Encouraging Reading

boy sitting on bench while holding a book

Not everyone loves reading – some are just not interested, some too busy, some find it too hard and others may have dyslexia. While some of these ideas and strategies may help those with dyslexia, more information can also be found here.

Modelling- it's a great motivator

woman sitting on sofa

Let children see you reading – books, kindles, online articles, recipes etc.

Read to them without expecting them to join in.

Leave interesting / exciting books open where children can see them and browse them if they want to.

Giving Reading a Purpose- we're never too young to learn

man in black crew neck t-shirt holding girl in pink t-shirt

Tell children when you need to read up on something; find a recipe, check out a fact etc –

Talk about how much you are enjoying a book / magazine, what you like about it and how it makes you feel, what it’s inspired you to do.


woman reading with girl while lying on orange and white floral picnic mat

Make a special time and place to read, away from distraction and snuggle up together with a good book/ magazine/online book/ instruction leaflet for lego etc. Maybe with a drink and snack.

Support- it's never too early to start!

person carrying baby while reading book

Let your child choose the book / magazine / comic / online book etc. It doesn’t matter if they don’t read a set book.

Warm up the text by talking about the title – guessing what it’s about, the pictures, characters and blurb. What do they think might happen? Who’s the hero? Where does the story take place?

Pick out tricky character names and key words – write them down if it helps with images as prompts.

Word Hunt – Look at a key / common occurring word, or name on a page then ask your child to see how many times they can find it on the next couple of pages – write it down if they need a clue. Repeat a couple of times and keep the clues to help them later.

Ready to read- don't expect all the reading to be done by them

boy in gray sweater beside boy in gray and white plaid dress shirt

Paired reading – you read a page / sentence first, they read a page / sentence.

Copy Cat reading – you read a sentence / page first, they copy afterwards

Nudge reading – You start reading and they nudge you when they are ready to take over – don’t worry if their not at first, nudging you again when they want you to read again – again don’t worry how soon this maybe!

Hopefully they will slowly want to take on more of the reading as their confidence grows.

If they really don’t want to read a published book try –

Making their own book

2 boys sitting on blue and brown wooden boat during daytime

Let them choose a topic – Use their interest, hobby, instructions for a game they create, or a model they’ve made, a pet or family photos.

Fact or fiction? – let them choose.

Write a page at a time – you could type or write for them.

Rehearse reading each page (as above if needed) as the book builds, to check they are happy with it – it gives subtle reading practice too!

Let them add photo’s / images, or draw pictures for each page if they want.

Happy Reading – Please email if you would like more support ideas and help.