Oct 14, 2011

The joy of reading to children....a dying art?

Last Saturday morning saw 29 members of The Old Station Nursery team rolling around in hysterics, despite early starts and the fact that it was actually Saturday morning and they were technically working. So, what was the cause?

A certain gentleman by the name of Neil Griffiths, whom I heard speaking at the NDNA conference in June and decided would be a great person to inspire our staff. Neil is a passionate advocate of reading and books and made the transition from primary school head (lucky children!) to become the inventor of story sacks and a guru on sharing books with children.

Neil started the day (after a very humourous introduction) by telling us that currently in the UK 1 in 4 children never have a book read to them at home. Even for those of us who think ‘that’s not me’, I bet many of us are guilty of saying ‘hurry up and choose a book’ or complaining at reading the same story for the umpteenth time?  Reading with a child can be such a pleasure and by treating books as something special and something to be treasured, we can inspire a love of reading in our children. At nursery we have the same opportunity to inspire young minds, so Neil challenged us all to think again about how read to children in our group settings, and how to make it a really exciting experience.

One of the cardinal sins we became aware of is to be a reading snob. If Heat magazine is your thing, then be proud of it! It doesn’t have to be a Charles Dickens novel to interest a child, and if they see you reading regularly and with pleasure, they will also see reading as an enjoyable pass time and something to be enjoyed, rather than a school based activity that they have to do. All of you who have endured the tales of ‘Chip, Biff and Kipper’ in the school book bag will know that a dull book read because you have to, can be a massive turn off. Instead, embrace what your child is interested in, be it bugs, diggers, fairies or Peppa Pig!

Have a look at our Facebook Page to see how Neil inspired our staff from Faringdon, Filkins, Benson and Innsworth and do ask them to tell you more about it. We hope to run the same training in the Lincoln area shortly, but in the meantime, do have a look at Neil’s website if you’d like some great reads to enjoy with your children. www.cornertolearn.co.uk

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