Create and Celebrate a Love of Reading in Your Grandchildren

What better way to celebrate Read Across America Day than with your grandchild and a good book? March 2, the birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss, marks the perfect kickoff to National March into Literacy Month, which is dedicated to promoting reading and literacy.

Read Across America Day was first introduced by the National Education Association in 1998. The organization aims to motivate kids to become lifelong readers to improve student performance. Schools, public libraries, and other organizations celebrate this day by holding annual reading events for kids.

Here are ways to instill a love of reading and encourage your grandkids to read during this celebration and year-round.

Read to kids. 

Begin reading to your grandchild very early. The NEA suggests infancy is an excellent time to start. Encourage your grandchild to read the story with or to you as they grow. Although your grandchild may not be ready to read, kids often memorize some of their favorite books or pages. Making children an active participant helps develop their love for reading.

Visit the library. 

Think of the library as a big free educational toy store. Help your grandchild choose some books and encourage him or her to select some independently that they can take home and read with you or on their own. 

Help your grandchild build a collection. 

One thing common among reading lovers is how much they enjoy having their own book collection. Help your grandchild grow a personal library of their favorite series, author, or genre. Then, have a special shelf to display the collection.

Play word games. 

Look for board, computer, or phone games that help kids develop their reading, spelling skills, and vocabulary.

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Sign up for Goodreads. 

Through this Android and iOS app, you can help your grandkids track their books and those they want to read. As they grow up and continue their reading journey, they can use the app independently and with friends.

Subscribe your grandchild to a magazine. 

There’s a host of kids’ magazines on the market and something for every age group. It will give your grandchild something to look forward to each month and build enthusiasm for reading.

Read in front of your grandkids. 

Show them that reading isn’t just a school requirement but a lifelong activity. Let them see you enjoy reading to learn and for pleasure.

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Form a kids’ book club. 

If your grandchild is interested, start a book club; it is a great way to build excitement for reading. Find kids who are all at about the same reading level. You’ll need to decide where to hold the weekly or monthly meetings, which could be at your house, or perhaps your school or public library will provide you with a dedicated space. You might be able to advertise it through your grandchild’s school or public library, as well. If you need help check out this excellent article in the Children’s Book Review. 

Set up a reading room or corner. 

Find a quiet, distraction-free area in your home to designate as the reading area. Comfy seating is a must, perhaps a bean bag or two, pillows, blankets, and good lighting.


Kimberly Blaker

Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer. She also owns an online bookshop, Sage Rare & Collectible Books, specializing in out-of-print, scarce, signed, and first editions; fine bindings; ephemera and more at

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