Make reading fun

13 Ways To Make Reading Fun For Reluctant Readers

While some students have a natural love for reading, other children may find it difficult—or just plain boring.

Many young children struggle with reading, whether it’s because they are missing foundational skills or they have trouble sitting down with a book for longer periods of time.

But just because your child is a reluctant reader doesn’t mean he or she can’t learn to enjoy it.

Making Reading Fun At Home

Getting your child to read doesn’t have to be a daily battle.

There are a number of ways you can make reading more enjoyable for your child, and help turn your reluctant reader into a bookworm. And by learning to make reading fun, your child can develop a of love for reading that will last a lifetime.

Check out these 13 tips for making reading fun (instead of frustrating) and start making reading more enjoyable for your child.

13 Ways To Make Reading Fun For Your Child

  1. Pick the right books
  2. Making reading fun starts with selecting a book your child will enjoy reading. Ask your child what kinds of stories he or she likes reading best (Adventure? Fantasy?) Make a list of books in these categories and use it to help your child choose what he or she will read next.

  3. Read aloud
  4. Reading aloud with your child can add a bit more excitement to any book. Make the story more fun by using different voices for each character and an expressive voice for dramatic parts. You can also take turns reading aloud together, choosing a character you will each provide a voice for.

  5. Act out the story
  6. Help your child bring some extra excitement to reading by using his or her imagination. Have your child draw pictures of what he or she is reading, act out the scene, put on a character puppet show, or make up alternate endings.

  7. Encourage all forms of reading
  8. Reading doesn’t always have to mean picking up a book. Magazines, graphic novels, and newspapers are other great reading materials that feel less like “work” to your child—but they still help your child practice and improve his or her reading skills.

  9. Choose books about his or her interests
  10. Reading something your child enjoys makes reading less of a chore and more of a fun activity he or she will want to do. Help your child choose books that are related to his or her interests—whether it’s sports, animals, dinosaurs, or something else.

  11. Create a reading space
  12. Make a reading area or fort where your child can read and relax on his or her own. Add blankets, pillows, and a variety of books, and your child will have a reading corner where he or she can read a book whenever the urge to read hits.

  13. Make connections between books and life
  14. Make connections between what your child is reading and your child’s own experience. Read adventure books before you take a camping trip, dinosaur books before you visit a museum, and so on. This will help make reading (and learning) more exciting for your child.

  15. Let your child choose
  16. Let your child choose what book he or she wants to read. Giving him or her a choice helps your child feel like he or she has more control, so your child will be more excited to sit down with the book he or she has chosen.

  17. Listen to audio books
  18. For children who find reading frustrating, audio books are a great alternative to help make reading more enjoyable—while still helping your child improve his or her comprehension skills.

  19. Start a series
  20. Book series are a great way to keep your child’s interest in reading high and eliminate the problem of figuring out what to read next. Another option is reading multiple, non-series books written by the same author.

  21. Have “reading hour”
  22. Each day, schedule reading time for your child to sit down and read a chapter of a book. During this time, talk to your child about what is happening in the book, what his or her favourite part was, and what he or she thinks will happen next.

  23. Take a trip to the library
  24. The library is a great resource where your child can find lots of books to read. Take advantage of the selection at your local library by letting your child pick choose a book (or two!) that catches his or her attention.

  25. Teach reading strategies
  26. Many children dislike reading simply because they don’t have the necessary reading skills. If your child avoids opening a book at all costs, talk to his or her teacher about strategies to help develop reading motivation. Once you have some tips to try, work with your child to build reading motivation together.

If your child needs help developing his or her reading skills, we can help! Contact a location near you to learn more about our programs.

50 Ideas for Making Reading Fun for Struggling Readers

Children who struggle to read might avoid reading. Some might even hate to read. Parents might feel like they have to fight with their children to get them to open a book and read their nightly minutes. While most children are assigned reading minutes each week for homework (parents might even need to sign a binder affirming their child has read), the feeling that books are homework could add to the lack of literary appeal.

Reading doesn’t have to be a fight, a battle or an argument. And those books can even be fun! Stop stressing, parents! Here are 50 ideas for making reading fun for struggling readers! Try some, try them all…and stick with what works for your child!

  1.   Stop the clock. Instead read with kids. Alternate pages with children. But parents can peek at the clock to ensure that kids hit about half an hour. The difference is that kids can’t know that the reading is being timed.
  2.   Read a book of funny poetry. All books count.
  3.   Build a reading fort. An easy way to do this is by placing two chairs with the backs facing inward (towards each other). Then drape a blanket over the chairs.
  4.   Adopt a reading friend. Maybe this is a new stuffed animal. Or a favorite stuffed animal or toy. Let children read to their friends.
  5.   Read to a pet. Or sign children up to read to the pets at a local animal shelter (some offer this type of program).
  6.   Cook a recipe for a food from the book.
  7.   Or serve up a reading-centric snack. Check out these tasty ideas from Reading Rewards.
  8.   Listen to a book on tape while reading.
  9.   Watch the movie after reading the book. Some books were transformed into movies. Check out the site Imagination Soup to find out if a child’s favorite book has a movie version.
  10. Make a special bookmark to use when reading. This can even include ‘wh’ questions to think about while reading.
  11. Or buy a bookmark to use while reading! Bookstores offer many cool bookmarks. Let the child pick their special bookmark.
  12. Younger children can visit the library for storytime to hear books read aloud.
  13. Sign a child up for a library card. This is a childhood rite of passage!
  14. Let children choose their books from the library.
  15. For birthdays, take children to a bookstore to pick out a special new book.
  16. On a budget? Head to a thrift store to let children pick out a new book. Thrift stores often have a great selection of used books…at really cheap prices!
  17. Make a reading craft after finishing a book. This can be a shoebox diorama or even Popsicle stick puppets.
  18. Encourage children to write their own book or story. Bind the book with staples. And don’t forget to let them make their own colorful cover.
  19. Visit the school’s book fair for new books.
  20. Let children write a letter to their favorite author. Many send replies!
  21. Inquire about fun reading events or clubs at the school. Some might participate in reading programs that let children earn prizes or even a free kid’s meal at restaurants.
  22. Sign up for the summer reading club at the library. Some offer prizes and/or reading club activities.
  23. Download reading apps that are also games. Let children play and read.
  24. At home, let children see parents reading.
  25. Read together as a family. Turn off all devices and schedule a family reading time.
  26. Or start a family book club. Everyone reads the same book!
  27. Create ‘reading rewards’ at home. Every time a child finishes a certain number of books, they earn a prize. Parents also could reward children with coupons that they can turn in for certain privileges.
  28. Praise children for trying when they read aloud…even when they make mistakes.
  29. Be mindful of a child’s reading level; sometimes if children read books that are too hard, it might be more of a struggle…and less fun.
  30. For books that are beyond a child’s level, parents can read aloud to them.
  31. Have a child make a list of their hobbies and anything they enjoy…and use the list to help them find books at the library or at stores.
  32. Encourage children to make a disinterested list, too. Have them include books they didn’t like and why. Talk about it.
  33. Take a reading field trip. Visit places from or linked to the story or the book.
  34. Help them understand reading strategies that can help them as they read. Strategies can include re-reading text or chunking text to make it easier to comprehend.
  35. During the holidays, read some favorite holiday stories. Make it a yearly tradition.
  36. Let children read comic books.
  37. Graphic novels count, too!
  38. When reading to younger children, make the stories come alive with fun voices and action!
  39. Parents might even encourage children to act out the story.
  40. Use e-book readers and download books onto devices (some children might prefer reading on screen).
  41. Make a reading comprehension ball with a beach ball. In each section write a question or prompt related to the plot (keep it basic). Toss the ball back and forth with children. Encourage them to answer the question that lands face up.
  42. For children who love art, encourage them to draw a scene from the book. Then ask them about it.
  43. Give children a reading break. Have they read for the week? Give them a day off.
  44. Create a family recommendations list. Have each family member write their list of favorite books (keep them age appropriate). Each individual can choose a book from someone else’s list. Make this a monthly tradition.
  45. Set family reading goals. Maybe children really want to read five books each month. Create fun reading challenges and goals for the family. Then decide what the reward will be…maybe a dinner out as a family, a trip, a movie, etc.
  46. Create a family reading space. Instead of just one small space for each child, build a cool reading space for the family. This can mean bringing out all the pillows and blankets. Then hang out and read together.
  47. Start a reading routine. Is there a time when reading regularly happens? If not…make that time. And make that time something special.
  48. Try to be there for a child during reading time…in case they need help. Make sure they understand that they have support.
  49. Mix in wordless books. Yes, there are books with only pictures. Now let the child tell the story!
  50. Finally…parents…stop NAGGING! Sometimes children hate reading because parents turn it into a chore. Be positive!

Using Reading Apps to Help Struggling Readers

Reading apps like Readability also can help children find the fun in reading. When children struggle, they may view reading negatively. Programs that can help them build confidence and proficiency might also help them understand that reading can be fun…and entertaining.

Reading apps offer different structures and might provide different types of stories and lessons. Readability, for example, can help children who struggle with both proficiency and comprehension. The program features a built-in AI tutor that serves as the instructor for lessons.

With Readability, children read aloud and the tutor learns to recognize the child’s voice. When a child stumbles on a word, the AI tutor will help them correct their mistake. At the end of each story, children will be asked questions by the AI tutor. These questions are focused on a child’s comprehension of the story. A child can only advance to a more difficult reading level if they demonstrate proficiency at their current level.

When parents sign their child up for Readability, they can set their child’s reading level so that lessons are the perfect fit. The program also can help parents determine their child’s reading level, too.

Reading should be fun, even when a child is using a program for enrichment or to help ease their reading struggles. Readability offers colorful illustrations and interactive features to keep children engaged in each book or story.

For parents, program efficacy is important. When a child is struggling in any subject, parents want to know that the resources their child is using provides a benefit. Readability provides parents with their own resource within the program; the Parent Dashboard displays all the reading data associated with their child. On the Parent Dashboard, parents can see how long their child used Readability, how many words they are currently reading per minute, their child’s current reading level and more.

For families that have multiple children who are struggling with reading, parents can use one Readability subscription for up to three children. That means that one price per month can cover three readers. And parents can see data for each child.

Parents can try Readability for free for seven days to better understand the program’s features and to let children explore the stories. Ready to try Readability? Sign up for a free trial today!

How to make reading interesting for a child

It may seem that since babies cannot speak, reading is of no use to them. However, research has shown the importance of reading for very young children, writes Kurt Wootton, co-author of Reasons to Read , on his blog at H uffingtonpost .

Read also: Why do children ask to read the same fairy tale

The main thing we do is read together every night before bed. Sandra can always choose whether to read with her mother in Spanish or read with her father in English. We've been doing this since she was born.

For the past 23 years, I've been teaching students and teachers how to make reading fun and exciting. Here are some ideas to turn reading into an interactive journey. I have used them successfully with my 3 year old daughter Sandra.


Some kids love to sit and listen to stories, but all kids get impatient sooner or later and have to do something. Maria Montessori wrote: "Hands are the instrument of the human intellect." Many books inspire building things in the real world. In the book Roxaboxen, a girl named Marian transforms the hill in front of her house into a city, using only natural objects and the help of friends. Sticks and stones are all you need to start building your own city with your kids. There are books that allow us to dream of our own special home that would fit our personality. With pencil and paper, cardboard or blocks, children can invent their own houses.

Write down

It happens that members of the same family live in different places. We live in Mexico, and Sandra's grandparents are in the United States. My mother herself writes down readings and songs from different books and sends them to me. I've made a playlist of my mom's readings in iTunes and I'm putting the related books on Sandra's coffee table. Sandra always insists on listening to all the recorded books in one sitting. She loves getting these little gifts from her grandmother and it's great that they can arrive in Mexico instantly - via email.

Looking for

Goodnight Moon is a book for all time, and here's why: kids love looking at things. Many children's books are full of objects, people, and animals in colorful landscapes (check out the books illustrated by Graham Baze and Jimmy Liao, for example). We often interrupt the story, and I ask Sandra: “How many birds are in this picture?” or "Can you find the monster?" Such simple tasks help her build a relationship with the book, and then, when she wants, she opens the book and searches for items herself - the first steps on her path to becoming an independent reader.

We carry out

I often run workshops for teachers on how they can present books to children. One of my favorite books for this is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I will do the same with Sandra. We make our way through imaginary trees with Wild Beasts. We dance wildly. She climbs on my back when we parade.


Actually, it's the daughter's idea. One day she gathered all her toy musical instruments on the table. Then she handed me a book and asked me to read it. She herself ran around the table and took the drumsticks. While I was reading, she played all the instruments, creating the soundtrack for the story.

We organize

Tidying up isn't the most creative way to interact with a book, but it's certainly important. At the end of the day, when everything has been read, played and built, we put the books to bed in plastic boxes.

