3 Key Strategies for Fostering a Love of Reading

Young children don’t often think of the future, but parents sure do! One common concern for parents of Pre-K kids is reading. When will they learn to read? Will they even want to read? Will they ever become independent readers? These questions are typical, and they’re the first step to fostering a love of reading in young children. Read on for helpful tips and plant seeds for the future!

Lay a foundation for reading

Reading starts with more basic language acquisition, so kids must learn to recognize words before they can begin reading. This happens naturally by exploring the world with kids. However, it’s often helpful to be more intentional about this process, and it’s easy with the 3 N’s – Notice, Nudge, and Narrate.

Begin by noticing what your child is doing. Then, you can nudge them by asking a question or offering more information. For example, if they’re playing with animal figures or a doll, you could ask, “Is that a horse?” or say, “The doll is wearing a dress.” Finally, you can narrate their activity, “You’re hugging your doll. It’s so soft. Do you like hugs?”

When you notice, nudge, and narrate in daily life, kiddos will begin to acquire the language basics needed for future reading!


Love reading by reading together

Once kids’ first words begin to flow – and even before – you can start a routine of reading together aloud. These can be bedtime stories or anytime stories! The goal is to make reading a comforting and desirable activity.

For babies up to a year old, focus on simple board books and call attention to words on the page that are familiar from daily life. For example, point out words like mommy, daddy, kitty, bottle, etc.

Even more than building basic vocabulary, reading together creates strong positive associations with reading. So, snuggle up for no reason and read a few books or make a favorite book an unbreakable part of your kiddo’s bedtime routine.

Also, feel free to ham it up when reading to toddlers. Don’t be afraid to get silly – now is the time to make animal noises and funny voices!

An independent reader

One of the best ways to raise an independent reader is either the most challenging thing you’ll have to do or the easiest thing: read and read regularly. That’s right, kids love to do what their parents are doing, so if you’ve got your nose in a book every day, they will too one day!

Aside from this, there are still many ways to foster a love of reading in young children. For older kids, think of ways to present reading as a treat – as something they get to do and not as a punishment or chore. For example, you can try gifting a reluctant reader a headlamp or flashlight and telling them it’s for reading past bedtime. You’ll be surprised by how well this works. Still, it’ll be most effective with kids who have built the positive associations mentioned above.

Here’s what the parents of future readers need to remember: Read together, read aloud, and read often. Do this (all at the same time, even!), and the pages will just keep turning!

Do you have any favorite methods to foster a love of reading in young children? Tell us your tips @battattoys, or share a great book recommendation with our community! Before you leave, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for imaginative play prompts, featured toys, and lots of love ❤️