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Would you like some super fun reading activities to help your child love books? These tips will work for even the most reluctant reader.

As a mom who is a speech/drama and English teacher, I longed for the days when I would catch my children up too late reading a good book in bed under the covers. Unfortunately, that never happened.

My kids were too busy playing outside during the day. When they hit the sheets at night, they were out cold. No reading sneakers at my house. Boo hoo!

Some kids are naturally drawn to books like I was as a child. You know, the kind of kid with a flashlight under the covers reading way past bedtime.

For those of you who have that kid, you have no idea how lucky you are! For the rest of us, I’ve got the goods to get your child to love books.

This post provides 45 fun reading activities examples to help your child love books. Don’t worry—it’s not hard–anyone can do it.

You do not have to be a teacher to have great success. After you get into a rhythm, your kids will EXPECT you to read to them often because they love being with you and laughing.

RELATED: Facts About Parenting: 3 Insider Secrets Moms Don’t Talk About

What Are Some Fun Pre-Reading Activities For Kids?

Before reading to your child, try one of these five pre-reading activities to pique his or her interest. When you finally open the book, your child will be excited and ready to listen to the story. You only need to spend 5-10 minutes doing this before you read.

1. Draw pictures during your fun reading activities. 

Draw pictures about the subject or story. If you are reading about alligators, have your child draw an alligator and talk about it. Discuss the shape, color, size, and sound it makes. Your child can continue to draw while you read if you want.

These are fun reading activities for preschool.

2. Watch related videos. 

Watch videos about your subject before you read the story so your child will better understand the topic. This is one of the best fun reading activities to get your child’s attention.

3. Brainstorm ideas as part of the fun reading activities.

Talk about the book cover for a few minutes. Ask your child what he thinks might happen in the story. Make inferences when looking at the pictures on the book’s front and back.

These are fun reading activities for preschool or kindergarten.

4. Tell a story.

Look at the cover and let your child tell you a short story about the book. You can help him out. After reading, compare and contrast your story with the actual one.

See how close your story was to the real one. This is one of the best fun reading comprehension activities you can do together.

5. Make a funny title.

Create a different title for the story, including some funny ones. After you read it, discuss whether your title is better. This is another fun reading comprehension activity to do with your kids.

These are fun reading activities for 1st grade.

What Are Fun Ways to Teach Reading?

Check out these fun reading comprehension activities to help your child become more interested in books. These ideas are not only fun but also tried and true. These techniques have worked for many other kids and will work for yours, too.

1.  Showcase the books in your home.

Put books in a place of prominence. You want your children to know books are important. Teach them to treat books as a treasure because they are just that–a treasure.

They are expensive! Don’t let them throw, tear, chew, or deface them.

2. Display holiday books. 

This will make your books feel special. I used to put the holiday books out in the living room as decor.

It was easy to pick them up and read them aloud during downtime. This is a fun reading activity to do with your child, especially during the holidays.

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3. Create a special reading area.

Both of my kids had beanbag chairs in their room. This made it a nice place to plop down and read comfortably. Make reading fun by creating a cozy environment.

These are fun reading activities for 1st grade. Really, any grade.

4. Read out loud during the fun reading activites.

Reading out loud to your kids will make reading fun. Reading through elementary school or even beyond is important if you can get away with it. I stopped too early.

I wish I had read chapter books out loud longer. However, we read devotionals periodically, even through high school. I guess that counts.

5. Read alone.

Make time during the day for your child to read alone. Start with a small amount of time when in preschool. (Use picture books until the child can read.) Carl, the Dog books are a good example.

Increase the time as the child gets older. This directly affects your child’s ability to sit and concentrate, making it an important activity for helping them be school-ready.

These are fun reading activities for 4th grade.

6. Make your own book.

This is so cool! You can create a Chatbook using pictures of your child. Suggested themes include your child’s birthday party, visiting grandparents, vacations, outings to the zoo or park, etc.

There is nothing like being the star of the show. This is a great gift idea, too These are fun reading activities for 1st grade.

7. Teach character traits.

I utilized a church library for books on character. The public library will have them too. Look for ones with a problem/solution theme. These books will help prepare your child for real-life scenarios.

Pick books on sharing, picky eating, toilet training, including others, whining, friendships, kindness, love, clean-up, pouting, good/bad behavior, lying, etc.

