I am a book lover, I always have been and it is one of the things that I have always wanted to foster in my children. We have books everywhere in The Mad House. You can not go into a room without there being books.
I wanted to share with you some information about the Scottish Book Trust, which is Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing. The organisation works with writers, children, teachers, librarians and readers from all backgrounds to spread a love of books and reading.
Don’t worry if you are not in Scotland as the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour (which has been running for 14 years) comes in to schools in England too and reaches on average 6000 children every year.
Mini at nearly eight is just like I was as a child, he loves books, loves reading and often falls asleep with a book in his hand. He learned to read before school from sitting watching Maxi read.
Maxi, however, at nine is something of a reluctant reader. This is not down to inability, oh no he has been reading at an advanced level since starting school.
So I put out the question to some amazing bloggers that I know and asked them what was their one top tip for encouraging and nurturing reading in children:
- Read everyday with your child. It’s the single most important thing you can do! Growing Book by Book
- Provide lots of books, magazines, pamphlets, leaflets, letters etc. Anything and everything that can be read. And lots of variety! Swirly Arts
- Start reading to children from an early age, make it part of the daily routine and encourage children to choose books they enjoy as they get older The Life of Spicers
- Make it fun, We have homemade book marks that we’ve made together and we have reading charts that we use to record how much reading we’re doing by adding a sticker to it every time they read for half an hour. When they get to the end we all have a family treat like an afternoon out or a treat tea! Dairy of a Frugal Family
- Be the example!! Have a stack of books you are reading, and talk about how you enjoy reading with your kids. If they see you do it, they will want to do it too. Chicken Babies
- Start reading when they are babies, regular visits to the local library where they can choose their own reading material greatly helps Rambling through parenthood
- Not pressurising them to conform and most importantly find them books they like reading…nothing more off putting than being ‘forced’ to learn to read with a really dull book Cherished by me
- Read books that have been made into movies. When you’re done with the book you can watch the movie together, compare the movie version to the book version,etc.. Suzy Homeschooler
- Change it up by listening to books on audio together while traveling. Ask comprehension questions! Still Playing School
- I would suggest having a reading routine. For most parents, the easiest time to do this is bedtime. Make it a “special” time. Sit in a comfy chair. Snuggle up. Cover yourselves with a special blanket. Give your child your full attention and block out other distractions. Try and do it every night…even a quick book on nights where you’re putting your child down late. All these things help show kids how reading is an important and precious activity! One Time Through
- Take them to the library regularly and let them choose their own books. What do we do all day
- Start reading from the absolute beginning but also let your children see You read! I read in front of my son all of the time and I think it helps – If Mummy loves it why won’t he! Petit Moi
- Anything can be reading material, if they want you to read cereal packets then go with the flow. Recipe books also make good reading tools as they like the pictures Emmys mummy
- Start young. Look at picture books with your baby. Read board books to your toddler. Even if they are running around you in circles, read the words and then point out things you think will interest them. Eventually, they get to a point where sitting and reading appeals to them. Make reading a part of their life from the beginning and it will become a natural part of their life throughout their childhood (and beyond). Library Adventure
- This week it would have to finding your ladybird books from childhood. Seren has been reading all of mine, intrigued that they were from when mummy was a little girl! Johnson Babies
- Set an example and read yourself. Both my children have loved ‘reading’ their own books alongside me from a very early age. I think children emulate what they see so if their parents read then it can spark their own interest in it. Catch a Single Thought
- Make reading the norm. We have a house full of books, read to my son after lunch and before bed every day. We’ve visited the library and borrowed books since he was a baby. He knows nothing different and he even had books as rewards when we were potty training Over 40 and mum to one
- Let them pick their own books to read at home. If you have to read ‘Room on the Broom’ every night for two weeks so be it. It means they love it and enjoy it. Also just because you liked a certain series of books or an author when you were a child don’t expect your child to like them as well. Reading at home should be all about pleasure. Jibber Jabber
- Read to your kids every day from the very beginning! When your children start enjoying longer, more complex picture books, start reading simple chapter books to them. It will increase vocabulary, comprehension, and conversation. There’s nothing like bonding over a great book! The Measured Mom
- Read to them every night, even when they can read themselves. Never skimp on it. My 9 year old still gets so much from me reading to her at bedtime. We read books that she might find too challenging to read alone and it fires her imagination and vocabulary. Actually Mummy
- When you read together make it special. Make sure you turn off the television or the radio and put your mobile phone down. Snuggle under a favourite blanket or make some hot chocolate or in the Summer sit on a blanket in the shade with a cold drink or an ice lolly. Make the time when you are reading for enjoyment cosy, relaxed and inviting. Damson Lane
- Seek out different books, ask other parents, children and your librarian what books they’d recommend for your children. Mums do travel
- Let your children see you reading an actual book rather than glued to electronic devices (that’s a lesson for myself to learn!). They copy so be their example and show a love of books. Three Children and It
- Read, read, read!!! My kids all get to pick their own books at the library. This has become a really big deal! My daughter got her own library card when she was 5. You would have thought she won the lottery! Big hair and books
- My big tip is audio books for children who are not keen on the actual book, it’s an easier way in. Sometimes they will read along as they listen. David Walliams does great readings on all the audio versions of his books. Opposable Thumbs
- As children get a bit older libraries have great reading schemes running through the summer holiday, where children get rewards for reading books. Hellies Corner
- Encourage a love ofof reading by choosing books, based on your children’s interests. That should be true for very small ones, but also for older children. Offer your toddler books about dogs if he is excited to see them, and do not disapprove of an older child if he wants to read a novelization of some cartoon that looks like garbage to you. It is alright, they will outgrow it. It is the great feeling of pleasure associated with books that will stay and matter in the end. Adventure in a Box
- Read to them every day. If they are too restless to sit and listen, read aloud while they play and show the pictures. Let them choose books at the library and treat is as a special event. Give books as a birthday party gifts to friends to teach their value to your own children. Let them see you reading. Have books always accessible to them. Bare feet on the dashboard
- I pretty much let my son read anything he fancies, he’s three but loves Batman so we have loads of comics as well as books and..umm… he does get Young Adult graphic novels out of the library sometimes! I have to change the wording a bit (thankfully we’re still at the age where I can do that) but he’s always desperate to pick those up and read them. Crafts on Sea
- My Autistic son is 8 and has the reading age of 11yrs+ He needs no encouragement! He LOVES books and most nights falls asleep with a big hardback Encyclopaedia stuck to his face!! Our world and Autism
- We started reading to him at about 4 months old, he got/gets 3 books every night, and over 3 years later he still does! We always let him choose books as well as toys when it’s treat time. He loves to be read to now during quiet time in the day and has started to read a few words himself. Mischievous Mum
- Hide a torch under their pillow (school age) with a good book at bedtime. Make sure they know it’s there but say goodnight and turn out the light. All mine then reach for it and read for a god half hour before falling asleep! Makes for peaceful bedtimes, I factor the extra half an hour in so they don’t go to bed too late, and the idea that it’s almost not allowed seems to really grab them lol!!! Musings of a 21st Century Stay at Home Mum