I’m writing this in response to a tweet by the legend that is Michael Rosen. In just a few words he summed up what this blog is all about…
‘For your babies and pre-schoolers,surround them with books and print, read to them every day, let them play with books, choose books, talk books, play with magnet letters, read signs and food packaging, make labels for things, draw, paint, sing songs.’
If he says it then I must be doing something right! I want this blog to be a source of ideas and inspiration to make reading with little ones enjoyable and fun. Keep books in places around the house so that the kids can play with them. Yes, play with them! They don’t have to be read, or your child to be at a reading age, just let them see books as something fun to do. Let them look at the colours, spot pictures, feel the texture, anything to ensure they are not scared and put off when asked to read a book. Make up games, see how many ‘b’ letters you can find for example, or how many rhyming words. When out and about, take a book with you, not i-pads or kindles, a book. With pages. Let them choose words and see if you can spot any of them. Let them see if they can read signs, menus, house names, anything to keep you talking.
Use my book box idea in your house, so that your child can choose which books they want to look at. Let them explore and don’t worry if they make a mess, books should be accessible and fun. They can also be a great bonding tool too. When they feel sleepy and in need of a cuddle, grab a book and look at it together. There are so many ways that books can become a source of fun/relaxation/learning; all of which will only help their understanding by the time they get to school. The evidence is overwhelming to show an early love of books helps not only reading skills, but also communication, imagination and concentration.
Don’t forget books can also be free. Where, nowadays can you really get something for free? Sign your little ones up at the library and you get 10 books, for free, for pretty much as long as you want. A never-ending supply of free stuff. It’s also an afternoon out if you get bored in the house easily, as there are often events on that can be of interest. Story-telling, craft activities etc. Check out your local library for more details.
There’s lots more information on this blog too , as well as ways to keep reluctant readers interested. Starting young is the key, so do your best even if you aren’t the greatest reader yourself. As I said, if Michael Rosen gives the same advice, it’s well worth taking it.