Encouraging your child to read

children reading

Does your child prefer the computer, TV or video games to books? There are so many wonderful books to choose from, that there is bound to be something to enthrall every child, if you can just get them started. Despite modern technology, we still need books. There is nothing quite like the feel of a physical book, especially illustrated books.

Encouraging your child’s reading may be more important than you realise - whether it’s story books, magazines, comics or instruction manuals, the written word is everywhere. Help them to enjoy learning about language.

This video offers top tips on when, where and how to get into reading.

Help your child with reading FS
Reading sheet 1
Encourage your child to enjoy reading
Books to read aloud

High Frequency Reading words

These are words which are used more often than others in reading. In Reception to Year 2 these words include words such as 'I. go, we day, dog, like, can, he etc. Gradually longer words are introduced and these include words such as 'after, people, three, because, laugh,. As children learn to read these words it make reading more interesting and colourful. Some children learn to read easily while others may need extra help.
High frequency words R to 2
High frequency words for KS1
Next 200 High Frequency words
Medium frequency words Years 4 and 5

 Libraries welcome children, so get into the habit of using the library with your child. There are often story-telling sessions for children, so make the most of these. Bookshops encourage you to browse – and in the larger ones, you can even enjoy a coffee while your children look at the books!

There are reading lists and book reviews on our web site to interest everybody. Babies and toddlers love to hear their favourite stories over and over again – and woe betide you if you try to skip a page! The number of books for this age is limitless, and the recommendations are just for starters…

There are lists and reviews on our site for children from 5 to 11. Remember, the ages are only approximate. The lists are only a guide to a small proportion of the fantastic range of books on offer to today's children. Hopefully, they will just give you a starting point to introduce your child to the magical world of books. These lists are for fiction books - there are also non-fiction lists, as many children can be encouraged to read through non-fiction books.

Reading list 4-6
Reading list 6-8
Reading list 8-9
Reading list 9-10
Reading list 10-12
Reading list for KS3
Reading list for KS4
Choosing and using fiction and non fiction

All children are different; they know that they like, and remember the important thing is that they are reading. By all means, encourage your child to stretch him/herself when reading but children often do not fully appreciate certain books until they are mature enough to be ready to read them.

There is always controversy over certain series of books, and particular authors. Yes, there are series which appear trite and repetitive, but you will often find children will come to this conclusion by themselves once they have read a few books in the series, and that is the time to encourage them to move on.

I would always encourage a child to try and read a chapter or two of a book, before deciding it is not for them, but if they really don’t like it, then encourage them to look for something else. They may well come back to the book in a year or two, and thoroughly enjoy it.


Here are some passages from well known fiction books which can be used to encourage reading and understanding.

Harry Potter
The machine gunners
Lord of the flies
Charlotte's web
The wreck of the Zanzibar
Bill's new frock
Charlie and the chocolate factory
Katie Morag
Grandpa Chatterji
Goodnight Mr Tom
Tom's midnight garden
The wind in the willows
Roald Dahl activities
Street Child
The midnight fox
There's a boy in the girls' bathroom
The angel of Nitshill Road
The cat in the hat

These lists and ideas are just a start. There are many more lists and recommendations on the web site, so keep looking at this page. For suggestions on non-fiction reading, please look at non-fiction books. If you have any requests for book lists on specific topics, please email us using the Contact Us link.

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