Developing a life-long reading habit at an early age can set children up to succeed in learning environments. Through reading children can develop their vocabulary and spark a curiosity for knowledge. But what if your child doesn’t love reading?

Here are some practical ways you can encourage more reluctant readers to start.

1. Make a dedicated reading space

Make it comfortable with cushions, good lighting, and make sure it is a quiet space where they can relax and focus on their book.

2. Read funny things!

Everyone likes to laugh so find funny books and be prepared for them to lol!

3. Read anything anywhere

Encourage your children to read food menus, road signs, instructions... Things to read are everywhere and children will start to see how useful being able to read is in all these real-life situations.

4. Talk to your children about what they have read

Ask children about the book they are reading. Who’s their favourite character and why? Do the characters or situations remind them of anyone they know? Showing you are interested in what they have read will motivate them to keep reading.

5. Follow their interests

If your child likes football, they will enjoy a book about football. Obsessed with animals? Let them read some animal facts. Loves cooking? Encourage them to read recipes they want to try. Children will be keener to read about a topic they are already interested in and curious about.

6. Read regularly

Establish a daily routine of bedtime reading. Reading aloud to children not only fosters the bond between parent and child and relaxes children before sleep, it is also known to aid the brain in mastery of a language by developing a faster processing of sound and word relationships.

7. Read for pleasure

To develop a reading habit, it must be enjoyable. Don’t question your child on the grammar or the meanings of words. Let them enjoy it for its own sake. You can help by making suitable reading material easily accessible to them and ensuring it’s not too difficult for them.

8. Variety is the spice of life!

Variety of material is also important when it comes to wanting to read. There are joke books, picture books, comic books, history books, science books, even audio books! Make sure children know they don’t just have to read stories. There are many books out there so take your pick!

Whichever methods you use with your children, the British Council has a range of activities, games, songs and articles to help you and your child. For more information, visit our website at