I honed in on character issues I saw with my child then. This is a non-threatening way to reteach good behavior. Fun reading activities can be used to accomplish several goals at once.

These are fun reading activities for 4th grade.

RELATED: 9 Positive Character Traits For Kids to Succeed at School

8. Use the library. 

We used to go to the library weekly. We would attend on the day they had storytime. My kids often sat in my lap while we listened to the story.

When they got older, I could look for books while they sat quietly. This is a good preschool literacy activity because it trains them to sit, listen, and have self-control while hearing a story.

9. Act out stories as part of the fun reading activities.

Have your kids act out one of their favorite stories. You can do this with your child alone or have multiple kids do it together. I can’t tell you how cute it is to see them act like the big, bad wolf, Peter Rabbit, or Cinderella.  This is a fun reading comprehension activity to help you know if they understand the stories you read.

10. Get soft cloth and plastic books. 

These books are safe for a baby or toddler. ((Check the label to make sure.) They can take a little more wear and tear. My kids often chewed and drooled on them.

No harm at this age. Book care can start when they are a little older.

Introduce board books (small cardboard books) when they are ready to start caring for them. They are a bit more sturdy than regular books.

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11. Read nursery rhymes.

Nursery rhymes teach rhythm, fun sounds, letters, vocabulary, and creativity. Make sure to read the classics. Even adults refer to these works. These are such fun reading activities for your little ones.

12. Use picture books. 

I love the Carl books. There are no words in the books, so you and your child can make up your own story as you go along. When we looked at them, my kids thought they were reading. This will make reading fun for your kids.

These are fun reading activities for preschool.

13. Find books cheap. 

We were on a tight budget. I never bought a book at full price at a bookstore. I found books at garage sales and Half Price Books. I traded with friends and family, and we received them as gifts.

There is Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, the Nextdoor app, garage sale apps, etc. Utilize these avenues to keep your library fresh but inexpensive. You can also sell your books to buy more.

14. Read in funny voices.

Ok, I realize I am a Speech/Drama teacher, but you can do it, too. Kids think this is hilarious. I even got confused by all the voices when there were too many characters.

Don’t worry. Your kids won’t care. They will be too busy laughing at you and the story. This is such a great way to make reading fun for your kids. These are fun reading activities for 4th grade—really, any grade.

15. Reinforce care.

You can teach clean-up skills by always returning the books when reading time is over. This will help keep your books from tearing up and reinforce their uniqueness to the family.

16. Cut out the iPad. 

I recently talked to a reading specialist, who said the iPad is causing reading and behavior problems. When she goes into homes to tutor, she consistently sees that the child with reading issues is on the iPad too much.

The iPad is a babysitter. Use it sparingly. 

If you take it away and your child throws a tantrum, he is addicted. She said to cut back the time slowly and either wean your child off it or only use it briefly during the day.

Fun reading activities online can not be substituted for book reading. Don’t fool yourself.

17. Snuggle during your fun reading activities. 

My kids were always in my lap, snuggled up to me, or we were lying in bed together reading. (Unless we were at the dinner table.)

You want to create a warm and loving environment. Make it a fun time to look forward to every night. Reading in a parent’s lap is one of the most fun reading activities you can do together.

RELATED: Bonding With Children: 9 Ways to Connect With Your Kids

18. Encourage your child’s gifts.

Know your child well enough to pick out books he is into at that time. My son was into diggers, construction, tools, and dozers for a long time. I found every book (and video) on the subject.

19. Capitalize on dead time.

You can read at mealtimes, before naps, carpool, or bedtime. Mix it up. When my kids were little, they had board and cloth books in the car. Fun reading activities are best when done spur of the moment.

20. Trade out books.

Keep some of your books on a shelf your kids cannot reach. Trade out your books when you see your kids are getting tired of the ones they have. This way, the books will feel new.

21. Save special books for fun reading activites. 

I have saved about 15-20 special books for my grandchildren. I will probably keep them at my house so they can read when they come. It will be so much fun to pull them out.

Some of the books are ones I had as a child. They are fragile and very special to me. I told you I was a book freak.

22. Get educational books.

Ensure your home library includes books on colors, counting, shapes, and letters. You want your child to work on these as early as possible, which will help them be school-ready.

