Hooked on Books Raising Readers

5 Steps to Get Kids Hooked on Books

On average my children 8 and 6 are reading 6 hours per week.   We’ve been using this method, what I also call ‘Books on Board’, for two years.

5 Practical Steps to Get Kids Hooked on Books

  1. Get a Library Card.  If it’s blocked because of overdue books, than guess what? Pay the fines.   In most cases you don’t have to pay the entire thing off.   In Atlanta you can use your card if you have less than a $10 balance.   Any resident can get a library card in most systems, including newborn babies.
  2. Find a Book Basket.  Any durable container large enough to hold books sitting upright or on its side will do.  Thrift stores sell large sturdy baskets in different shapes and sizes.   The dollar store also has plastic bins with handles that would work.
  3. Fill your Book Basket. Go to your local library and check out books that would interest your child, and a few extras. I recommend 10 books for one child and no more than 15 for 2 or more children.  If you can’t get to the library immediately, use what you have at home.  Read more about what’s in the basket here.
  4. Get Books on Board.  Create a No Electronic Zone in your car by replacing all devices with your Book Basket. Your goal is to make the little people sitting in the back of your car a captive audience. If they are free of distractions they will instinctively began using the books from the basket.  If you have older children in the car, explain to them what you are trying to do and ask them to support you by reading their books in the car.
  5. Be On Time.  Return books on time and check out new books frequently. It’s very important that you establish a routine trip to the library without your kids. At least twice a month.   Use your smart phone to create reminders to return books. Remember, who says you need your kids to go to the library?

I’ve shared this method with friends and family and posted photos of my kids enjoying reading in the car all over Instagram and Facebook.  Many have tried it and discovered that it is a very easy and simple solution.  Advanced readers and emerging readers will all benefit from reading in the car with book baskets.

I recommend trying this for 30 days.  That’s just two trips to the library, or one trip with a full load of books.  If you get a months worth of books on your library trip be sure to divide your load and use the first one in the car and hide the other half.  Swap after 10-14 days or when you notice your kids getting bored with their current selection.

There are many ways to cultivate your child’s love of reading and books.  Check out this list of 25 Ways to Support and Encourage Life Long Reading.

8 thoughts on “5 Steps to Get Kids Hooked on Books”

  1. Thank you for the tips! My son is 5 and we’ve been working on reading for some time. He reads well for his age but doesn’t always enjoy it. I’m going to try and incorporate these steps and see if they help. I did recently get a library card and we’ve been using that. How often do your children read each day?

  2. Thank you for the tips! My son is 5 and we’ve been working on reading for some time. He reads well for his age but doesn’t always enjoy it. I’m going to try and incorporate these steps and see if they help. I did recently get a library card and we’ve been using that. How often do your children read each day? #BLMgirl

    1. Your welcome Ebony! I plan to post more tips for inspiring young children. On average my younger children read about 1 hour a day independently. We are a very busy “on the go” family so they get most of their time in while riding in the car. Try using the Books on Board method and I guarantee you will see an increase in reading. BTW, How old is your little one?

  3. This post (along with the others on supporting young reader’s) is so helpful for me Katrina. Thank you for sharing this link with me. I was personally inspired by the insight you shared with me on supporting young readers because it is an area that I REALLY needed help in. I am a father that co-parents a 6 year old boy. My son’s mother is well read, (and an educator) who has a personal appreciation for books/reading and has always campaigned for supporting our son in this area. I, on the other hand, am a late (book) bloomer . I never was “Hooked-on-Books.” I learned the importance of them and ultimately gained an appreciation for reading but it hasn’t been enough. So I have crippled the parenting when it comes to reading support. I needed motivation and a good (practical) place/pace to start. So thank you for your counseling and blog post. They gave a lot of information clearly, and in a few words. It also gave me hope so I can be on the reading team!

    1. Your welcome Erick. I’m glad this information is helpful. I ‘m very passionate about getting children “hooked on books”. Thanks for listening and reading my tips. I have lots more to share, can’t wait to fill you in on my next project!

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