How to Help Your Kids Read if They Don’t Like Books

Teachers are always emphasizing the importance of reading daily with your child, but what do you do when your kid just doesn’t like books? For some children, it’s a matter of finding the right kind of book—some kids love certain genres, illustration styles, or particular authors. For others, though, books are never going to be their favorite thing. Here’s how to help ensure that your kid is reading regularly, even if they don’t want to pick up a book.

Magazines and Comics

Magazines and comics can be great textual sources for kids who dislike books. Whether it’s the glossy covers, interesting images, or varied content, lots of children will happily read a magazine or comic without associating it with the dreaded books. You can encourage reading even further by sourcing magazines relating to your child’s greatest interests—so, keep an eye out for car magazines if your kid is into motors, or gardening journals if your kid is a budding horticulturist.

Screen Grab

For lots of kids, any text on a screen is entirely disassociated from any boring book reading. If your kid’s teacher mentions that they’re looking at a certain topic in their learning, why not research this on your phone and then ask your kid to read a section of the text to you? You may need support with some decoding, as factual texts on the Internet will often be aimed at adult readers rather than kids.

Sign Post It

There are so many opportunities for incidental reading in our day-to-day lives. When out and about with your kid, ask them to read any road, shop, or cafe signs you spot. You can extend this to asking your child to read a menu when you’re in a cafe or restaurant (this is more effective if you pretend you’re unable to read it yourself), or if you’re stopping off at a museum or attraction with information signs, support your child to decode as many of these as possible.