19 Great Ways to Get Grade School Kids to Read

Want to encourage kids to read? I’ve put together a list of great ways to get kids engaged in reading. Even if you don’t use all of these ideas, you’ll be able to find a few that will work for your family. Encouraging kids to read does not have to be hard, in fact, it can be easy and fun!

19 Ways to Encourage Children to Read

Here’s my list of nineteen ways to encourage your child to read more.

1) Read Often

We often take it for granted that our kids are going to read without parents having to do anything but go to the library and buy a few books. But in truth, it takes a lot of effort to get kids interested in reading. The first step is to read to your children often.

Read to them before bedtime, when you are on the way to school or when you are traveling. Keep books around the house and encourage kids to pick them up and read. The more often you read to them or they read, the easier it will be to keep reading.

2) Know what your child’s interests are

If your child is interested in sports, read sports books. If they like animals, get books about animals. There are plenty of great books out there aimed at kids. You just have to know what your kids like. By doing this, you’ll have an easier time getting them to read books that they are interested in.

3) Keep books in your home

Make sure that your kids know where books are kept and that they are allowed to read whenever they want to. Make it a family rule to read before bed, before going to school or when traveling.

4) Keep books by their bedside

Let kids know that they are always allowed to read at night. If they are tired of reading, they can sleep with a book under their pillow. That’s a joke, but having books around the house and by their bedside is important.

5) Make reading a family event

Go to the library together. Take turns reading to the kids. When you read aloud, make it fun. Sing, do voices or act out the stories. Make story time fun! This can be one way to inspire kids to want to read.

6) Take your kids to the bookstore

Let them check out books before you buy them. Let them look through a few before you pick one. Have them look through magazines too. Be sure they know they can always ask you to buy the book or magazine that they like. This can be one way to encourage reading.

7) Encourage kids to read comic books

If you have a child who loves comic books, be sure to let them know that comic books count as books. Make sure they know that comic books are part of the library, just like other books. If they want to read comics, make sure they are reading something decent.

8) Get your kids involved in book groups at school or public libraries

Many libraries have book groups where kids get together and talk about books they’ve read. They pick books they think they will like and read them aloud. They get together to talk about the book, have fun, play games and enjoy snacks. This can be a great way to encourage kids to read.

9) Give kids gifts that are books

Kids love presents, so why not give them books as gifts? You can buy books to give for birthdays or holidays. You can buy books for rewards for good behavior or grades. You can buy books for doing chores or just because. Giving books as presents is one way to encourage your kids to read.

10) Create a club at school

Get the kids in your child’s class together and start a book club. It can be a lot of fun and a great way to encourage kids to read. If you are part of the PTA or a parent-teacher organization at your school, talk to them about starting a book club. The library may have a book club that you can join too.

11) Go to book fairs

Book fairs are great for encouraging kids to read. Book clubs, authors and even celebrities come to different schools to promote their books. Book fairs are fun for kids because they are a way to get excited about reading. It’s a way to make sure your kids see books as something fun.

12) Have books in the car

Have books available for your kids to read when you are on the road. Have a book ready for an hour car ride, a longer trip or even when you are waiting at the mechanic’s shop. Make it a habit to always have books available in the car.

13) Get kids involved in the selection of books

Don’t just go to the library and get a bunch of books that you think kids will like. Let them see the books and pick books that they would like to read. When kids are involved in selecting books, they are much more inclined to read them.

14) Decorate your home with bookish items

Have bookish items around the house; this includes book shelves, book marks and posters of favorite stories. These items can really help to encourage kids to read. By showing children that we value books, they are more inclined to value them.

15) Buy and read eBooks

Yes, I know we’ve already talked about buying books, but eBooks are a new way to read and encourage kids to read. You can read eBooks on tablets, phones or even on your computer. The great thing about eBooks is that they are often less expensive than hardback books. By encouraging kids to use eBooks, you can save money and encourage them to read at the same time.

16) Have a book exchange

Have a book exchange at the house. You can make it a family event or just do it when the kids are away at school. Go through old books, books you’ve read and kids’ books. Pick out the books that you want to keep. Then set up a book exchange shelf where everyone can put the books they want to get rid of.

17) Start a book drive

Get kids involved in a book drive. Many schools and organizations do this. They collect books and give them to kids who might not have books at home. This not only helps the kids who need books, but it teaches kids that it’s nice to give. It’s one way to encourage kids to read.

18) Go on a literacy vacation

If you can afford it, take your family on a literacy vacation somewhere. Bookstores can be a lot of fun and inspire kids to read. Museums, libraries and even water parks can be a lot of fun and a great way to get kids to want to read more.

19) Choose fiction over non-fiction

If you have a child who does not have an interest in non-fiction reading, choose fiction over non-fiction. It’s much more fun for kids. When you read to your kids and have them pick books to read, choose fiction over non-fiction. You’ll find that kids who may have not liked non-fiction will enjoy the fun of fiction books.


Reading is a great habit to have. If you can get your children into reading, they are more likely to enjoy and learn from reading. They are also more likely to be successful in school. Make it a habit to encourage your kids to read as often as possible. By doing this, they will be inspired to want to do it on their own.

If you want more great tips on encouraging kids to read, including tips on books that are good for kids and great ways to set up a book exchange, check out the rest of the site. Thanks for reading. And be sure to check out our Facebook group for even more.

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Kenny Kings

Kenny Kings is a chapter book author who is helping Paul Bellow fill the Hoosier Chapter Books blog with great content. You can find out more about Kenny Kings on the Kenny Kings bio page. Kenny Kings does not have children of his own, but he has more than enough nieces and nephews. With the help of the editorial team, he's been contributing to our blogging efforts to help families everywhere while promoting our chapter books. You can contact him at kennykings@hoosierchapterbooks.com.