Raising Readers

storytime on the couch

Knowledge is power and reading is knowledge, so I’m thrilled to have three kids who love books! Here are a twelve things we do to encourage that trend:

  • Read to and with them often.
  • Let early readers read aloud to you. It builds confidence, gives kids a chance to ask for help with unknown words, and develops read-aloud skills.
  • Have books in the house. We built our library through hand-me-downs from friends and family, library book sales, and Scholastic sales.
  • Make the most of your local library. I’m amazed at the selection of books that are available, and I can even request books online and have them waiting at the front desk!
  • Don’t keep all the books in the same place. We have a book basket in the living room as well as a half bookshelf in the kids’ room. The living room basket houses our library books, and the bookshelf has our home library of children’s literature.
  • Take turns reading books they find interesting as well as books you find interesting. Everyone benefits from the diversification of topics! I’m learning a lot about spiders, scorpions, and other venomous creatures, at the moment…
  • Don’t limit their book selections based on perceived skill or understanding. I never would have expected my kindergartener’s reading to take off with the Ramona series, which I didn’t get into until second or third grade, but those were the books that caught her interest.
  • Let them see you reading. If they know that you value reading, they will value it as well.
  • Include wordless picture books in your library. They build narration skills, and help kids pay attention to plot sequencing.
  • Pay attention to reviews. I have found a number of our favorite books through blogs that I read on a regular basis – especially Mom and Kiddo, Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, and Adventures in Mommydom.
  • Encourage kids to write books of their own, and to narrate their drawings.
  • Try new types of books. My six-year-old adores poetry, and my two-year-old loves “sound books” full of onomatopoeias!

What are your top reading tips? What children’s books can you recommend to us?


  1. Samantha says

    Wonderful tips! My mom created a Book Nook for me, a comfy spot in a corner of the living room with pillows, blankets, and baskets of books. To this day one of my favorite things to do is spend a day curled up in a comfortable place with a good book!

  2. Sharee says

    Here’s a few things we do in addition to the things you mentioned.

    When it’s nice outside we read on a blanket or in the grass. They know reading isn’t just an inside activity but something they can do anytime and anywhere.
    When reading a book I always say who the author and illustrators are so they can have a sense of “this was created by someone just like you and me and YOU can create this too if you want to”. Printing black/white mini books online and letting them be the illustrators by coloring them in is fun for this too.
    When I want them to stay busy for a short period of time instead of “go turn on the TV ” I say “read a book” while I do such n such. Even though they can’t read yet I purposeful tell them to “read” the book, and make up their own stories as they flip through the pages.
    When they want to learn how to draw something specific, like a grasshopper, we’ll open up a book and learn from the illustrator.

    At 3 and 2 my children love reading and I’m so very proud of that! :-)


  1. [...] Raising readers is a topic I’ve actually written about before, but here are a seven new things I’ve noticed that draw my kids to books: [...]

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