World Book Day is coming up on the 3rd March 2022, and it celebrates the key mission of trying to change children's lives, by making reading together and reading for pleasure a habit for life, through celebrating reading, authors, illustrators and books. With this day coming up, this blog is all about helping you to encourage your child to enjoy reading!
The importance of reading at home
Do you remember your favourite childhood story? Whatever story springs to mind, it probably brings back some sense of nostalgia. You may have even started to read that untimely classic to your child because you want them to experience and discover the story in their imagination as you did, at a young age.
The experiences that children have, right from when they are a baby, will influence their development of essential literacy skills later in life and how they begin to read, write, speak and listen. Reading with your child is an important way to support their learning from an early age; it reinforces the bond between children and their trusted adults and it encourages them to have an enjoyment of books.
Research has suggested that children will excel in school if they have been introduced to books in their early years. When children go to school they have to learn to read, but by introducing stories for enjoyment beforehand, they will want to read. This ensures that your child will already have a positive relationship with various texts, books and stories. Through these, children are exposed to a large variety of vocabulary and this will help to develop their understanding, listening and speaking skills.
Parents are their child’s first educators and one of the best things that a parent can do is share books regularly with their child. This will support everything that comes next at nursery, school and in later life. But supporting children with reading at home can be a daunting prospect. You might find yourself asking questions such as, am I doing it right? How should I be doing it? What books should I choose? How often should I be doing it?
We have put together some top tips for supporting your child with reading at home to help answer some of your questions and alleviate some of your concerns.
Top tips for parents
When it comes to nurturing your child’s love for reading, every little effort counts. Here are some valuable tips to guide you on this journey:
- Library Love: Join your local library or make use of your nursery’s book collection. This ensures a steady stream of fresh, exciting books for your child to dive into.
- Early Beginnings: Start reading to your child from infancy. Soft and sensory books are fantastic introductions to the world of stories.
- Props and Play: Elevate story time by bringing tales to life with props or even wooden spoons adorned with pictures.
- Routine Reading: Incorporate reading into your daily schedule – at bedtime, after meals, or as a delightful morning ritual.
- Accessible Books: Scatter books around your home, making them easily accessible to your child.
- No Pressure: Don’t feel pressured to read an entire book in one go. A couple of minutes with a book can have a profoundly positive impact.
- Cosy Reading Nook: Create an inviting reading nook in your home, a place your child eagerly looks forward to.
- Choice Matters: Allow your child to select the books they want to explore. By following their interests, reading becomes an enjoyable adventure.
- Beyond Books: Remember, storytelling doesn’t always require a book. Use pictures or simply your imagination to craft tales together.
For other tips about how to encourage reading at home, PACEY have put together some free literacy resources to further support parents. Take a look at these by clicking here.
Blog written by: Jess Clayton, Nursery Manager at The Old Station Nursery Innsworth