Albert Einstein once said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

Reading is the foundation for success in school. Encouraging reading with your child will help prepare them for life. The better your child can read, the easier it will be for them to learn what they need to in school.

So how do you encourage your child to read when they have so many other forms of entertainment like television or video games? Here are a few tips to help your child view reading as a fun activity rather than a chore. 

Set up a home library

Encourage your child to read every day. Like most things, reading is a skill that gets better with practice. Try setting up an at home library that includes books, magazines or newspapers.This will encourage your child to read because they have options.  Add books or magazines that are your child’s favorite so they can enjoy them over and over again.  For children ages 0-6, books may be more compatible for them while children ages 7+ may begin to take interest in magazines. 

Read aloud with your child

This is the most important thing you can do to encourage your child’s reading success. Champion’s TALK READ SING Tampa Bay community campaign emphasizes the importance of reading to your child from birth. Learning begins at birth, not school entry. Babies with low levels of one-to-one interactions fall measurably behind by 18 months and tend to fall further behind by kindergarten entry.

Make an effort to set aside time daily to read aloud stories that both you and your child enjoys. Vary the length of time spent reading and the types of content you read to keep your child interested. Allowing children ages 3 and up to finish the sentence or predict what will happen next will also keep them engaged.

Look for unusual places to read

Teach your child that reading doesn’t just occur before bed. Read under a tree, at a park, or even toss a sheet over the dining room table to create a reading hideaway. If you have multiple children, you can create a family contest for the most unusual place they read during the week. 

Find a guest reader

During our time at home, we have learned many creative ways to do things virtually that we are  used to doing outside of our homes. Having a guest read to your child can be an exciting twist on their daily reading. There are many YouTube creators who read books aloud on their channels. For example, Books with Miss B on YouTube reads children’s books aloud, making each story engaging by her change in tone. Guest readers can also be family. Have their favorite aunt or grandparent read them a story via Facetime or Zoom. Older children aging 13 years or older may enjoy audio books they can follow along with. 

Reading scavenger hunt

For more advanced readers you can test out your child’s detective skills. Write our clues that will send your child from one part of the house to another. While your child is having fun, they are also getting some valuable practice in real life problem solving and reading. You can also try this with a newspaper. Give them a list of things to find in the newspaper, giving them an opportunity to explore the different sections. 

Promoting your child’s love of reading is one of the most important things you can do to put your child on the road to success. Talking, singing, reading and playing are simple yet powerful interactions that have profound and direct biology-based impact by creating powerful neuron connections (brain architecture) in your infant’s brain. The biology is the same for all races and ethnicities. As a parent, you are the first teacher and primary level of support, protection, safety and growth for your child.