Check out 5 Ways to Get Your Preschooler Interested in Reading! When your little one becomes a preschooler they begin to learn letters and simple words. This is when picture books become really exciting! But, what do you do if your little one just isn’t interested? What if they never want to sit down and read a book? Well, no worries! We’ve got some great tips on how to get your preschooler interested in reading. When your little one is excited to read this opens a gigantic world for them full of mysteries and adventures. It allows them to explore new worlds and build confidence along the way.
Number 1: Choose a topic in which they take an interest.
The number one reason a preschooler doesn’t want to read is because…. it’s boring! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. Chances are your little ones are reading the wrong books! Each child is different, so try to listen to them talk during the day. What is it they talk about? What makes them excited? Do they like being outside and adventuring, or do they like being creative and crafting a mystical animal? I think we all know a person who “hates reading” but loves Harry Potter. This is a great example of someone who simply hadn’t found their interest until “he who must not be named” came around.
When I was a preschooler I was obsessed with ballet! I loved books like “Angelina Ballerina” and “Amy the Dancing Bear”. When my brother was a preschooler he loved “Thomas the Tank Engine”. See how different we are? It took a bit of time, but once my parents discovered our interests, we were reading like crazy! If you haven’t found your preschooler’s interest yet, don’t give up! You never know what your little one will become fascinated with! It’s all part of the journey.
Some area of interest to explore: dancing, sports, spooky monsters, nature adventures, animal stories, dragons and princesses, fairytales, books about family, science experiments, outer space, friendship, trains and cars, pets, cooking, airplanes, and the Zoo.
Number 2: Create a space just for reading.
Nothing is worse than sitting at a table in a hard, uncomfortable chair. Make a space at home or in the classroom where your little ones can get cozy and pick up a good book! Make it a space that is free from loud noises and distractions. You’d be surprised by how many kids don’t read because every five seconds something is distracting them!
Make sure to include a couple of stuffed animals in the space. They will want to hear the story too! Include soft calming colors like green, blue, and purple. Have pillows and blankets available so that everyone can be comfortable. Putting reading time into your routine is a great way to encourage a positive habit. If you read every night before bed, why not have some special reading string lights, or flashlights? Make the activity fun!
Number 3: Create activities that go along with the book.
A great way to build interest in reading is to have activities that go along with the book. This can be anything from a fun craft to a coloring page. Simple activities can really boost the imagination and get your little ones interested in the particulars of the story. This is also a great chance to recall what happened in the book. What did the characters do or say? Where did the story take place? What was your favorite part? Talking about books is a great way to build conversation skills and build a bond with your little ones. You will be building vocabulary the whole time!
Below is an example of how to make books come alive! “My Hollydog Rides in the Car” is a favorite for my mom’s 2-year-old class. To get the little ones really excited about the book, we made coloring pages and a craft to go along with the story. One of her students got so excited about the book that she came dressed as the Hollydog for dress-up day! That’s one excited reader!
Not only can you encourage your little ones through crafts and coloring pages, but you can also encourage them through movement! Find books about ballet, basketball, rock climbing, even animals and their sounds and movements. Have fun reading the books and trying out new motions. This is a great technique if you have a little ones who loves to move! Look at the pictures in the book. How does a lion walk? How does a bird fly? How does a ballerina turn? How high does a basketball player jump? Not only will your little ones be engaging with the book, but they will be building gross motor skills!
Check out tons of awesome themes to go along with your storybooks. Discover themes like apples, animals, farm life, transportation, outer space, and more!
Number 4: Set an example. Let them see you reading.
Did you know that your kids are your biggest fans? They take notice of the things you like doing. Let your kids see you reading from time to time. When they see you engaging with an activity that you enjoy, it will encourage them to want to try that same activity. Share with them about the things you are learning when you read.
When I was growing up, my dad read the newspaper every Sunday after church. I was always asking him what he was reading! I’m sure it got annoying. It made me want to be a good reader so that I could talk to him all about the newspaper!
Have you ever tried making simple recipes with your kids? This can be anything from cookies to playdough. The only way to create something delicious is to read the recipe! When they see you reading the instructions they will want to be able to do the same. This is a great way to encourage reading, to build a bond with your little ones, and to build fine motor skills all at once!
Number 5: Grab some audiobooks.
When your child hears a confident reader, this will encourage them to do the same! Listening to a voice that is expressive with a calm pace will help your child when it’s their turn to sound out words. Audiobooks are also great for building up imagination. What do you see in your mind when you hear the voice read out loud? Whether it’s an audiobook or radio theatre, hearing a story told aloud is a great way to boost interest in reading. Check out these great audiobooks for preschoolers to engage your little ones with exciting stories!
Building memories with your little ones around books is something they will treasure in the future. When I was younger, my Aunt would sit out in the hallway and read Harry Potter aloud. Me and my brothers would listen from our rooms and it is something that I still to this day enjoy remembering. When you read books aloud, be sure to make your own expressive voices for each character. This will definitely be something for your little ones to remember!
When preschoolers love reading it puts them one step above the rest. It puts them in a great position to have a natural thirst for knowledge. Make sure you celebrate when you hit a reading milestone! When you and your preschooler have read a good book, why not check out the movie next? Which one did you like better? Some fun ideas could be “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Where the Wild Things Are”, and “Paddington”. These are all books that have been made into movies. If you get researching, you will find tons more!
The most important thing to remember when trying to get your preschooler interested in reading is not to force it. Do your best to make reading a fun experience and don’t get discouraged if you haven’t found their special interest. Sometimes it takes a bit of time. I the meantime, use crafts, coloring pages, cozy spaces, and your own example to encourage the love of books.
We hope you enjoyed these 5 Ways to Get Your Preschooler Interested in Reading. Head to the Printable Library for TONS of free printables that can be used as activities to get your little ones excited about reading!