Fun and Engaging Ways to Turn Your Child Into a Certified Bookworm

7 Fun and Engaging Ways to Turn Your Child Into a Certified Bookworm

Thanks to Hollywood, bookworms haven’t always gotten the respect they deserve. They’re often portrayed as “nerds” or outcasts. And while this may or may not contribute to the aversion that many of the younger generation experience towards reading, it’s far from an accurate picture.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to instill in our children a love and appreciation for reading. After all, it’s one of the most crucial skills they will ever learn and will impact the rest of their lives in massive ways. But before they begin piecing together various letters and sounds to form words, they must first develop a passion for the power of those little markings on the page. Children who develop a love for books at an early age will nearly always experience greater ease when learning to read.

What Is the Most Effective Way to Teach a Child to Read?

By now, you’ve probably realized that the techniques for teaching children to read are extremely vast and varied. While one praises the use of sight words, the other warns that such methods will be detrimental to your child’s learning, and they all promise that their way is the best (and only) way.

What’s a parent to do? Maybe you’ve read the studies behind each technique and have been left with more questions than you started with. You’re so confused, you don’t even know where to begin. If that’s you, you’re far from alone. The early elementary teachers at our private school in Atlanta have met with countless such confused parents. What is the most effective way to teach a child to read? The answer might not be as complex as you think:


When all is said and done, most children aren’t going to develop an affinity for something they haven’t been properly exposed to. If you want children to enjoy reading, make reading enjoyable. Do it together and do it often. Make it a reward rather than a chore or another item of homework to check off the to-do list. Let your child see you curled up on the couch enjoying a good book. By fostering a positive attitude about reading, you’re equipping your child with an attitude for success.

7 Ways to Make Reading Fun and Engaging

1. Read Often

You know how the saying goes: “The more, the merrier.” Try to encourage a lifestyle of reading. Younger children who are still at home have endless opportunities for storytime, but no matter how old your children are, try to set aside time each day for reading without distraction.

Be careful not to sacrifice quality for quantity. Rather than seeing how many books you can rush through before bedtime, milk that book for all it’s worth. Channel your inner actor with varied character voices, change the volume and dynamics of your voice to keep children engaged, and stop to ask questions about the book.

2. Read Together

If you want reading to be a priority for your child, it should also be a priority for you. Set aside time to read together as often as possible. If you can, set aside your phone and anything else that might distract from quality reading time with your child. Choose a chapter book to read together as a family each evening before bed or make a daily routine of afternoon snack and story time.

3. Keep Up the Conversation

Reading requires a diverse vocabulary and understanding of context and language. You can help your child develop each of these things by engaging in frequent conversations. Don’t worry about using words that might be outside of their vocabulary. Instead, introduce new words and ask your child what they think the words might mean based on the context of the conversation. Then, explain the definitions and how they might use them in their own conversations.

4. Reader’s Choice

As parents, it can be easy to do most of the choosing when it comes to books. When you’ve read the same book so many times you could recite it in your sleep, it’s no wonder you want to introduce something different. However, the more freedom a child has in their reading material, the more likely they are to develop a love for reading.

Try to let your child pick out the books that they’d like to read as much as possible, even if it means patiently enduring the same book for the 90th time that week. Don’t worry, it’s a phase.

5. Visit the Library

Not everyone has the money or the space to build an extensive and diverse children’s library in their own home. If you want to provide your child with a variety of books without breaking the bank (or the bookshelf), head to your local library and let your child browse. Kids will enjoy the excitement of new reading material and will always look forward to the next library day.

6. Make It a Privilege, Not a Chore

It can be all too easy to view reading as something you “have to do” rather than something you get to do. But just as most children don’t actively look forward to chores like making their bed or cleaning their room, they won’t look forward to reading if it’s treated as a chore. Treat reading as a reward by offering storytime after they’ve completed a task and gifting them a new book every now and then.

7. Play Reading Games

One of the best ways to turn your child into a certified bookworm is to make reading fun. Today, there are more reading-centered games and activity ideas available than ever before. Games that involve skills such as rhyming, or memory can help children enjoy reading without even knowing they’re learning!

Exposure is a major step in helping most kids to read well and love reading. However, if your child is showing signs of reading difficulties in spite of ongoing exposure, ask about our early reading intervention programs. Early remediation is the key to helping kids overcome reading challenges, and we’re well-equipped to help.