from magazines. Compile the pictures on pages and staple them together. This activity promotes a love of books, and your child will be proud of his/her creation.

Reading habits start early, and you can encourage them by setting an example. When children see their parents read, they are more likely to read for themselves because they realize that reading is an important activity. Read with young children when you are out and about. Read the street signs, billboards, and names on buildings. It’s also important to show interest in what your child is reading. Ask questions about the characters and the story. This shows you care, and the result is that they will read more so they can invoke more conversations with you.


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