100 Ways to Grow a Reader

At Growing Book by Book, we focus on developing literacy activities that will help our youngest readers grow into proficient and independent readers.  There are so many simple, easy, and fun ideas and tips that you can be doing to help nurture that growth.  Here are “just” 100 Ways to Grow a Reader!

100 tips and ideas from growing readers from htp://growingbookbybook.com

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100 Ways to Grow a Reader

  1. Read, read and read some more!  The number one way to grow a reader is to read to them every day.
  2. Fill your house or classroom with reading material.  Here are some ideas for building a library on a budget.
  3. Send notes in your child’s lunchbox or bookbag for them to read.  Here are some fun printable ideas from Teach Mama called A Little More Lunchbox Love.
  4. Talk with kids.  Talking with kids builds language and vocabulary development.
  5. Give a magazine subscription.  Kids love to get mail!
  6. Go on a letter dig.
  7. Have kids create lists.  Reading and writing go hand in hand.
  8. Use sensory play to extend stories.
  9. Visit the library often.
  10. Develop family reading rituals.
  11. Find books on topics that your kids are interested in at any given time.
  12. Don’t get frustrated if your child doesn’t love to read.  Try some of the ideas on this list for help!
  13. Story magnets are a fun way to encourage storytelling.  I love the Upcycled Story Magnets from Sun Hats & Wellie Boots.
  14. Label things with beginning readers.  Use sticky notes or index cards to create labels for just about anything in your house or classroom.
  15. Incorporate gross motor activities into learning your letters.  Check out J is for Jump from Teach Preschool.
  16. Let kids read to their pet, a sibling or a neighbor to practice their reading fluency.
  17. Be a reader.  Model reading.  Kids need to see us read!
  18. Use reading pointers for young readers who need help tracking print.
  19. Attend story time at local libraries or bookstores.
  20. Help young readers learn about word families.  Check out this fun Lego Word Families from Playdough to Plato.
  21. Let kids pick out books for other kids to give as birthday presents.
  22. Encourage kids to find their just right reading spots.
  23. Start a Family Dinner Book Club.
  24. Share books with out of town relatives or friends through Skype.
  25. Go on a picture walk with kids before reading the text.  This is a great way to “plant” new vocabulary, work on predictions and build background knowledge before reading.
  26. Read chapter books to children.  This helps expose them to new vocabulary and develop visualization skills.
  27. Draw attention to print everywhere (billboards, stores, playgrounds, etc.)
  28. Create some easy literacy games with muffin tins.
  29. Read the same books over and over again!  Repetition helps with comprehension, fluency and developing a love of reading.
  30. Let kids choose books they want to read.
  31. Make reading homework time stress-free with these Reading Homework Tips for a Stress-Free School Year.
  32. Expose children to lots of different reading genres.
  33. Music and literacy are great partners.  Incorporate musical experiences into your child’s life.
  34. Set reading goals with your children.
  35. Let babies and toddlers handle books (hold them, turn pages, point to pictures, etc.).  This is a great way to help them learn about concepts of print.
  36. Create puppets and have lots and lots of puppet shows.
  37. When teaching letters of the alphabet, start with the letters in your child’s name.
  38. Incorporate experiences into your reading life.  If you are reading about the park, take a field trip to the park.
  39. Have your child’s vision evaluated.  It’s hard to learn if you can’t see the words.
  40. Go on a listening walk.
  41. Never leave home without something to read!  Take reading material in the car, to the doctor’s office or a restaurant.
  42. Encourage relatives and friends to give books as gifts for holidays and birthdays.
  43. Limit television and video game time so there is more time for reading.
  44. Play the game Runaway Letter.
  45. Beginning readers need “just right” books to practice their reading.  These are books at their independent level.
  46. Tell stories.
  47. Help beginning readers decode words.
  48. Collect words.  Place a jar in a prominent location.  As you discover new words together, collect them in the jar.
  49. Develop a vivacious vocabulary.
  50. Start reading from day one with babies.
  51. Ask questions about what your child is reading and how they are enjoying what they are reading.
  52. Play with play dough to work on letter recognition.
  53. Get your child their own library card.
  54. Play the alphabet game in the car.  Who can find an “a” as we are traveling?  Keep going until you get to “z”.
  55. Have reading celebrations.
  56. Play Superhero Inferring.
  57. Increase the amount of non-fiction reading.
  58. Graphic novels really help motivate reluctant readers.  Pragmatic Mom has a great series called ABCs of Graphic Novels.
  59. Praise your child’s effort in becoming a reader.
  60. Don’t stop reading aloud to a child once they can read on their own.
  61. Model comprehension strategies.
  62. All reading doesn’t have to be from books.  Cereal boxes, magazines, flyers, billboard signs, street signs, etc. are all opportunities waiting to be read.
  63. Select holiday gifts that promote literacy.
  64. Check on your child’s progress.  If they are in school, talk to their teachers.  If you homeschool, do some diagnostic and performance assessments.
  65. Once in a while, let kids stay up late to read a good book!
  66. Seek out good quality literature.  The The Jim Trealese Read-Aloud Handbook is just one resource for finding great books.
  67. Read a book under a shady tree.
  68. Let beginning readers reread familiar text over and over again.
  69. As a family or class, design and record commercials about books and reading.
  70. “Read” wordless books.  Check out the post How to Read Wordless Picture Books from What Do We Do All Day for ideas?
  71. Keep a list of books that you enjoy each year.  It’s always fun to revisit old favorites from when the kids were younger.  I kept track of the first 100 books we read to each of our kids.  I figured it would be a fun list someday for the 100th day of school!
  72. Create a list of literacy activities that you are interested in from Pinterest.  Check out my literacy activities Pinterest board.
  73. Let your child help someone else read.  They say you don’t truly understand something until you can teach it!
  74. Allow lots of time for kids to read independently.
  75. Have kids research things that interest them.  For example, if they want a new electronic device, have them read reviews about different options.  A great way to show that reading is important!
  76. Start a shared journal with your child.  You each take turns writing back and forth to each other.  Not only are you working on reading skills, but writing too.
  77. Develop recognizing letter sounds.  Try this Beginning and Ending Sounds Listening Activities from This Reading Mama.
  78. Watch a movie based on a book.  Build up a to the movie night by reading the book before watching the movie.  Then, compare the two versions.
  79. Encourage kids to write their own books.
  80. Play pattern games with babies and toddlers.  Recognizing patterns will help when they become readers and writers.
  81. Share conversation at the dinner table.  Here are 365 table topics to get the conversation rolling!  Or, try a Family Dinner Book Club.
  82. Let your kids meet authors.  You can attend bookstore or library signings.  If a live visit isn’t possible, Youtube has lots of videos of authors and illustrators talking about their work.
  83. Don’t pressure your child.  Every child develops and meets milestones at their own pace.  Be patient!
  84. Teach kids how to treat books.  This book ambulance might come in handy!
  85. Celebrate the holidays with books.  Incorporate reading theme related books into your holiday traditions.
  86. Is your child a sports fanatic?  Let them keep up with statistics and stories in the newspaper during the season their favorite sport is played.
  87. Celebrate author’s birthdays.  It’s a great way to showcase different author’s work.  Happy Birthday Author blog is a fun one to follow to gather ideas.
  88. Have your kids join a book club.  If you can’t find one, start your own!
  89. Reluctant and/or older readers may prefer reading on an electronic device such as a Nook or Kindle.
  90. Don’t take a vacation from reading during the summer.  Check out the summer literacy fun we had last year.  We called it Alphabet Summer Fun.  We even made a book of all our fun to remember the good times all year long.
  91. Speaking of summer, plan a literacy vacation!
  92. Incorporate books and writing activities into pretend play.  For example, have menus and bills in a restaurant dramatic play area.
  93. Cooking with kids provides lots of literacy opportunities.  Here are some of our favorite cookbooks for kids.
  94. When reading a chapter book, have kids draw a picture after each chapter in a mini-book about what they read (or heard if it’s a read-aloud).  It’s a great comprehension tool.
  95. Talk about how words are alike and how they are different.
  96. Create a word wall in your home or classroom.  There are lots of different kinds of word walls (high-frequency words, vocabulary, math, etc.)  Add just a few words a week.
  97. Make “story of my day” placemats for your dining table.  A great way to practice sequencing and build language skills.  I like the Dinnertime Doodle Mats from Positively Splendid.
  98. Go on a reading picnic.  Bring a basket full of books and spread out the blanket in the grass and read!
  99. Participate in Virtual Book Club for Kids .  Virtual Book Club for Kids features books by a certain author each month.
  100. Read with your child 15-20 minutes each day.  This truly is the best gift you can give to a reader!

