3 Tips to Help Kids Enjoy Reading

Lonely Planet Kids sponsored our books featured in this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Finally able to get all kids engaged in reading!

As a mom of four rambunctious children, it is sometimes a challenge to get them to sit and enjoy a good book. Our children’s  school requires a minimum of twenty minutes a day for reading, which can be a challenge when they get bored so easily. We try to encourage daily reading in our home with all our children, but particularly our oldest two.  With my background in Early Childhood Education, I know that reading plays an important part in  language development, even if they are just listening to a story or book. Daily reading increases a child’s vocabulary, through exposing them to more words. It also builds comprehension and helps children have a greater understanding of the world around them.  This all sounds great, but how do we get our kids to enjoy reading.

Here are a few tips of how I help my kids enjoy reading.

  1. Help your child pick books within their reading level.  When a child is reading a book that is either above or below their level, they can get bored or frustrated quite easily. My son is notorious for choosing books that are not at his level, flipping through it and being done with it just as quickly as the time it takes to sit down. A simple technique I use to know if a book is at a child’s reading level the Five Finger Rule.  I actually picked up this rule when teaching.  Once your child has picked out a book, have them read a page. Hold a finger up for each word the child does not know. If all fingers are up, the book is too difficult and an easier book should be found. If your child can read the page with no mistakes, a more challenging book should be chosen. This is a technique that you can teach your child to do on their own when picking out books to read.

    Here Isabel is using the five-finger rule. She quickly discovered the book she picked was above her level.
  2.  Provide a variety of genres to read. Not only is it beneficial for children to be exposed to diverse genres, but they enjoy reading them as well. Comic books, magazines, fairy-tales, fibs, mystery, science-fiction, science, horror, fiction, non-fiction, and newspapers.  These genres give something new for readers.  Information is presented in different ways. Some children thrive in different genres, helping them become confident as a reader. I suggest making it a habit to visit local libraries and allow your children to check out library books. It is free to sign-up to receive a library card and get started with checking out books.  Just be sure to take good care of them and return them on time! There are also a lot of great resources online as well!Online Resources
    • National Geographic Kids – Here you can find fun articles about animals and places to read. It also has educational videos and games to play.
    • Barnes and Noble – The Kids Nook has thousands of children’s books to choose from! Barnes and Noble also provides books in multiple genres for everyone in the family! This has to be my favorite online golden nugget!
    • StoryWeaver – Here you can find a variety children’s books in different languages. Be sure to select English or the language of your choice.
    • Library of Congress – This is a really cool resource. It is basically an online library.   You can listen or read the books they have on site.
  3. Explore hands on engaging books. My kids love to look through books that have extra features. Pop up art, textures on pages, extended pages, books with flaps – these things keep my children interested in what is taught in books. Just recently, my kids and I were introduced to Lonely Planet Kids.  They are committed to bringing excitement to kids through books about people, places, culture, and wildlife. We received Dinosaur Atlas and How Animals Build.  Not only did my kids learn interesting facts from these books, they were so excited to flip through the pages. The pictures are captivating!  They have pages that extend, and pictures you can flip-up to learn new fun facts. These books have easily become some of my children’s favorite books.  My kids were engaged with these books for thirty to forty minutes! They were a win for all of us!
    Isabel discovering the flaps in the books!
    After flipping through a couple of pages in the book, Elijah eagerly exclaimed, “Mom, want to know what I learned from this book?” I replied, “Sure!” He continued, ” An octopus can fit in a coconut shell to hide!”

    Reading levels, having a variety of genres, and providing hands on books are just a few tips I use to help my children become more engaged in reading. Hope these tips help! Let me know what points you have to help your children engage in reading!



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  1. hardwick1107 says:

    Had never heard of the 5 finger rule. Sharing for my teacher friends.

    1. Melina says:

      I taught this technique my students to help them when picking a book on their own. I would not use it as a formal assessment!

  2. Maggie says:

    I love your suggestions – I really do – and I feel compelled to add my own.

    When I was little I would invariably pick out grown up books from the library – well before I could even read anything at all! I think it made me feel grown up. I never read them, of course. I just possessed them, temporarily. But I did end up a multilingual master’s degree graduate in Education!

    I would thus advise not to panic if a child selects a book that’s beyond his or her level, as long as the child doesn’t seem frustrated about it. Just my 2 cents. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Melina says:

      Hi Maggie,
      I agree completely. My kids love doing this as well! But when it comes down to them reading, they end up frustrated with harder level text. Thanks for sharing!

  3. freespiritedsinglemom says:

    These are wonderful ideas! Reading is so important, and getting children to enjoy it can sometimes be a challenge.

    1. Melina says:

      It can be a challenge, this is why providing a variety is very important.

  4. LauraBelle says:

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Melissa says:

    Really good ideas. I would also add that if a child is really interested in a book and it’s a bit too challenging for them, I would just purchase/check it out and read it to them, maybe have them attempt a paragraph or two here and there.

  6. art4ever82 says:

    I have come up with several reading games and that helps too. I will be releasing one of the games on my youtube channel shortly.

    1. Melina says:

      Awesome! Can’t wait to see your games!

  7. Heidi says:

    Wonderful ideas for teachers and parents!

    1. Melina says:

      Thank you!

  8. Mollie says:

    These are wonderful ideas! I LOVE the Kid’s Nook at Barnes and Noble.

  9. Melissa says:

    Great ideas. I love reading and so do my nieces! They must get it from me. They always ask me to read with them when I babysit; well, along with arts and crafts of course!

  10. Rebecca says:

    Reading with kids is so important. It can be a struggle but getting children to love reading helps them throughout their lives.

  11. Diane says:

    Great suggestions.

  12. Alicia says:

    These are great suggestions. I am so glad that my oldest son is taking after my mom and LOVES to read. He is almost ten and reads 300 – 500 page books, of a certain series.

  13. rigelg says:

    My son is only 3 1/2 and so far (fingers crossed it stays this way) he really loves reading. But the five finger rule is something I hadn’t heard of before.

  14. My little ones always loved books with fuzzy patches for fur and flip out, interactive pages. I believe that if you keep the kids actively engaged, then they info “sticks” better.

  15. These are great tips to get kids reading. My eight year old always wants to pick up books that are too difficult, and then she will get frustrated. I have to point her in the right direction sometimes.

  16. I always read to my kids, and now I read to my grandsons! Such an important thing to share with children – the love of reading!

  17. jen says:

    Great tips! Love anything that gets kids to read more!

  18. Such great suggestions that can really get kids into reading as a hobby! Thanks for sharing!

  19. dandelionsacrecomwpadmin says:

    Great review! One can never have too many books… <3

  20. Monica says:

    My daughter is 3 and though she can’t read yet she always picks the “baby” books for me to read her. I guess it’s a start. Will use the 5 finger rule as she gets older

    1. Melina says:

      Monica, that is an excellent start! My babies do the same thing. It is important for kids to become familiar with a book.

  21. alearningparent says:

    Going to check out story weaver! Cant wait!

  22. shanna says:

    These are excellent tips. One additional thing I found super helpful: make reading a shared experience. If your kids see you reading, and you all read together, it will be a fun experience that is looked forward to by all. Except maybe busy moms sometimes. Haha

    1. Melina says:

      Hi Shanna,
      I think you brought up a great point. My kids need to see me enjoy reading more. I mostly read when they are not around, but I need to make it a point for them to see me read!

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