Reading for pleasure: Ten ideas to inspire your child to read more
Reading for pleasure is so important for children’s vocabulary development, and a great opportunity to escape into the world of the imagination too. Whether your child is a keen or reluctant reader, use the list below to find an idea (or two!) to inspire your child to keep on reading.
1. Random acts of (book) kindness
Some young people are inspired to read more if they know it will be helping others. Reading with younger children can be a great way to develop vocabulary skills, and can boost your child’s self-confidence and communication skills too.
2. 11 before you’re 11
If your child is motivated by targets or prizes, set them a reading-based challenge. Can they read 11 books – in a category of their choice – before they are 11? These could be classic novels, comics, famous books, etc. Decide whether there’s a prize at the end. You can adapt this for any age child - 4 before you're 4, 6 before you're 6, 10 before you're 10 etc.
3. Audiobooks and apps
Try audiobooks if your child is a reluctant reader or even just for a change. You can access thousands of audiobooks online or via apps like Hoopla and Audible, and many libraries also offer a free service such as BorrowBox or RBdigital. Try the BBC Sounds app for music, podcasts, and radio shows as an alternative.
4. New books for free
Book review websites such as Toppsta and Lovereading4kids invite children to sign up to become reviewers. Your child can select the books they are interested in reading, and publishers will send a free copy to your home in return for writing a short online review.
5. Book club
Encourage your child to set up a book club with friends and take it in turns to host. Chatterbooks has free downloadable resources to kick-start conversations.
6. Reading for charity
Take part in a Readathon or other sponsored reading event to raise money for good causes and funds for school books. And if your child has caught the fundraising bug, they could organise a book sale of donated books, a book quiz, or a ‘Big Book Off’ challenge, all with reading at the heart of the event.
7. Read a series of books
Is your child interested in a particular author? topic? or style of books? then look out for books written by the same author. Many authors produce several books and make series of books like Harry Potter, Enid Blyton, Diary of a Wimpy Kid etc.
8. Creative competitions
There are lots of short, fun writing and book-themed competitions for children, including reviews, short stories, journalism, handwriting, and poetry. Look online for something that will appeal.
9. Join your local library
Get your child a library card. They’ll be able to get their hands on hundreds of fantastic books, as well as the latest video games, blu-rays and DVDs. Let them choose what they want to read to help them develop their own interests.
10. Stage and screen
If there’s a film adaptation of a novel at your local cinema, or a play by the school drama club or local theatre, see if you can get tickets. Alternatively, watch a film or TV version of a book at home.
Some of these ideas have been adapted from a resource pack created by Oxford University Press in collaboration with Teachit.