IF you want your children to read for life, then you need to make reading fun for them.  On this page, I will give you several ideas how you can do that.

Playing Dress Up

Playing Word Games

Reading Lists

Elephant Dance

Most children don't like to read because reading hasn't been something for pleasure but rather something they had to do. When a parent/teacher (YOU) makes reading fun for children, then they will want to read on their own.

Playing dress up or word games can help make reading more fun.  Also, making a craft project or a cooking project that ties in with the book either before or after reading the book will help the child see how much fun reading can be.  Also, this is a good time to present a moral lesson the book is trying to portray.


One way of making reading fun is to play DRESS UP!  Here are some easy ideas of what you can do that will make reading a FUN time as well as making reading fun.

When I was the Literacy Administrator at the local Boys and Girls Club, one of my responsibilities was to see that the children became life long readers.  Making reading fun was one way I would achieve the first step in this lofty goal.

On way to make reading fun is to play DRESS UP either with your reader or solo. Here is an example of what I did when I read The Candy Shop.

The little boy in the story liked to dress up as a cowboy.  So when I read the story, I put on my cowboy hat (yes it is purple), and tied a bandanna around my neck.

The children all wanted to wear my cowboy hat!!

I simply used an old garden hat that looks like a hat a zoo keeper might wear.

Using a hat like the character is wearing can spice up story time. Young children are very imaginative but sometimes it is hard for them to form a picture in their minds of how the book describes the character. Here I am dressed up as a zoo keeper or a safari guide.

Some other dress up ideas are:

  • Use scarfs or bandannas to create a certain look.

  • Use face paint to paint on whiskers of a cat, rabbit or mouse. Don't forget to color your nose an appropriate color.

  • Make dog, cat, mouse or elephant ears out of construction paper.

  • Buy inexpensive masks after Halloween.  Put them in a Dress Up box used just for READING FUN.  Let your child(ren) use these props sometimes.  Take turns reading by assigning each character to a child.  Then let that child make his/her mask or ears and wear it while reading the part assigned to him/her. You can also purchase rubber noses; parrots, elephant, cockatoo, rabbit, or dog and cat noses. 

  • Buy themed headbands at Halloween, Easter or Christmas.  Put these in the box to be used for reading fun.

  • Instead of throwing a suit away (or giving it away) save it for the Dress Up box.  This can be used when there is a father or a man in the story.

  • Save your mother's old dresses (at least one).  This can be worn by a girl who is reading the part of a mother or woman.

  • Put at least one baby doll in the dress up box.  Little girls will love to hold a baby doll while the story is being read.  But make sure there is a baby in the story.

Word Games

Playing word games like the ones listed here can get your child excited about reading fun!

There are more suggestions at the Math and Reading Games Book Store that I have created just for this site.


Sometime, parents or caregivers don't know what books to purchase.  Kids can be picky.  They want to read what their friends are reading.  The only problem is that younger students forget the name of the books or books.

Although I have listed some of my classic favorites in the books stores that I have created for this website, I am not up to date with what books are the most popular.  So I have enlisted the help of one of the organizations that I belong to--IRA or the International Reading Association.

Each year, IRA field tests over 600 books across the USA. More than 12,500 students and 200 teachers read these books to pick out the top 100 books for K-8 grade.  You can download the children's choice of books, the teacher's choices,  and young adult choices at IRA's website:  International Reading Association.

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