Six Ways to Get Reluctant Readers Reading!

We've all met the reluctant reader. There isn't just one out there in the world. In fact, my brother is among them! But what's interesting about reluctant readers is that no one is alike and it's hard to pin point a way to avoid raising one. However, even the most reluctant of them can be enticed to join in with a few different things you can try!


This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but some great things you can try today!


  1. Turn rewards into buying new books! Who doesn't love going and picking out their newest story!? So when kids come home having had a great day, surprise them with a fun bookstore trip and let them pick out any book from the children's corner! And really, let them choose. As the fun continues, you can add price limits or encourage towards different types, but the first couple, make it fun experience of freedom!

  2. Model the behavior. Do your kids see you enjoying reading? Or your spouse? Invite them to join YOUR fun activity of reading and again, let them go pick the book their going to read with you, while you read yours. And it doesn't have to be a long activity, but kids love to get excited about doing adult things. Modeling behavior can be really impactful!

  3. Create an Adventure! Bring the story alive and let them pick which story to recreate. Build the fort! Use silly voices and recreate the story. Helping them to visualize the story can jumpstart the joy in the imaginative process of reading!

  4. Get your Pet Involved! Studies have shown that when young readers are reluctant or less developed readers, reading to a pet can help to make them feel less pressure. Start reading to your pet and it will pull some of the pressure and focus off your reader and help them to feel more comfortable with the activity!

  5. Build it into their routines! Structure is the foundation of good habits, so make it part of their every day. Start small with 1 minute at time if you need to and slowly increase the length of time. And get creative. Put stories on the mirror to read while they brush their teeth. Offer 3 minutes of extra awake time, IF they read for 1 minute first.

  6. Ask them why they are reluctant. They likely have a reason. And if you can take the time understand THEIR why, you may be able to help them move past it. Maybe the words are too small? Or they want to read about sports? Or they can't find the book they want? You'll never know until you ask!


We all know how important reading is! So sometimes it is hard to battle adding it in when your young reader is reluctant. Try a few of these out and let us know how they worked. And if you've tried things we didn't share, drop them in the comments to share more tips with other parents!



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