How To Raise A Kid Who Loves To Read (And Why It Matters)

The benefits of raising a child who loves to read can’t really be overstated. Not only does reading with children provide a nearly incomparable opportunity for quiet bonding time, research shows those who learn to love reading at a young age tend to be more motivated, read more and show greater language and literacy development later in life.

Some kids might seem to be born with their noses in books, but the good news is that any child can learn to love reading. Parents and grandparents play a big role in whether children fall in love reading, and if you aren’t already, you can start taking steps immediately to make sure you’re raising a kid who loves to read.

Because all children deserve the opportunity to learn to love reading, the Scripps Howard Foundation has launched a literacy campaign called “If You Give a Child a Book.” The foundation raises money and, in a partnership with Scholastic Books, purchases and provides books to children in need through local nonprofit organizations. To date, the Scripps Howard Foundation has donated more than 500,00 books to children in need. You can help by donating online or texting “BOOK” to 345345.

Here’s what you can start doing today to raise an avid reader.

1. Start Reading When They’re Small

Reading to your child from birth has numerous benefits. Books teach babies about communication, introduce several educational concepts and build their vocabularies, for starters.

Children reading a book on the floor

2. Read Books Daily

Reading for 20 minutes a day will help your child prepare for school, be more successful and learn how entertaining books can be.

Father reads a book to his son on family room floor

3. Have Reading Material At The Ready For Kids

Kids with access to books and other reading material (from comic books to magazines and newspapers) are more likely to read and learn to enjoy the pastime.

Child reads book with bookshelves in background

4. Set An Example

You are your child’s first and most significant role model. When you read for entertainment and edification, your kids glean that reading is important and enjoyable.

Woman Reading at home

5. Love The Library

Children can choose from countless titles at the local library, opening them up to a world of wonderful books. They can also make use of the numerous tools, activities and additional benefits that come with a library card.

Schoolgirls looking for books in library

6. Let Kids Choose Their Books

You can find books on virtually any subject, making it possible to discover titles your child is sure to enjoy. Research shows that kids who have access to books and can choose their own reading materials are more motivated to read and have more developed reading skills.

Group Of Children Reading books On Window Seat

7. Talk About Tales

Discuss the characters and elements of a book while you are reading together and after you have finished. Talking about books shows the value you place on them and helps with reading comprehension.

Parent and child read a book together

8. Make Reading Time Special

Kids crave their parents’ undivided attention. When you read to your child, put everything else aside and focus on your relationship and the story at hand. Your little one will come to see reading as a meaningful activity that they will carry on for a lifetime.

Mom reads to two young girls

What tips do you have for raising a child who loves to read?

Simplemost — in partnership with our audiences, our parent company, The E.W. Scripps Company, and the Scripps Howard Foundation — is helping to put books into the hands of kids who need them most as part of the 2021 “If You Give A Child A Book …” campaign. To give, you can make a donation here or text “BOOK” to 345345. To date, the Scripps Howard Foundation has donated over 500,000 books to kids in need.