Arts Tips for parents

Motivating Children to Read in a Modern World

Reading aloud to children when they are young, finding a book that is interesting to them at the appropriate level, and finishing books with discussion and evaluations are all instrumental in building motivation for children to read.
30 June 2022

Motivating kids to read in today’s world can be a difficult task. The competition is fierce and filled with engaging forms of entertainment through digital screens. There are indeed numerous benefits to reading. Reading can build vocabulary, develop empathy, and allow for a better night’s sleep among many other benefits. Finding the time or stillness to read for kids can be difficult, but not impossible. Reading aloud to children when they are young, finding a book that is interesting to them at the appropriate level, and finishing books with discussion and evaluations are all instrumental in building motivation for children to read.

Read Aloud


Motivating kids to read can begin by reading a story to them. Reading aloud is loved by many children because it alleviates the cognitive lift of decoding. Reading aloud allows children to imagine the story and have a fun time reading which can motivate them to eventually read on their own. When reading aloud it is important to remember to engage the child in the story as you read. Some of the ways to engage a child when reading aloud are asking them to make predictions about what they think will happen in the story, have the child make observations about character development and read with intonation to build anticipation for the story. Reading aloud to any child at any age increases fluency for young readers and builds vocabulary as they hear you as a fluent adult reader. When reading with an older child, taking turns reading the story aloud can help young readers build confidence and fluency. This is often seen as something to do with young children but reading a novel together with an older child is just as beneficial in creating a beautiful experience together.


Finding a Book that Interests the Child


Reading opens minds and imagination, finding kids something that interests them is important to motivating kids to read. Research shows that picking a book that is a little above their level is key to keeping the child challenged and interested in reading in general. A way to know what level your child is reading at is to find out what Lexile books are through a quick google search. In addition to finding something at the right level and right topic, children grow a love for reading when they get to choose the book. Research shows that when children get a say in what they read, they are more likely to be inspired to read more and grow a love of reading. This builds children’s self-efficacy and independence in reading. Another way to grow motivation for reading is to connect what children are reading to real-life experiences. For example: reading a book about a place the child may visit or connecting current reading books to what children are currently learning about at school has shown to increase engagement and motivation to read. Children want to know about content that they have real-life experiences with, because it creates all kinds of connections and new meanings in their brain.


Finishing Books & Reading Engagement


In order to grow children’s’ reading abilities, they must believe they are successful. Finishing books can cultivate this confidence and give students a positive experience when they think of reading. It also inspires them to read more. Research shows this confidence builds motivation for children to continue reading! This also allows children to grow reading skills like comprehension, fluency, and the rate at which they read. Another strategy that has been seen as highly effective when engaging young readers is to discuss what the children read throughout the reading experience. Discussions will help bring the content to life and motivate them to read even more. Also, research shows that this will help them academically, and they will be more likely to graduate from high-school and attend college.




Motivation is having the desire to do something or have something. Motivating children to read begins with the access to books, exciting and engaging read alouds, the ability to have control over what they read, making sure the level of the books is challenging and at an appropriate level is ultimately the keys to developing motivation to read in children. If children grow their reading skills and motivation they will be inspired to read more, because they will see the value it brings.

Further readings:

“Benefits of Reading Books: For Your Physical and Mental Health.” Healthline, 15 Oct. 2019,

Ross, McKenzie. “Importance of Reading 20 Minutes a Day.” HonorsGradU, 8 June 2021,