Why World Book Day should be every day
World Book Day will see thousands of children arriving at school dressed as their favourite character and is a great opportunity to encourage children to engage with books and reading.
But why is reading so important? And how can you help your child to love reading?
We all know that literacy and reading are an integral part of everyday life and crucial skills to learn. Reading can also be a wonderful hobby and pastime for your child as they grow up, helping them to relax, learn and de-stress alongside much more!
What are the main benefits of encouraging my child to read?
It helps to develop a wide variety of skills:
It helps young children learn to talk and read and continually expands the vocabulary of older children.
Developing creativity and imagination
Listening to and reading stories help encourage children to think creatively.
The subjects included in the book develop knowledge and provide a great jumping-off point for discussion and further learning.
Discussing difficult subjects
If your child encounters a difficult subject in their book this offers the perfect opportunity for a discussion, whether it’s about starting school, potty training or bullying.
A regular activity like a bedtime story can help strengthen your relationship with your child as it is a time when they get your full attention all to themselves.
Reading can help to improve children’s attention span as they are encouraged to remain focused on the story.
Developing memory skills
As children return to a story, they are encouraged to remember what has happened so far, discussing the story with others also strengthens this!
Preparing children for school
Throughout school, children will be required to read, so encouraging them to begin reading early can help them prepare for this.
How can I encourage my child to read?
To inspire your child to love reading, it helps to start young, so here are our top ten tips:
Of course, as babies, they won’t understand the stories as such, but they will enjoy listening to your voice, looking at the pages and spending time with you. There are lots of books designed specifically for young babies, which include sensory aspects to help engage them, including crinkly pages, rattles, squeakers and bright, contrasting images.
2. Consider toys that help children to learn letters, sounds, phonics and words.
We always advocate learning through play where possible, and these products can be a fun way to encourage early reading skills. As children’s confidence grows with their reading, their enjoyment will too.
3. Use lots of different types of media to read at home alongside books.
For example, magazines, comics, e-books, activity sheets, etc are all extra ways to encourage reading.
4. Make time to play word games as a family.
These games can really help to widen vocabulary and involving the family will make words, reading and learning into a sociable activity too.
5. Include reading apps into screen time.
Apps can be really helpful in encouraging reluctant readers as they incorporate most children’s love of technology with the activity.
6. Extend stories outside of the book.
Re-enact your favourite scenes from the book together, or dress up as some of your favourite characters. Stories are a great way to inspire your child and encourage their creativity.
7. Combine reading with everyday tasks.
Ask your child to read out recipes to you, or get them to keep an eye out for the road you are looking for, choose what they want from a menu, etc.
8. Make sure you are interacting with your child while enjoying books with them, rather than just reading.
Relate items or people to your child’s world, ask them if they can see objects in pictures, continue the story in your own words after the book has ended.
9. Be your child’s role model.
If they see you reading regularly, they are likely to follow your lead in the early years.
10. Don’t worry.
As with all developmental skills, reading develops at different rates in different people, your little one will learn to read in their own time. If you force the issue or put pressure on them, they are far less likely to enjoy and learn.
World Book Day is a great time for engaging our children in books and reading. We say, why limit this to one day a year? Making stories come alive helps to fire up children’s imaginations and leaves them wanting to read more. This comes with many great developmental benefits as well as the potential for a pastime that provides lifelong enjoyment!
Updated March 2020Tags: Books, Reading
Categorised in: learning through play
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer