Friday, 10 May 2013

Encouraging your Kids to Read

Boy reading illustration

There are so many options for children’s entertainment – countless TV programmes, games consoles, laptops, mobiles, that few actually turn to books to pass the time, seeing it as the boring option.

Encouraging Lucy to read is important to improve her ability to do so, but I encourage Jack to read more often to expand his knowledge and interests, rather than limiting his time to playing video games and watching TV. It’s lovely to see him engrossed in a book and learning from it, or being inspired by it.

Take an interest in reading yourself

It’s all well and good to say you want your children to read more often, but are you setting the example? If your children see that you often read as a way to relax, they will consider it to be a normal everyday activity, and one that they want to master themselves.

Buying books that you think they will enjoy and leaving them in accessible places around the house might encourage children to pick them up and take a look when they have a little time to spare.

Make reading your special time together

Reading with Lucy before she goes to bed is a special time for us to bond, when she gets my undivided attention.  It is a good opportunity for us to work on her reading in a relaxed setting, when the pressure she feels in the classroom is taken away.

It’s important as a foster child that Lucy gets some special time with me, and as Jack is obviously too old for bedtime stories it’s not time that he resents me spending with Lucy.

Choose books that have been adapted for cinema

A good way I have found to encourage Jack’s reading is to buy him the books that his favourite films are taken from. For example, he enjoyed the first ‘Hunger Games’ film when it was released, and went to see it with his friends.  I bought him the trilogy that the film was taken from, and he hardly put them down until he had finished all three books!

There are lots of other options depending on the age and interests of your child – Lord of the Rings, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Defiance are all books that I have encouraged Jack to read after he enjoyed the films based on them, whilst Lucy enjoyed ‘Alice in Wonderland’ after seeing Tim Burton’s adaptation.


If your kids love technology and are always on their laptops, a good way to encourage reading might be with a Kindle. I personally consider them to be a bit of a waste of money, but if it encourages older children and teenagers to read it’s probably worth it.

Last time we went on holiday we bought Jack a Kindle, and now find that he reads a lot more, as it seems to make the books more relevant when they’re in a format he enjoys.

Do you have any more tips for encouraging your children to read?

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