Today is World Book Day and thousands of children will be dressing up for the occasion. Little Man is no different and will be heading to nursery dressed as the tiger from The Tiger Who Came To Tea (pictures to follow!). I will also be celebrating World Book Day in the secondary school library where I work. I felt today would be an apt day to write about why I feel so passionately about how important it is to get kids reading. I work in a large secondary school where the reading ages vary. I see some amazing readers who are only 11 but I also see older children who are not so confident with their reading or have absolutely no interest in it. I hear ‘I hate reading Miss’ many times a day. I work hard to try and change that but believe that us as parents play a role in encouraging our children to read too. When a student at my school asks me why they have to bother with reading, I ask them how will they pass their driving test if they can’t read the signposts or how will they read a takeaway menu. This usually makes them think but what I really want to instil in them is what they are missing out on if they aren’t reading. The journeys they are missing out on, the amazing stories they aren’t reading and things they aren’t learning. I love to read even though I have little time to do so nowadays and I have read to Little Man since he was a baby. He loves books and will happily sit and listen to a story or look at a book on his own.
So here are my 5 top tips on why I think encouraging a love of reading in our kids is so important.
Bonding – Whilst children are still young reading is a great bonding experience between parent and child. Sitting on the sofa reading a story together is precious quality time that I love to have with Little Man.
Foundations for Independent Reading – Even when a child is very young reading with them is just as important as when they are learning to read at school. This is so when they begin their own reading journey spending time with a book isn’t alien to them therefore not being a chore or another piece of homework.
Relaxing at bedtime – Bedtime stories have become a permanent fixture within our bedtime routine. We read longer stories at this time and this makes Little Man suitably sleepy and ready for what we hope will be a peaceful nights sleep for all of us.
Helps with their Language Development – Reading to a toddler can really help with the development of their speech and learning new words. Books with repetition are great for this and Little Man often can finish sentences from his favourite books. Some of his funny phrases he has definitely learnt from his books.
Entertainment – To young and old books are good old fashioned forms of entertainment. You can enter into a world for a little while and completely immerse into a story. I think books are a little glimpse of magic.
I could literally write about this for hours but they are my top tips. I’m always on the lookout for recommendations for books to read with Little Man and books for me to read so feel free to leave me some.
Happy World Book Day!
Apologies for the quality of the photos, they are old photos. When I actually needed a photo of Little Man reading he wouldn’t sit still!!!