10 Reading Tips for Kids (and Adults)

It was Love your Library month in February, but libraries and schools are still celebrating books and those who read them! Your local Children’s librarian in Virginia has given some school talks last month on spreading the love of reading. I wanted to share some tips on how you can spread love of books to the kids in your life. Here are 10 Reading Tips for young readers that might work for you:

  1. Create “cozy time”

Mark out reading as a special time by having a cozy spot that’s used for daily reading. This could be as simple as a reading chair, or as elaborate as a reading nook or room! By creating a cozy reading spot you are encouraging kids to associate reading with comfort.

  1. Visit the Library

Sounds like self-promotion, but adults and education professionals agree that it’s good for your reading skills to visit the library. It’s a great way to test out new books (that can later be bought if they become fan favorites) and a great place to read books with your kids! Don’t forget to chat with your Children’s Librarian – they can often point you to books that may become your new favorite!

  1. Make reading a daily habit

Habits are hard to break, so making reading a habit is a great way for your kids to enjoy and continue reading! Bedtime reading is great, but try making reading an after dinner or relaxing weekend trend. The more reading is normalized, the more likely your kids will turn to it on their own.

  1. Don’t push kids to learn to read

When your child is on the edge of learning to read it can be tempting to push them to pronounce words, and read out loud. DON’T. The only thing your kids will learn is that reading is something they can fail at, and that it is hard work. Kids learn how to read in their own time – at this point your job is to make reading associated with good feelings!

  1. Early stages of reading

Kids often lose interest when starting to read, not because they don’t want to learn, but because the learning to read books aren’t very interesting. It’s a good idea to intersperse books they can read on their own with more complicated and interesting books you read to them. This keeps them interested in books as a whole, and also gives them something to look forward to after all those phonics.

  1. Bedtime reading

When your kids start pestering you to stay up later let them, but with a concession. They can stay up fifteen more minutes – if they are reading a book. This turns reading into its own reward. If your kids say they can stay up, but are too sleepy to continue, try making cozy reading time after dinner when they are still alert enough to participate!

  1. Help on tough books

A great way to keep your kid reading, but also challenge them, is to give them options. For example, you can start reading a book to your child that is a bit challenging for them, but that they are interested in. Once your child is invested in the story give them the option – they can continue reading the challenge book, or pick another one. Kids will often stick with the challenge book to find out what happens next. If they go for the easier book, don’t judge them for it – any reading is good reading!

  1. Trade off reading

Once kids have a grasp on reading out loud it’s a good idea to try reading a book with them jointly. For example, you could read two pages, and your child reads one page. Don’t make this a quizzing time – if your child stumbles on a word, provide it without extra coaching. The goal is to get your child to love reading as an activity, not to view it as a chore!

  1. Family Reading Time

Once your kids can read on their own many parents stop reading with them, which could be a mistake. There are many benefits associated with reading to your kids even after they can read on their own. It reinforces reading habits and continues cozy reading time with the family. It’s also a great way to connect with your kids – after reading a book you can have conversations about it that you both enjoy. If your kid decides they don’t want you reading to them, that’s fine, but don’t stop the practice unless you are “fired” by your audience.

  1. Adults read, kids read

Sounds simple, but if kids see you reading, they are more likely to enjoy and value reading themselves! If kids don’t see you reading, then why would they want to do it? Starting a reading habit with your kids could reawaken your love of books too! And take it from someone who knows, children’s books are often the best books to read in the library!