I love reading.
I love books.
I love the classics, the tat you get to read on holidays, children’s fiction, novels and even gossip magazines.
I used to read more but in the age of the internet, social media and ((cough)) blogging, I just don’t read as much as I used to. This makes me sad and a little anxious that our children will lose the love of reading that I had as a child and teenager growing up. So how can we instill a love of books and reading in our children but in turn make sure they keep up with new technologies?
- Make books a priority
When your child is a baby buy simple, brightly coloured board books so that your child gets in the habit of seeing these books as equal to other toys. Buy the books that are age appropriate such as ones all about animals or colours. This will keep your baby and young child interested. Toddlers and Preschoolers love rhyme and alliteration so there are thousands of picture books out there to choose from. Make storytime part of your daily routine so that your child can see that they are a priority. Let your child see you read too. Then they can see that it’s an enjoyable activity.
- Let them read whatever they want to.
We are all different and what your child likes to read may not be what you want them to read. I have heard parents complain that their child not reading Swallows and Amazons or that they don’t want them to read another fairy book. Well, firstly Swallows and Amazons may be a classic but modern children don’t always relate to the classics. I am not saying they shouldn’t read Swallows and Amazons but it may not be enjoyable to them right now. They may want to read another Fairy or Horrid Henry book. It’s safe for them and they understand them. Let them read these choices!
- Don’t choose books that are just beyond them.
As a teacher I see this all the time. Parents want their child to read books that are challenging for their child however they forget that their child is only young. Some children at 7 could read War and Peace but they would not have any clue about what they were reading! Just because your child can read something doesn’t mean that they should or will. This is the reason why young readers get put off from reading because it becomes too tricky for them to follow the story or the topics are simply not in their comprehension. Simple stories are best at this early stage to encourage enjoyment and positive habits.
- Read children’s books yourself.
There are so many books being written all the time that is tricky to make good choices when it comes to children’s books. Reading books before your child means that you can help them select books that you know that they would enjoy. Both my children were avid readers but used to get stuck reading the same authors. Whilst finding an author you love is important, it is easy to get stuck. There are so many great authors out there to discover! I also found that as my children got older they would increasingly want to read books with content I wasn’t necessarily happy with. By reading these books first, I could keep a little eye on what they were coming into contact with. Now they are teens, I obviously encourage them to read whatever they like.
- Use technology
Reading is reading in my book so it doesn’t matter if it’s online or on a tablet. There are many great reading games that support reading at home that your child may love. Nothing beats the small of a new book and the crinkling of a page for me but your child may love screens as much! Just remember that screen time should be limited at a young age as they can be overstimulating at times.
My favourite books for each stage.
Anything with lift the flap surprises such as Where’s Spot? Dear Zoo or That’s not my dinosaur!
There are so many that I love but my favourites (and children’s favourites when reading to them in school) The Last Noo-Noo, Stick Man, We’re going on a Bear Hunt, Alfie gives a hand, Where’s my teddy? Superworm ( basically anything by Julia Donaldson; the woman is a genius and she lives near me!)
Some children at this age are ready to begin simple chapters books but they will also love to read their picture books that you have read to them up until now. My favourites are: The Worst witch, The cat in the hat, Horrid Henry, Fairytales, Rainbow magic fairy books, anything by Dick King Smith.
The gap between children that struggle and their classmates can really hinder a child at this age so it so important that they find something they love. Some of my favourites reflect this. I love Diary of a Wimpy kid, anything by Jacqueline Wilson, Charlie and the chocolate factory, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Gangsta Granny, Skulduggery Pleasant.
Getting this age group to read anything away from their phone is tricky but there are some great books out there. My favourites are: Cherub series, Tunnels series, Noughts and Crosses, The boy in the striped pyjamas, Girl Missing
I hope you found this post informative. Thank you for reading!
OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES.