Reading for pleasure

Dad reading with son

We all know that encouraging our children to read will not only improve their spelling and vocabulary, it will also broaden their minds. But how do you get your kid to switch off the TV or put down the games console remote and pick up a book instead?

In this section of the site you’ll find advice and tips from teachers and experts on why it’s important to make time for reading and how to get your child reading, creating a book-friendly home, unusual ways to get them hooked on books, why comics are brilliant for encouraging reading and how to help dyslexic children enjoy reading.

Go on, bring out the book worm in your child!

Articles

Young boy reading books
Book-bored to bookworm: expert tips to get your child reading
Worried that your child always chooses screen time over books? Mum and teacher Phoebe Doyle asks the experts about turning your child into a busy bookworm.
Unusual ways to encourage children to read
19 unusual ways to encourage your child to read
Some children can’t wait to get home from school, throw themselves on the sofa and get lost in Hogwarts; others wouldn’t pick up a book unprompted if their games console depended on it. Lucy Dimbylow offers some unusual suggestions to get them reading – and enjoying it.
Child reading in a library
Expanding your child’s reading tastes
Is your child stuck in a reading rut? Lucy Dimbylow takes a look at how to encourage them to test the water with different styles and genres of fiction and non-fiction.

Worksheets

Choosing books to read worksheet
Choosing books to read
Borrow some books from the library or a friend, then choose your four favourites. Why did you like them best? Ask your mum, dad or another adult to be your scribe (write for you) and explain why you enjoyed them. Or why not set up a book club with your friends to discuss your book choices?
Book characters crossword puzzle
Book characters crossword
Classic characters are unforgettable, whether they're falling down unusual rabbit holes, prowling through the jungle or breaking their slates over unfortunate classmates' heads. How many famous characters from children's literature can you identify in this crossword puzzle?
Making a zig-zag book
Making a zig-zag book
Can you make some zig-zag books? First of all do a front cover for your story. Think about making it really exciting so that people want to read it. Also write your name on the front so that people know who wrote it. Then tell your story in the zig-zag book using words and pictures. You may even like to use speech bubbles!
Also see: 

Great books for kids: must-reads for 4- to 11-year-olds

When it comes to wonderful books, children are spoilt for choice. Classics and contemporary novels, personalised books, themed reads and more... look through some of our recommendations to find your child's next favourite book to curl up with.

And for specific ages and stages:

Engaging with English
Engaging with English

Wish your child loved books as much as the TV and games console? Engaging with English is packed with ideas to make four classic books come to life. You and your child will enjoy every moment of having adventures in a deep, dark wood, organising a Gruffalo party, investigating your family tree, creating a photo-story, making a park scene in a box and discussing metaphors and similies – yet all the activities are designed to support literacy learning as detailed in the national curriculum. The books you will be reading and discussing are:

  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
  • Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
  • Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne
  • Looking after Louis by Lesley Ely and Polly Dunbar

Whether your child is in the EYFS or KS1, these activities are the perfect starting point for turning book-shy children into bookworms.

Reading for pleasure