Blog Tutors Tutoring Tips 4 Simple Ways Tutors Can Motivate Young Readers

4 Simple Ways Tutors Can Motivate Young Readers

Reading books can be boring for young children who have a hard time staying still and face difficulties in understanding the benefits of reading. Reading is vital in improving their brain development and language capabilities.

Children love to play and could find reading dreadful so getting them to stay focused is one of the most challenging tasks you will have to do as a tutor.

So, how can you motivate young children to read?

Create conversations

As they read through a story and come across words or phrases that they recognise, get them to tell you more about it. For example, when the word ‘food’ arises, ask them to describe what their favourite food is and why.

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Children love to communicate, have conversations and express themselves. It helps them to make sense of the knowledge that they have. Conversing is a way to refine their knowledge in an interactive way.

This will also improve their articulation and conversational skills. Through conversations, you are able to build trust and create a closer bond with them.

Read colourful books with illustrations and textures

Colours make books exciting for children and it also teaches them how to associate colours with different meanings.

Similarly, illustrations help to associate words with visual representations.

Children are building up their senses and having sensory play incorporated in books has many benefits.

According to ToddleAbout, when children use different ways to touch different textures, they are building their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

As they explore the different colours, drawings, and textures, explain what they respectively represent and the meanings behind them (e.g. red means danger).

Get them up and moving

Children have short attention spans and tend to be very active. When you notice that they’re getting restless, allowing them to act out the story could mean a lot more fun for them.

Active movements help them to release their tension, absorb their learning, and focus better afterward. Regular breaks for physical activities can prevent children from dreading learning.

Furthermore, roleplaying gives them a chance to practise empathy and learn to understand different forms of expression.

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Get them involved in the story

Having to go through similar plots from the start to the end can be very predictable and boring for children.

Withholding spoonfed, fixed answers and allowing them to guess the next part of the story gives them the space to exercise their logic and creativity.

You can also ask them to create their own alternate plots or endings so that they can have a voice, dare to take charge of a story, and think out of the box.

These will hone their creative writing skills and ideation processes.


Motivating young children to read is a difficult but fulfilling journey.

When teaching them, you have to be intentional in taking into account their learning and interests in learning, making sure that they are able to develop in a fun way! 

Want to read more reading-related articles?

10 Amazing Books carefully handpicked by SmileTutor to Teach Sight Words to Beginning Readers

Ebooks vs. Printed Books: Which Will Benefit Your Child More?

Ways to Increase My Child’s Reading Speed

8 Weeks Program to Increase Independent Reading Habits in Primary School Kids

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.