Read also: 7 things that will enrich your reading together with your child

When I was teaching at the university, my colleague Eileen Landy and I asked our students to write their reader biographies. And every time we heard that the first memories were about reading with parents and close people. One student wrote:

“When I was five, my older brother and twin brother and I all sat (as far as I remember) on my father’s stomach while he lay and read aloud to us from The Lord of the Rings. If only the father's voice could continue the story forever!

Among all the many benefits of reading, the most important - I hope - is that my daughter will cherish the memories of daily reading with mom and dad.

See also: Master class from a children's writer: how to choose books for children?

Read also: 4 exercises for expressive reading

Read also: Writer's advice: how to recognize a literary genius in a child

10 cool games that will teach a child to read quickly and without errors

How to teach a child to read confidently, fluently, correctly? Interest and captivate! We offer a selection of games from the teacher, speed reading and memory development instructor Guzel Abdulova.

Guzel Abdulova, neuropsychologist, teacher, speed reading and memory development trainer, head of the Eidos intellectual technology center

These exciting games will not only arouse interest in reading, but also help develop memory, attention and understanding of texts. Play - reading, read - playing!


What should be done? Invite the child to read his favorite poem several times, each time increasing the speed and power of the voice.
Purpose. The exercise significantly increases the speed of reading, improves reading technique and promotes the development of speech.


What should be done? We read the words, highlighting the last syllable, as if with a "foreign" accent. Reading text or columns of words. For example:
There is healthy mind in a healthy body.
Not the one who is RIGHT who is strong, but the one who is honest.
A tree is supported by roots, and a person is supported by friends.
And Vaska listens and eats.
Elbow is close, but you won't bite
The cuckoo praises the rooster for praising the cuckoo.
Alone in the field is not a warrior.

Purpose. This exercise helps children get rid of the habit of swallowing endings. It is quite tedious, so we complete it for 30 seconds.


What should be done? The task is to read the text in the form of a person or animal, cartoon or literary character. Discuss with the child how Baba Yaga or a mouse, a hare or a wolf would read this text.
Purpose. The exercise improves the reading technique, helps to captivate the child with reading, to show that it is fun and interesting.

"Funny pictures"

What should be done? For this exercise, you need to match the text with a large number of pictures. Cut the pictures and mix. The task of the child is to arrange the pictures in order to restore the sequence of events.
Option 1. Read the text and put the pictures in order.
Option 2. Tell a story from pictures. Then read the text and compare your version with the one proposed.
Purpose. The exercise contributes to the development of semantic reading and a deeper understanding of what is read.

"Magic puzzles"

What should be done? Cut the text into pieces-puzzles and mix. We invite the child to collect them and read the restored text.
Purpose. The exercise is quite difficult, and memory, attention, and thinking are involved. The skill of semantic reading is being improved. At first, you need to choose familiar texts, better - fairy tales.

“The word is lost”

What should be done? Read the text aloud, skipping the words. The child must understand which word was missed.
Target . The exercise contributes to the development of attention, the formation of the skill of semantic guessing and a deeper understanding of what is read.

"First and last"

What should I do? The child reads the text, saying aloud only the first and last letters in the word. Then he should tell what he read about.
Purpose. The exercise trains concentration and quick switching of attention, teaches you to perform several actions at the same time: read, understand, memorize.


What should I do? Option 1. An adult reads the beginning of a word, and the child must find the "tail", that is, the end of this word. To do this, you need to quickly scan the entire text, find the word and read the ending.
Option 2. An adult reads the beginning of a sentence, and the child must find its ending.
Purpose. This is a good training for the skills of "scanning" the text with the eyes, concentration and semantic reading.

"Read and count"

What to do? The child must not only read and understand the text, but also count the words. Naturally, for starters, you need small texts - from 10-20 to 40-50 words.
Purpose. This exercise helps to develop attention and better understand the text.

Filming a movie

What to do? We invite the child to imagine a movie in his mind based on the text. We help with leading questions, find out what he sees and feels when he reads. The task is not only to understand what the text is about, but also to hear sounds, feel smells, tastes, and experience the emotions of the characters. The child must answer your questions and retell the text.
Purpose. Develop figurative memory, speech, retelling skill. Thanks to the use of the method of co-sensation, children easily remember and tell the text with all the details, even come up with details.

G. Abdulova “Reading after the ABC: developing speed reading”

It is important to teach a child to read correctly. The book by an experienced neuropsychologist, speed reading trainer and head of the Superbrain School of Intellectual Development Gyuzel Abdulova contains interesting and fun exercises that will help a child learn to read fluently without mistakes and hesitations.

Learn more