How Can I Get My Children to Read More?

Posted on 14 Feb 2017 by Anna Scott
Want to develop your kids’ reading habits in time for World Book Day? We’ve put together a guide on how you can make books fun again. It’s not exactly news that reading more can have brain-expanding benefits for your children, but getting them to pick up a book on their own can sometimes be a bit of a chore. So how can you get them to read more without them developing an aversion to the written word? With World Book Day coming up on 2nd March, here are a few ways you can prep…


Don’t Force a Book on Them

Although educational professionals say children should be reading a at least a small amount every day (and rightly so), the prospect isn’t always met with enthusiasm by a lot of kids. Although it may be tempting to demand they sit down with a book as they would with a piece of homework (and then be rewarded with something ‘fun’ afterwards), this could have some unfortunate long term effects. By treating reading as a task they have to get out of the way, you won’t exactly be nurturing a desire for them to pick up a book again any time soon. So where do you go from here?


Reluctant reader

Read Them a Story

You might think that once they’ve got the hang of it themselves then they’re too old to have stories read to them. Well, as the success of audiobook platforms such as Audible has shown, we are NEVER too old to have a story read to us. If they don’t want to do their own reading, then fine. See if you can get ten minutes story time in before bed and if you pick a particularly gripping book, you might find they’ll carry on with it themselves after a few days.


Child reading

Visit the Library on a Regular Basis

One of the many fantastic things about enjoying reading as a past time is that is doesn’t have to cost you a penny. Yes, it’s very good and supportive to buy the books of authors that you love, but encouraging your kids to read widely can be as simple as taking them to the library on a Saturday morning and letting them pick out some titles by themselves. Give them their own library card and try not to interfere with their choices too much – you might find this responsibility will mean they’ll be much more likely to read those books when they get home.


Kids at library

Don’t Dictate

Talking of not interfering with their reading choices, it’s important to emphasise that there’s no right or wrong when it comes to reading books. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with pointing them in the right direction of a book you think they might enjoy, but directly saying to them ‘no, you shouldn’t be reading that, read this instead’ is sending out a mixed message. Developing a love of reading means letting them read what they want to read and not feel guilty about it.


Pile of kids books

Develop Your Own Reading Habit

It’s all very well encouraging your children to read, but if you’re not a lover of books yourself, then this is yet another mixed message they have to decipher. If you’ve let you own reading habit lapse over the years, perhaps this is the time to revive it – a bookcase in a home is a wonderful, comforting thing, so take the opportunity to renew your own library card and fill those shelves.


Woman reading outside


Most parents associate World Book Day with having to find a costume for their offspring (and if you need any ideas on that front, we’ve put together some tips for this too). However, it should really be an opportunity to discover (or re-discover) a love of reading and stories, so take a bit of time to foster that love and you might have an avid reader on your hands this time next year.

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