Tips to Encourage Your Child to Read at Home

adult and child with a book

There are so many ways to encourage and motivate your child to read! While this list may not be exhaustive, it is a good starting point!

  • Practice: Becoming a successful reader takes practice. The more children read, the better they get. Time spent reading during the school day is not enough. Take time every day to read at home.
  • Environment Matters: Create a special cozy place to read in your home. Let your child help make that space special for them. Maybe they can choose a special pillow or have a special reading buddy stuffed animal.
  • Keep a variety of reading materials in the house: Choose a collection of fiction and nonfiction for your child. Add variety by selecting different formats like novels, graphic novels, audiobooks, and access to eBooks. The Library has plenty of each to keep the material you have on hand fresh!
  • Power of Choice: Allow your child to choose what they would like to read for independent reading. Try not to judge your child’s choice of reading material.
  • Visit the Library: Visiting the Library with your child, where they can select their own reading materials can be a fun way to engage with your child about reading. Give them time to browse the collection and select what looks best to them. If you’re comfortable with it, allow them to check out materials on their own library card.
  • Set a daily reading goal: Set a goal to read each day even if it is only 10 minutes. You can ask your child to read independently or create a family reading time.
  • Model Reading: Let your child see you reading books, magazines, news, ebooks - whatever you most like to read! 
  • Read Aloud: Even after children begin to read on their own, they still need to hear expressive, fluent reading in order to develop their ability to read fluently. 
  • Audiobooks count: Mentally both reading and listening involve similar tasks: making sense of the story and decoding either the graphemes, to comprehend the writing, or the phonemes, to comprehend the sounds, to follow along.
  • Use audiobooks on road trips!: If you’re planning a road trip, bring along an audiobook to listen to in the car. Through the Library you can check out a book on CD, download an eAudiobook, or check out a playaway that can be played by plugging into your car’s aux port!
  • Read on the go!: Have a doctor’s visit, hair appointment, or other engagement? Encourage your child to take a book along to keep them entertained while they wait.
  • Encourage your child to read aloud: Listen to your child read aloud and praise them when they do to help book their confidence in reading. If your child is reluctant to read aloud to you try offering a compromise - you can read a page or a paragraph and they can read the next page or paragraph.
  • Talk to your child about what they are reading: Ask them questions - What’s happening in the book? Who are the characters? What do you think will happen? Etc.
  • Encourage your child to write a book review!: Sharing what you think about what you’re reading is a great way to motivate readers to continue to read and it provides them with a kind of recognition that they’ve completed a book.
  • Leave notes for your child: Write short notes for your child’s lunch box, chores lists, or other notes for them to discover in the house. You can also ask other family members or friends to write letters to your child.
  • Do activities that require reading: Many activities require following instructions like cooking, constructing a model, or working a STEAM kit. This is a great way to combine reading with other interests your child may have.
  • Play word games with your child like hangman, Boggle, or Mad Libs: These are great ways to practice and encourage vocabulary building.