What other tips do you have for growing a reader?


Creating Baby’s First Library

Tips for Reading with Newborns to Age 5

Tips for Reading Chapter Books to Preschoolers

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About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. Love this! So many wonderful ideas. I will be sharing this for sure!

  2. Jodie, what an amazing round up! Thank you for including a link to one of my activities and thank you for being such a great resource for parents and teachers.

  3. So many amazing ideas here, Jodie!! Thanks for including our Lego word family activity in the roundup. Pinning!

  4. I love the idea of sharing books via Skype. This is such a fun way for kids who have grandparents in another state to share the love of learning! Thank you for taking part in our 100th Day blog hop!

  5. Great ideas, Jodie! I am sure your children will grow into amazing readers! Thanks for sharing with Afterschool.

  6. Whew! SO many great ideas here!

  7. What wonderful tips!

  8. Hopping over from the Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop! I love your list and added it to Pinterest. I’ll have to come back to this again and again. Thanks!

  9. Thanks for the tips. My 2 year old is slowly getting there with reading, he has a very short attention span and is quite active and so 15-20 minutes a day is a bit tough, but we’re working on it.

    • Eva, my almost 2 year-old won’t sit still for 15-20 minutes in one sitting either. We do a few minutes here and there throughout the day. It all adds up to at least 15-20 minutes each day though. Attention spans will grow!

  10. Great ideas!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  11. Such an inspiring list Jodie! Thanks for sharing! Pinned and sharing on the Homegrown Friends FB page.

  12. I believe the act of reading to your child is the single most important thing to help your child become a reader. And make sure to read them all different kinds of books. You list of suggestions here is wonderful! As a retired educator and now as a children’s author, I thank you for spreading your literary love!


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