How We Encourage Our Three Year Old To Read Daily

June 12, 2019

Owen has always been a big reader, but in the last few months he’s taken an even more intense liking to it. We always try to read throughout the day, but if all else fails it’s the last thing we do before bed. After teeth are brushed we encourage him to pick out three to five books which he usually replies, how about 15 books? He’s a little negotiator and as much as reading 15 books isn’t what we always want to do at the end of the day we love that he’s our little reader and never want to stop encouraging him to read.

I get a lot of questions from you guys about how we’ve built such enthusiasm around reading and I’m not sure I have the exact answer considering all kids are so different, but I can tell you the role books play in our lives each day and what works for our little guy. Snag our five tips below!

1. Keep most books within arms reach. Our entertainment stand is filled with all of our books and Owen also has some easy to reach book shelves in his room. This makes it easy to spark interest early on and throughout the day rather than strictly at bedtime or whenever you make it routine.

2. Read in front of them. It would be a rare day that he doesn’t see either myself or Zack reading a book which I believe is really important. There are so many things we expect our kids to do but if they don’t see it modeled how do we really expect them to follow through?

3. Make it a routine. We have made it part of our bedtime routine to read since the very beginning, even if it was just Goodnight Moon when he was a newborn. Reading has always been the last thing we do when he rests his head at night and we intend for it to always be that way! I think having it built into our day really helps with the continued interest in picking out new books and reading his favorites.

4. Always offer it as an alternative. When I can tell Owen is getting antsy or he asks to watch something and it’s not time to do so I always ask if he wants to pick out a book. It depends on the day and mood but I think offering it consistently is important and helps to remind our kids that it’s always an option.

5. Frequent the library and local book stores. I try to save our library days for less desirable days weather wise and Owen absolutely loves it. I always let him pick out three books and we return the three we’ve had at home at the same time. Depending on our day we will spend anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour at the library reading, making his selections and potentially playing with whatever activity they have set up for little ones. When it comes to local book stores I always make it clear before we get there on what the plan is, either we’re just going to read for x amount of minutes or you can pick out one book to take home.

The books you see here are the ones in constant rotation at the moment. One is even a library book so we might need to purchase that one to keep officially! Shop each book below and please let me know what your kids are enjoying reading these days, how you encourage reading at home and of course if you have any questions for me!

Photography by Amy Frances.

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  • Love how well you encourage reading! I’m a book worm and always have been, and try to encourage it in our three kids. My oldest is 10 and still doesn’t love it so I’m having to bargain with her or listen to audiobooks sometimes in the car to enjoy a book together. I always found when they were toddlers though that nothing calms a meltdown like sitting on the floor and starting to read a book aloud. They’d notice and come right over, chill out, and cuddle up to listen 🙂

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