5 tips for raising a reader

Children who read often have bigger vocabularies and stronger comprehension skills. And a Pew Research survey reported that reading is considered the second most important skill kids need to get ahead. So start a new chapter in your child’s life by raising a reader with these tips from Nat Geo Family.

Start Early

Studies show that reading to babies (even before they’re born!) can boost vocabulary and give them a head start to reading. Luckily infants aren’t too discerning and will listen to you read pretty much anything—newspapers, romance novels, the back of the cereal box. Beginning readers, however, need engagement through adorable photos, compelling stories, and rhyming text. Get started with a sneak peek at the new early-reader book Somebunny Loves Me.

"Read" Videos

When children follow along while a book is read aloud, they’re reinforcing spelling skills and improving comprehension. The same can be said for following along with subtitles on a video. Try this trick by turning on the closed captioning on some silly animal music videos. Challenge more advanced readers with the long-form Nature Boom Times series.

Game it Up

Got a reluctant reader in your house? Make reading (and writing!) fun with our silly story generator and word games. Then reward their efforts with printable door hangers, trading cards, and bookmarks.

Find Fun Facts

Whether your children are into space, animals, science, or dinosaurs, they probably love learning and sharing weird facts. The key is to wow them with surprising, far-out information that’s so crazy they’ll want to read more. The best part? Kids have so much fun, they don’t know they’re also practicing reading skills.

Read Together

Model good reading behavior by sharing your own love of books. For instance, start a family book club and take turns choosing what to read. (Look through our book club video series for ideas.) Advanced readers can help the younger ones, and everyone can take part in the conversation.