RELATED: 50 Easy School Readiness Skills Parents Can Do With Kids [Printable Checklist]

23. Trace with fingers for fun reading activities.

When reading letters and numbers, have your preschooler trace them with her finger. Use as many senses as possible when reading. When writing or tracing, start with letters and numbers from the top.

Don’t let them trace starting at the bottom of the letter. You will develop a bad writing habit that must be broken later. These are fun reading activities for kindergarten.

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24. Experience the book. 

 If you will see airplanes on vacation, check out books about airplanes. If you go to the zoo, pick out books about the animals you will see there. And if you read Blueberries For Sal, pick blueberries or at least have them for a snack that day.

This is one of the best fun reading activities for 1st grade.

25. Create your own stories.

My kids loved it when we made up stories that included them. My husband was especially good at making the funniest bedtime stories.

He once made up a story about Indians scalping my father-in-law (who is bald). The next time my son saw his grandfather, he asked him about it. My father-in-law laughed hysterically. We still laugh about it today.

26. Purchase 3-D books.

Find books with things that pop out, eyes roll, scratch and sniff, furry patches, etc. The more senses involved, the better chance for your kids to learn the concepts.

These are fun reading activities for preschool.

27. Play with clay.

Some kids are wiggly and don’t like to sit still and listen. Let them play with clay while they listen to the story.  They can form something from the story, like a worm, apple, or whatever you discuss.

This is one of the best fun reading activities for preschool or elementary-age kids.

28. Have a theme week to create fun reading activities.

Choose a theme related to the holidays, weather, shark week, PJs, birthdays, vacations, other cultures, etc.

You can even plan meals, movies, and casual conversations around your theme. These are fun reading activities for 4th grade.

29. Do a scavenger hunt.

Have a scavenger hunt that focuses on some of the themes in the book. When discussing nature, collect leaves, acorns, grass, and sticks as part of the items needed in the hunt.

30. Create a game.

Make a game out of the story you read. For example, if you read Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, hide a golden ticket, “I Spy” for a detective/mystery book, or yarn words if you read Charlotte’s Web.

These are fun reading activities for 1st grade.

31. Make treats.

Pick food-themed books and make whatever the book is about. For example, make cookies if you read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Fun reading activities can also include food!

These are fun reading activities for 1st grade.

32. Make a craft.

After you read the book, find a complementary craft. You can cut, glue, paint, or do whatever you like to create something from the book. Pinterest is an excellent resource for kid’s crafts. This is one of the best fun reading activities for 1st grade.

33. Use chalk for fun reading activities.

Read your story outside and let your kids illustrate it on the sidewalk.

These are fun reading activities for preschool and elementary-age kids.

34. Tell family stories.

Kids love to hear about when they were little(r) or when you were young. Let them add details they remember. This is a great way to pass down family values casually. Fun reading activities are not hard when you get creative.

35. Do a story rotation.

Start a story and have your child tell the next part. Go back and forth, telling parts of it. This usually ends up being very funny by the end.

These are fun reading activities for 4th grade.

RELATED: How to Create a Family Schedule and Keep Your Sanity

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Fun reading activities; child with a book over her head.

 

How Can I Do Fun Reading Activities: 5 Tips to Ensure Success

When creating fun reading activities for your kids, you must be excited about the activity too. This isn’t supposed to be painful. You want to create something worth your kid’s time to sit, listen, and learn. Here are some tips you can do to make sure you succeed:

1. Have a happy voice.

Kids are smart. They will know if your voice is monotone and you are trying to cram in a book before bedtime. Make your voice sound excited when you read the words. Smile! Have fun!

2.  Plan ahead.

Ensure you have enough time to read before nap and bedtime. You don’t want to do fun reading activities when you or your kids are tired; they will be less likely to be engaged.

3.  Read over or skim the book.

I found many books inappropriate for my kids. They had things I was not ready to discuss at their young age. Protect their innocence.

4.  Don’t quit doing fun reading activities.

Your kids may not be excited at first. Keep working at it. Try different things to see what works. Don’t give up. Reading must be a lifelong skill that starts when your children are young.

5.  Empower your kids.

Get your kids to pick out books. Give them a choice between two fun reading activities. Let them choose which book to read at bedtime.

