Parents work hard to teach their children all manner of concepts and skills to prepare them for school and the world. However, one area not focused on nearly enough is literacy. The sooner and more effectively children learn to not only read and write but also understand and develop an appreciation for language, the better. Literacy skills set us up in many ways, after all.

One avenue to assist children with building the skills they need in this area is to foster a love of reading in them from a young age. This may sound daunting, but it’s more straightforward and achievable than you might think.

  1. Introduce Children to Words ASAP

Start talking to and reading to your little ones as soon as possible. Show them board books designed for young minds and hands. Plus, simply chat to them about what you’re doing throughout the day. Point out the objects you’re buying, moving, storing, etc., and explain what they do. Your little one will pick up more than you think.

  1. Develop Positive Habits and Routines

Develop positive reading habits and routines with your children today. For example, start taking your children to the library and book shops from a young age so they learn to love these outings. Plus, get into the habit of reading to and with your child each night before bed or while they’re in the bath. Let them pick a story they’re keen to hear or choose different options to share with them each night. Use fun voices and get kids involved in helping you act out parts or saying repeated words and phrases so they learn the rhythm of language.

  1. Make It Fun

One of the most vital aspects of fostering a love of reading in your children is to make it fun. Let kids pick the books they want to read, and if you can tell they’re really not getting into a particular story, put that one aside and try it again another time. You might also set up a designated reading zone in your home that you decorate with a fully-stocked bookshelf, book or movie posters, comfy seating, and arts and crafts materials for completing activities related to stories. (Most books have teaching guides available on publisher or author websites to download for ideas.)

Plus, attend storytime sessions and related events. Enabling young ones to hear stories brought to life by the creators of the books or those who work with them every day can have a significant impact. Remember: authors and illustrators are just as excited to have kids come to their events as kids are to attend them! We often stress about whether we’ll have anyone show up, so taking your youngsters along can be an excellent way to support the creatives who work hard to bring stories to life for you and your family.

Creating or playing games based on favourite books is another way to make reading fun for your kids. Make these up yourself, encourage your children to do so, or look online for ideas.

  1. Lead by Example

Kids, especially the younger ones, watch what we do even when we don’t realise it. If you want your youngsters to be avid readers, then, lead by example. Show them that you read regularly and love it. Buy and borrow books from stores and libraries for yourself and talk about how excited you are that your favourite authors’ new title has just been released or that you discovered a new series to dig into.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to be proactive and teach your children that reading and books can bring much joy to their lives. The sooner you start with this type of positive reinforcement, the better.


Kellie Byrnes 

Kellie Byrnes is a children’s author, freelance ghostwriter and copywriter with six children’s picture books out now and more books on the way. She presented at the 2022 Brisbane Writers’ Festival, showcasing her recent title, This is NOT a Book! (a humorous picture book that introduces readers to the elements of story). Her rhyming, counting, bedtime story One Remarkable Reef was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards in 2021. You can learn more about Kellie and her books and writing experience at You can also connect with her on Twitter and other social media sites.