20 easy ways to read 20 minutes everyday

Reading 20 minutes a day is a pretty standard recommendation. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. There are so many reasons why reading regularly is important but it can be hard to find the time to actually make it happen.

The great thing is, reading 20 minutes a day doesn’t have to happen all at once. Breaking it up and “squeezing” reading in is an easy way to get started. The reading time will add up quickly and you’ll be reading more than 20 minutes before you know it!

Love this list of reading ideas. It will make getting in 20 minutes of reading so much easier.

20 easy ways to read 20 minutes everyday

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  1. Read at snack time. This works well with all kids, but is especially useful with kids who are always on the move. Reading to active kids can be a challenge. Squeezing in story time while they are already sitting is a great way to add to your reading minutes.
  2. Keep books in the car.
  3. Books on CD. Listen to them in the car or during playtime. Borrow them from the library to cut down on cost. One of our favorites is The Patchwork Girl of Oz.
  4. Keep books in the bathroom. Big M was a reluctant reader in the beginning. I could not get him to read to me no matter what I tried. My sister was surprised at the level Big M was able to read because she’s heard my frustrations. When she asked him about when he practices he responded, “I read in the bathroom.”  I guess that was good planning on my part.
  5. Have a set read aloud time. 
  6. Make reading part of your transition. “Grab a book while I clean up lunch.”
  7. Just start reading. It’s the quickest way for me to calm a situation and get their undivided attention.
  8. Read everything. Have fun reading with street signs,  cereal boxes and magazine covers. Search out fun and easy words when you have a few minutes.
  9. Keep books by the bed.
  10. Read while they play. When the kids are playing, sit near by and start reading. It’s a great way to insure a captive audience.
  11. Have a set quiet reading time.
  12. Keep books in the playroom.
  13. Play reading games. We love hangman right now. In our game closet Scattergories Junior and In A Pickle are waiting for M and M to get just a little older.
  14. Bring books out back. Set up a blanket under a tree or place a basket in their playhouse.
  15. Keep books in your purse. (Sure, that might mean you need a bigger purse. 😉 )
  16. Read while you wait…  for dinner to be ready, in the waiting room, for friends to arrive, for the bath to fill up, for anything!
  17. Keep books in the bathtub.
  18. Use a reader.
  19. Offer reading online. Try Storyline Online,  Seussville.com, and ABCya.com .
  20. Read books that inspire action.  The Cookbook for Girls,Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes and Wildlife Gardening are three that we LOVE!

What’s your next stop? I’ll tell you…

  • Add your favorite way to get in 20 minutes in the comment section.
  • Visit Hands On: As We Grow for Sidewalk Letters .
  • Join us in making quiet summer reading a priority and grab a button!
  • Check out What we’re reading in the side bar. 


  1. I have the kindle app on my phone with kids books loaded. When they ask for a game we read a book & they get to play by swooping the pages.

  2. We have always had a nighttime ritual of reading since my son was born, now that he’s six, its harder because he fights going to bed. I bring books in the car and have him read to me at the grocery store, doctors appts and while I’m driving. He is also a know it all so I will act as if I don’t know word in a book and ask for help and he begins to read.

  3. Give them a flashlight and allow them an extra 15 minutes at bedtime with their books, under the covers with the big lights out. Be sure to turn off the flashlight after 15 minutes or they might be asleep and have dead batteries in the morning.

  4. Hi!

    What an awesome website! We have come across some of your blog postings on Pinterest, and have shared some of your ideas on our twitter and facebook pages as well!

    We look forward to future postings!


  5. Thanks so much for all these great ideas! Some I had thought of and some I hadn’t. Will be trying the “new” ones. We LOVE the books on CD from our library. Instead of nap time which my 6 year old outgrew, he has a CD player and a box of CD books from the library and heads to his room for about 45 minutes of quiet time (while his sister naps). This has helped his comprehension, reading this expression and writing of his own stories. We also do books at restaurants (I don’t like seeing kids with their video games which doesn’t give them the quality time a book does).

  6. My kids trade off helping me with dinner and the dishes. Lately, I’ve told them that one way to help with dishes is to read aloud to me while I wash. They ALWAYS choose this option, even my reluctant reader. We both feel like we’re getting away with something! They think they’re getting out of a chore; I know they’re getting in their reading time–and I truly do enjoy my chore more while being read to!

      1. We live in the country so every car ride to town is 1 hour round trip, so we listen to books from audible.com. My kids are 10, 8, and 5. Our favorite right now is the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Crowell. They are hilarious! I even enjoy them.

    1. This idea even works with my 16 year old daughter. She is responsible for cleaning the kitchen two nights per week and if I’m not terribly busy she has the option of being read to aloud, or if I’m really feeling energetic I’ll let her read aloud to me. Either way, it’s a good way for us to share the moment.

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