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How to encourage older children to read


Our children benefit from time spent reading every day.  When a child reads widely, they build their general knowledge, learn new and interesting words and heighten their understanding of other cultures. Additionally, children who read, see in action what good authors do to cleverly craft texts and captivate their audience.

Despite the benefits, as life gets busy, parents often drop off reading to their child once the child reaches the age of six. Let us encourage you to continue sharing books and reading together even as your child gets older. Make reading a priority when other activities compete for your child’s time. 

Following are some suggestions around how to encourage your older child to keep reading. 

  • Encourage your child and their friends to swap books with each other. This will encourage them to talk and think about the books they are reading.
  • Make sure your home is a reading home - make sure there is a quiet place in your home with easy access to books or other print.
  • Visit the local or school library or bookshop together on a regular basis, and enjoy spending time choosing new books.
  • Give books or book tokens as presents. Encourage friends and family to follow your lead.
  • Encourage your child to develop their own taste in reading. Encourage them to read series of books written by their favourite author. Encourage your child to read about their interests (fiction or non-fiction).
  • Encourage your child to carry a book or tablet so they can read on journeys or in spare moments – you can do this, too!
  • Keep reading together. There are lots of books that both adults and young people can enjoy. Read books you can all talk about but make the talk light-hearted, not testing or over-questioning.
  • Ensure that your child sees you reading. It doesn't matter if it's a cookery book, novel, craft book, computer or car magazine, science book- anything!
  • Encourage your child to join in - ask them to read the instructions for you as you assemble furniture or get them to read an interesting article found online to a family friend.

Happy reading!