9 Tips for How to Raise an Eager Reader

Are you a parent of a toddler who wants to foster a love of reading in your child? Even at your child’s young age, there are ways to make sure that your child loves to read.

Here are the 9 best tips for how to raise an eager reader

  1. Talking in a slow, gentle manner with well-organized sentences about all the things in your child’s environment

    For example, you might say, “what a pretty bird,” “that car is going fast,” or “the kids are not here today.” 

    Young children listen a lot and it is amazingly effective in getting their attention and in leading them to process language. Good language is central to reading success.

  2. Do NOT ask questions

    People tend to pry a kid with questions and in the long run, it is off-putting. Questions make interaction a test instead of fun. Instead of asking questions, comment a lot and give your toddler lots of time to enter the conversation if he or she wants.

  3. Sit with child and turn the pages of simple, well-illustrated books

    Again, don’t ask questions. Just relax. Your actions will communicate the fun and appeal of books.

  4. Introduce your child to a range of books

    For example, pictionaries, wordless books, and simple stories. Keep the time periods that you and your child sit with a book brief (under 20 minutes).

  5. If you are comfortable, make simple drawings (with your child watching) of ideas in the book you are reading to child

    For example, if the book talks about a kid wanting to climb a ladder, you can try a drawing of that. If your child wants to contribute to the drawing, encourage him or her to contribute, but don’t demand it.

  6. Offer nursery rhymes

    Toddlers love the flow of language and it helps develop rhyming skills, which are important in reading.

  7. Do simple games and activities that develop visual and motor skills

    Reading and writing require a host of visual and motor skills that receive little attention. If they are in place, reading and writing moves more easily. Offer simple games and activities that develop visual and motor skills. Examples of these kinds of activities are rolling out play dough and making simple shapes, putting small pegs in cups based on size or color; finding “hidden” items in pictures (like Where’s Waldo).

  8. Spend a relaxed period every day of about a half hour just sitting, playing or talking

    You should do this with no interruptions, no texting, no phone, and no TV.

  9. Limit television access to no more than 30 minutes a day (no access is better)

    Toddlers do not need TV and excessive amounts of TV actually work against all the skills needed for the active processing in reading and writing.

If you want to know how to raise a reader and have a child who is four or older, please visit our site and sign up for a 30 day free trial of the Reading Kingdom. Our award-winning online reading program works with children at multiple levels including preschool reading, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade. Each level teaches all the skills and abilities required to be able to progress to the next level. With Reading Kingdom’s comprehensive 6-skill system children’s eagerness to learn will rise significantly even as they experience the lessons as fun reading games.