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Five Tips To Teach Children The Love Of Reading

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teaching children to love to read

All three of my girls love to read and they have for as long as I can remember.

When I’m talking to others about how much they love to read, I always tell the story of when my oldest was four years old. She was having a hard time being good at the grocery store, and after I had asked her to be good 5 times, things got serious.

I turned to her and told her I was going to take away her books for the rest of the day if she didn’t start acting better right away. It worked and she was a perfect angel for the rest of the time… but the look on the ladies face behind me as I said I was going to take away books was priceless! She looked shocked that I would take away books! Little did she know that my daughters books were her most treasured possessions and probably the only thing that would have actually gotten her attention! I know most parents take away toys, not me… I take away books!

i see me

It has made me so happy to see my oldest sharing her love of reading with my youngest!

I want to say that it just came natural for all of them to love to read, but I think there were a few things we did to help nurture it too. These are the five tips we used to teach our children the love of reading:

1. Start young. We were so lucky to be given a pile of books before our oldest was born and my husband started to read those books to her the day she came home from the hospital. She was a very fussy baby and reading books instantly calmed her down.

books for kids with their names

2. Focus on stories that they are interested in. My little one loves Princess’s so we have a ton of Princess books for her to read. Having books to choose from that you know will peak your child’s interest is a great way to foster a love of reading. 

3. Read every day. Make it a tradition to read right before bed, or in the afternoon with a snack. We started with reading to our daughters when they were babies and as they got older we started letting them sound out words and help “read” to us. My older two LOVED the time we spent reading together and still talk about it.

reading with kids

4. Lead (read) by example. Let your children see you read! Talk about the books you have read, are reading, and the ones you hope to read in the future. Tell them why you love to read and why it’s important to you. I never feel like I have enough time to enjoy leisure reading, but I always find a few minutes a day to read so that the girls know it’s something I make time for.

5. Make books come to life for them. If you want to see an instant spark of fascination and love of reading, make books come to life by including your children in the story! We were sent an I See Me! book that was the story of a Princess that had the same name as my daughter, looked like her, and even lived in the same “castle”! Yep, it was my daughter in the book! Her picture was even sprinkled throughout the beautiful pages of the book! I think we’ve read it 100 times so far and it will be a keepsake for her for years to come. 

They also have books for babies and books with pirate ships and cars! Along with books there are Lunchboxes / Puzzles /ColoringBooksPlacemats / Stickers  and Growth Charts! They make unique gifts,  personalized gifts for all occasions! You can use coupon code LOVELY for 20% off orders at ISeeMe.com through 5/31/15.

princess book

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What is your favorite way to instill the love of reading with your children?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog It's a Lovely Life®! In addition to traveling 150+ days a year, she also helps new bloggers build successful blogging businesses.

68 Comments

  • Those are awesome tips! My boys love to read, too & it makes me so happy!

  • I try to share books I read as a kid with my girls. They sometimes show an interest but sadly with how the school system is now, kids have so much pressure to pass reading tests that they find reading not fun.

  • We’ve been reading to our son since the day he was born. Literally, the DAY he was born. He loves reading and being read to.

  • Love this! It’s so important to get kids into reading especially excited for it! I’m glad I haven’t really had to fight with mine they all love reading!

  • Tip 3 and 4 were such big ones for us. I always tried to make sure we had a lot of new books available at all times.

  • We started all of our kids off young with reading. My youngest is 7 months old, and I’m already reading to her. The key is to make really animated voices. =D

  • Some kids love to read from day one and others are a little different. These tips are great for those that aren’t so into reading yet .

  • No matter what I do, I just cannot get my son to enjoy reading. I have tried for years. My daughter on the other hand, she loves to read, especially more so now that she is learning to read!

  • Reading every day & making it a special time together really made a difference getting my reluctant reader on board. Reading is so critical for their future success.

  • I want my kids to enjoy reading and try hard to makes sure they read. It is important to their education and it is just plain fun!

  • Those books are so great for little ones! My kids are too old for them now, but my daughter has always loved reading and now writes as well. She won the creative writing contest at her college recently. Books are amazing 🙂

  • My kids love to read thankfully we dont struggle in this area and we actually own a few of these iSeeMe books. They are their favorites!

  • These are some great tips on reading! Thankfully my daughter is obsessed with books. I’m hoping she stays addicted to them. I love that she’s a bookworm 🙂

  • One thing I learned that went absolutely against all the education classes I took in college, was to allow them to read things they were interested in, not just classic recommended lit. It really helped my children learn a love of reading.

