Little Kids

Ultimate reading guide: Top tips from our readers

reading guide

We asked you your awesome tips for getting kids to read:

Every night I pretend I can’t get to sleep unless I hear a bedtime story. My five-year-old daughter always jumps at the chance to tuck me in and read to me. — Kirstyn Scherer

We play word games when we’re in the car. I will spell short words (cat, rat, bat, grass, tree, road, car, etc.), and my four-year-old will sound out the letters and try to get the word. It’s his favourite game. — Talitha Simonato

Make books interactive. When I read Stone Soup to the kids at my daycare, we then make stone soup for snack. We collect rocks, and add all the “ingredients” to a pot. Then I make an actual pot of soup, and we eat it. — Tara Pfaff

I read to my son every night. I find ways in the daytime to quote the books we read the night before and talk about things that might relate to the story. It gets him excited, because he feels a part of the specific tale we read. — Nicole Ward

I put on the captions when my daughter watches TV. — Cortney Woods

We do neighbourhood walks with my preschooler, and we read the signs and numbers. — Naila Afridi


Two words: comic books! I find if my seven-year-old daughter is overtired or not interested in reading a regular book, I offer her a Charlie Brown comic book. It’s still reading. — Lisa Morgan Rossiter

I get in bed with her for a bit with my book (not iPad), and we read our books together. Also, I pick books that I know she will be interested in (a.k.a. anything with Frozen on it)! — Chantal Saville

When our boys wanted to earn extra money, we started a reading program. They get $2 for every graphic novel and $5 for every chapter book they read. They have to be able to discuss the books (and not just speed-read). It has instilled a love of reading, and they’re making cash at the same time! — Donna Edwards

Props! We use our socks or stuffed animals as the characters to act out the story. — Marie McEvoy


If my kids want a snack, they have to read one line from the packaging. I think they’ve got Oreos memorized. — Krystal Robertson

You Can Also Try: Using a label maker (or pen and paper) to put little signs on things around the house.

Making a “book nook”: a special place your kid can go to curl up with their favourite stories. It can be a tent, a cute closet or even just a comfy corner of the house dressed up with pillows.

A version of this article appeared in our August 2014 issue with the headline "The ultimate guide to reading," pp. 55-60.

This article was originally published on Aug 27, 2014

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