Reading is a huge part of our family’s day-to-day life. We’ve been reading with the kids since they were babies. Now that two of the kids can read, it is an even bigger part of our routine. My kids are all bookworms!

I believe that some kids’ personalities are more drawn to reading than others. It takes a little more work to get the reluctant reader on board. How do you get the reluctant reader on board with books?? I’ve got Tips and Tricks for How to Encourage Kids to Read (and LOVE IT)!

How Parents Can Help Kids Learn to Love Reading #tips #literacy #books #kids


Read Bedtime Stories

This is something we were encouraged to do with the kids as soon as they were born. Even our 10-year-old still asks us to read to her and I don’t see it ended anytime soon! This isn’t always easy when we have 3 kids who want three different types of stories. So most nights we divide and conquer between parents. This is probably the single biggest contribution to our kids’ love of reading. Beyond just the benefit of the story, each child gets some one-on-one time with a parent.

Sometimes having the energy as a parent to read after a long day can be challenging. But we really try not to skimp on this routine.

Our youngest still requests picture books. While the older two have us reading chapter books. We’ve read many different series including Harry Potter, Little House on the Prairie and Magic Treehouse. So, we’ve covered a lot of books between what we read with them and what they read on their own. Here are a couple of our recent favorites that are great for 8-12 year old boys and girls. I’ll do a BIG post of our favorite books by age very soon!

MUST read for all kids and adults. Such a powerful message about kindness.

Favorite classic for 3rd-6th graders

Touching story that provides some thought-provoking discussion about animals in captivity



Have Books Around the House

It is hard to resist a good book. So when the kids come home with their Scholastic Book orders I can’t resist letting them order a couple each. As a child,  I loved getting Scholastic books as well! Since we have so many books, they tend to be everywhere in the house. I try to corral them neatly in baskets but I don’t mind having them in most rooms. We have them in our playroom, family room and each of their bedrooms. I mentioned in this post last week that I try to gather books for the season (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc) and put them in a basket in our family room so we don’t forget to read them.

We also always have books in the car. I make sure they have a book for a long drive…or any drive over five minutes! This has almost been a sneaky way of upping their reading time. They are stuck in a car with little else to do!

Create Cozy Reading Spots

Everyone loves to find a comfortable spot to read in the house. You do not need a fancy set up to create a reading environment! A few pillows or just designating a quiet corner of the home is all it takes!

You can take a look at the cute reading nooks I’ve pinned on my Pinterest page

Our home has a couple of cozy spots that are the most popular reading nooks! We have some unused space in an alcove on the second floor that became a book corner. I didn’t buy anything to make this space. A bunch of pillows, some twinkly lights and a framed (free) book related printable fill the space! It’s a space the kids see every time they walk upstairs to their bedrooms, so it’s always inviting them in!

Kids Book Nook

My daughter, our biggest reader, has a cozy chair in her room that she spends a lot of time in. The boys have a fun teepee next to their bookcase. All of these cozy spots and sometimes they just end up on the couch. But I like options!

Reading Corner for Kids

Teepee | Bookcase

We also just got this HUGE bean bag couch and it is sure to be a favorite. What can be better than a cozy spot to relax and read! The kids (and dog) are already fighting for a turn on this.

Cozy Reading Chairs


Rotate in New Books

I am always on the lookout for inexpensive, age appropriate books. To save money, you can check the resale stores, neighborhood garage sales and Facebook garage sale sites. It is nice to get used books because we can read them and then pass them on to friends or donate. There are so many ways to get new (to you) books that don’t have to cost a lot of money!

The kids love getting gift cards to bookstores–a perfect gift for birthdays and holidays!

Host a Book Swap

Another creative idea to acquire new books is a book swap. A few years ago my daughter had a book exchange with the girls in her class at the end of the school year. It was perfect timing as everyone can benefit from good summer reading books! We had the girls over our house and everyone brought a few books to swap. Each girl came home with as many new books as books they brought to exchange.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to host a party,  you could still encourage your child to swap books with one or two friends. It doesn’t have to be a big event to exchange books with some buddies.

Throw a Book Swap Party | Coffee, Pancakes & Dreams


As I mentioned, some children seem more naturally attracted to reading so it can be a challenge for those kids who don’t see it as enjoyable. In those cases, it can be worth a try to offer some enticing incentives to make it fun.

Some additional ideas to encourage reading include:

  • Rewarding the child with a special movie night of the book he/she has read.
  • Providing fun gadgets to aid in reading. My son has this book timer/bookmark. He is a details and numbers guy so tracking how much time he reads really motivates him. Also, the all of my kids have little reading lights that they use in bed. Even a fun $1 bookmark can be a reward!
  •  Offer a fun drink and a snack before bed when the child is reading. Or even better, tie the snack into the theme of the story (goldfish for stories about the ocean,  butterbeer for Harry Potter books…)
  • Have the child sign up for a membership card at the local library. Kids love independence and this is a perfect opportunity to allow them to feel grown up!
  • Match up a cute toy or stuffed animal with the book.

How to Develop Bookworms

Reading his favorite book series “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” with all of the book characters


It is all about meeting kids at their level and finding something that works for each one of them! I’d love to hear from you. How do you encourage reading at your house? Do you have any challenges with getting your kids to read or listen to stories?

Fun Ways to Get Kids to Read More | Coffee, Pancakes & Dreams


  1. Emily on September 19, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Great suggestions! Here’s one of mine: I read to my kids at breakfast when I’m awake and they are still groggy. It motivates them to come down to hear the next part of the story. Any tips on where to get a decent reading light for their beds?

    • jmusselman8 on September 19, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      That is a great idea Emily! Love it!! My kids have the little battery operated book lights that clip on to the book. Or you can consider a light that clips to the bed frame (my daughter has that too).

  2. Brittany on September 19, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I love these tips! We do all of these things around our house as well and even though my little ones are only 1 & 3 they both LOVE books.

    • jmusselman8 on September 19, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      That is great! When the kids are little and always moving it’s nice to have a some quieter activities you can do with them.

  3. Katie on September 19, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Great tips! We’ve been lucky so far with the girls loving books, but I have noticed a slightly less interested in reading once school started & the weather is still nice so I’ll have to implement them.
    You guys should make a Little Free Library outside your house. Do you guys have these? We have them all over our neighborhood & the girls are obssessed with them.

    • jmusselman8 on September 20, 2017 at 6:50 am

      Nicer weather does make it harder to want to stay indoors and read! We have talked about those Little Free Libraries! The kids’ school is putting one in front of the building and there are a couple around town. Such a great idea!

  4. Joleen on September 20, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I am a book a folic and sure hope my son follows in my footsteps!!

    • jmusselman8 on September 20, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      THey say kids who watch their parents read are more likely to read themselves! I love reading although making the time is not always easy..

  5. Rachel on January 29, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    I need these tips! My 5 year old boy just doesn’t love it… but my 2 year old daughter would read all day if I let her!! 🙂 I need to get on board with ‘rewards’ for my 5 year old 😉

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