  • I love to read and started reading to my kids while they were still in the womb. 🙂 Now I have grands that love to read. My grandson is so into The Hardy Boys right now. What great ways to instill the love of reading into kids.

  • One of the best ways to encourage children to love reading is by seeing their parents/guardians doing it on a regular basis! My mom and dad almost never read for pleasure, and I did not really catch onto it until I met my husband (who does)!

  • These are all great tips. I come from a family of readers and I am glad to see that even though it was a slow start my 6-year-old nephew is finally starting to enjoy reading too!

  • Bee is super cute. We went to go pick up my son, and even though she’s 3, she brought 4 books along for the ride so she can “read”. I know how important it is, which is why I started a book drive for local new moms.

  • such an important topic children need to learn reading to expand their world and write better wonderful all the tips that you provide thanks!

  • Great tips. Reading is a lost hobby these days. Even with electronic devices to read on, we tend to be distracted by other things in life.

  • You can begin reading to your child while they are still inside the womb.

    My older two kids, I wasn’t as diligent to introduce them to very many books. Over the years, I have learned how important reading is for their development. We read books to MN y youngest son and I even let him read them to me even if he can’t read the words yet. He can make up his own story or tell me what’s in the pictures. 🙂

  • We always start young with our kids. We also let them pick the books so they are more interested. If they are not as interested as they thought they would be we allow them to change books.

  • This is a great list you’ve put together. I think my Mom’s ‘done’ all of them ( whilst I was growing up ) and that’s where I got my love for reading. I agree that parents should introduce reading to their kids even if they’re young – it’s a lot easier to get them to learn the process and I think eventually when they’re older, everyone reaps the results. While most people think that reading is a leisure activity, it’s something taken for granted and it’s very important to develop the habit of reading with quality.

  • I love seeing my six year old who is doing so well at reading, read this his little brother. He has come a long way since the start of kindergarten and I’m very pleased with all he knows and his excitement to learn every day! I can just see this kid taking the world by his knowledge and running with it.

  • Reading every day and making books come to life are great tips. Reading is so important, especially now days when it seems to at times be a lost art.

  • I think the best tip is for parents and elder to lead by example. This is applicable not only in reading but in all aspects in life. Whatever the parents do, the children follow.

  • Oh I loved reading as a child and try to instil this love into my son too. He’s only 2 but has hundreds of books and likes to look at them and point at the words 🙂

  • My son just turned four in April and all of the sudden he is SO keen on reading! He loves picking out his favourite stories and always points to the words and asks what they mean. Since I’m a teacher, I’m so on board with this…and of course a few steps ahead of him! 😉

  • These are great tips to really get ids reading. I have always loved to read and just can’t understand when people say they don’t like to read.

  • These are great tips. My kids try their best with reading but they still need help.

  • Great tips! I’m so glad that my daughters love to read. They’re just learning how to read, so I have to help them out as well. I normally read to them and they love it.

  • I love that your oldest reads to your youngest one! I loved spending time with my sister (she’s 11 years younger) and reading to her was definitely one of my favorite things to do!

  • That’s so wonderful that your girls enjoy reading! My son is still too young to read, but he definitely enjoys looking at pictures and picking out books to “read” from the library.

  • Hi Heather – I didn’t know that it was “Get Caught Reading Month” It’s “Get Caught Reading Month” and that’s really great – your ideas and suggestions were wonderful – I used to read to my toddler and then started taking him to the library often – he really got into reading at about 14 and he still read a lot of non-fiction now

  • When my kids were little we always read books to them. Bed time was always a great time to read a few stories to them. They are teenagers now and still love to read.

  • These are really great tips! I try to read to my son all the time so he knows how great books are! Thanks for sharing!

  • These are some great tips, my 6 year old just doesn’t want to read for some reason and I’m wondering if its just my approach. Thank you for the tips!

  • My husband and I are big readers and even read to my son while I was pregnant with him… so I think that contributed to him being an early reader with a big love of the written word. His second grade teacher was impressed when she found out that he read “The Hobbit” and took an AR (accelerated reading) test on it and got a 100 on it. Here he was just 7 years old and I know I was at least a freshmen in high school before I read it. The best gift you can give a child is the love of reading. Looks like your girls have it!

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