During the holidays, let them choose a book to give to another child. All these things provide them with ownership. If they have the idea, they are more likely to be engaged.

I hope these tips will help you teach your child to read. Stay consistent and have fun while you teach. It should be a natural part of your day to include books. If you miss storytime before bed, your kids may even complain!

What fun reading activities do you do with your kids? Comment below!

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41 Comments

  1. This is sooo helpful! As a book addict, I am so glad I stumbled on this post!

    Kids, get ready!! 😀

    Well done 🙂

    • Debby, I am so glad you came across this post too! These 30 fun reading activities will definitely get your kids to love books. Thanks for your comment.

    • Thanks Mosharof, I hope it will help you when next time you need fun reading activities to inspire your child.

  2. I really appreciate this article. That’s really an awesome article you’ve provided. Thanks for sharing your helpful thoughts. take care…

    • Md, I hope that these 25 tricks to make reading fun will help a lot of parents especially since many of them are now homeschooling. It is not easy to teach your kids to read, but with these suggestions, it will be fun.

  3. Thanks for these tips! I have been struggling for two years with one of my kids who “hated” reading. Just recently he said, “I think I might like reading now.” Hallelujah! It’s a battle that’s worth fighting!

  4. I homeschooled are five children, and the girls took to reading quite naturally. Even though they loved being outside. The boys, on the other hand didn’t care much for reading until they found out about Chilton’s manuals for cars! Then I realized if I had books that taught the boys how to do things, they were much more interested in Reading. Interesting Lee enough one boy went on to be his own business owner as a contractor, and buys non-working cars repairs them for resale. The other is quite a gifted diesel engine mechanic! One daughter, when her rabbit died, ask to go to the library and got a book, came back and decided to skin and tan the rabbit skin! As gross as that sounds, the goal to have children that knew how to read and knew how to find the answers they needed to learn had been accomplished! I’m sharing this for all the new moms because you have a lot of great ideas here!

    • Oh, wow. This is absolutely brilliant. I love this. My son liked comics and manuals, too. He was reading, so I was happy. I did have him read some books to make sure he was learning how to maneuver a book.

  5. I so agree about reading out loud! Our pediatrician told us about that and we are doing that with our 4 month old! 🙂

  6. Gosh I remember loving to read as kids I had a book subscription where I would get new book in the mail each week and I always looked forward to it. Funny how things change.

    • So true. There are so many more things competing for our kid’s time. Social media being a big one when they get older.

  7. Great ideas! I’ve been storing our holiday books with our decor, and it’s worked out just as you’ve said in your post! The books last longer, and the children are thrilled to read them. I’m excited to share your post on one of our social media pages!

  8. Great post. I love the ideas of creating a special reading nook area in your home. That’s something I would love to do! I also really like, and never thought about, getting holiday books out only around the holidays and using them as decor sort of. What a wonderful idea.

  9. This is such a great and timely post as I have a kindergartener and preschooler who are both learning to read. I already incorporate many of these tips to make reading more fun for the little ones but we have never created our own stories. Gonna incorporate that this week.

  10. So many great tips here. My son can be reluctant to open a book at times so I am always seeing how I can get him motivated. We started having family reading time where my husband, myself and my youngest read our books together. This actually has worked really well. I’m definitely all about having a snuggle and reading out loud during reading time too 🙂

  11. I agree, you can create an environment that encourages even a reluctant reader to read! I’m and English teacher too. Another thing I would add to your list would be to be the example in front of your child. Read often, and especially father figures need to be reading in front of their children. 🙂

  12. My daughter who is almost 3 actually stays up way past bedtime reading! She loves it, and I am happy she has such a love of reading. My little guy who just turned 1 might need a little bit more motivation for reading but I love your tips.

  13. The part where you create a designated space for reading or a reading nook – I’m gonna do that once I have a kid. I love reading and it’s my fervent hope my future children would inherit that trait for me.

    You don’t have any tips though how to make your husband enjoy reading too, would you? lol.

  14. These are such great ideas. I do most of them already with my daughter and have been doing them since she was an infant! I especially love keeping the holiday books put away until the holidays to make those books a special, seasonal treat!

  15. Love the idea about creating your own book, we love to do this! Also, we love to read aloud it just makes it so much more fun. thanks for the tips.

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