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Inspiring Children to Read: Best Practices and How to Select the Right Books

Nothing fills me with more pleasure than seeing a child with their head buried in a book. Sadly, this interaction was becoming increasingly rare as a teacher. According to the Celebrating Reading for Enjoyment report, 1 in four admitted to only enjoying reading a bit or not at all. Why are some children so motivated to read intrinsically and others, not at all? What can educators do to motivate those who do not find reading a pleasurable pastime?

Start Early

The best way to encourage a lifelong love of reading is to start early! Babies and toddlers are sponges, so it's important to introduce them to books as soon as possible. Even if they can't yet read themselves, reading aloud to them and pointing out the pictures will help develop their language skills while also instilling a love for stories.

Routines with Children Around Reading

It's also helpful to establish routines with children around reading. This could involve reading before bedtime or during certain times of the day. When kids know that they're going to have some time for reading every day, they'll be more likely to get into the habit.

Keep it Fun by Choosing a Variety of Great Books From Different Genres

Exposing children to a range of texts allows them to explore experiences different from their own as well as develop knowledge and opinions about the world around them. This type of exposure helps children develop literacy skills, vocabulary and learn how to use language in different ways.

Book Clubs for Kids

Who doesn't love a book club? Especially if it's with your friends! Book clubs are great because they encourage children to read by offering them incentives like prizes or treats. If this is something you would like to implement at school, make sure to contact parents about the idea so that everyone gets involved and supports their child with reading every day. This will make all the difference.

How NOT To Select Books For Children: A Guide for Parents & Educators

  • Don't select books based on interest levels like "boys don't want princesses"and "girls don't want superheroes". Readers need diverse options that might not necessarily align with your initial recommendations for that child.

  • Don't only choose age-appropriate books for children. Books with more complex topics and vocabulary can expand their minds, so try not to stick exclusively within the child's grade level or reading ability when choosing books for them.

  • Try not to limit the book options based on topic. In other words, if a child loves sports, don’t just give them all sporty books! By exposing kids to different types of literature, they will be able to explore experiences outside their own comfort zones, which means expanding horizons and learning new things about themselves too! What could be better than that?

How To Select Books For Children: A Guide for Parents & Educators

First off, parents should know what genre is and their child's favourite, whether that be mystery books, adventure stories or comedies.

From there, try to find similar authors if they already have a preferred book series. If not, browsing through the children's section of a bookstore (or library) and taking note of which covers are appealing is always a good place to start!

Another suggestion would be to think about what the child is currently interested in and select a book on that topic. For example, if they love dinosaurs, then why not get them "Dinosaurs Before Dark"? It'll keep them excited about reading while also expanding their knowledge of prehistoric creatures!

Last but not least, don't forget about picture books! They're great for all ages and can be used as learning tools too!

To Conclude

If you're looking for more ways to encourage your child with reading, try out these ideas: Have them read aloud before bed every night or take turns with each member of the family reading a page from their favourite book. This will help make it fun!

Keeping track of how long they're reading as opposed to how much ensures children stay motivated as we all read and learn at different speeds. As the time spent with books increases, they could earn prizes at home or school, like stickers, play dates with friends, letters home or trips out.


Co-founder and esteemed SEND English teacher Hannah Rix releases weekly blogs on key topics of the moment, as well as the most challenging, prescient, controversial and relevant issues facing your child. To find out more, visit www.readingmate.co.uk






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