Entries Tagged as 'reading'

how to encourage kids to read more

I’ve often wondered whether reading is a nature or nurture thing.  Are some kids born to be avid readers while others naturally shun books or can good reading habits be instilled in to kids?  I don’t know the scientific answer to this but I personally believe that kids can be encouraged to enjoy and love books.  And once you reach that magical place where you can’t live without books, there is no going back.  I’ve become conscious of this recently as I can see that Anya enjoys reading but she won’t go and pick up a book herself and start reading too often.  So as we’re on half-term holidays and we have more time, I’ve been thinking of ways to encourage her to read more.  My aim isn’t to develop her reading skills as that will naturally happen, but my goal  is very much to get her to fall in love with books.  I’ve been trying a few things and I thought I would share some of my tips on encouraging kids to read more:

1.  Lead by example – there is no better way.  Kids don’t do what they are told, they are much more likely to do what they see you do.  Since it’s the holidays, Anya’s bedtime is much later than normal (no routines here in the holidays!) so I sometimes go to bed with her and I lie next to her and read.  I read every single night anyway but she doesn’t see me do it so the holidays seem like the perfect opportunity to show her.  Now I’ve noticed that she asks if she can read too and often will get herself a book.

2.  We’ve started visiting the local and school library where Anya can look at the books and she will always sit down and start reading.  The best bit about the library is of course that she gets to choose which books she wants to take home and that encourages her to really check out the books on offer.  

3.  We spend a lot of time in bookshops – Even though bookshops are so much rarer these days (makes me so sad) you can usually find one.  We have a Waterstones near us so often go for lunch and then spend the afternoon at Waterstones.  It helps that our Waterstones has an area dedicated to kids with seating and lots of toys and books.  I could easily while away a whole day in a book shop and I’m glad Anya is enjoying spending time there too.

4. Read to them – Every.single.night.  No exceptions.  Of course we all have nights where we don’t feel like reading or have other pressing stuff to do or are just too tired.  But if you make it an absolute must do, you will do it every night.  I love our night reading time where Anya gets to choose the books, although to keep my sanity intact (at least what’s left of it) I have a rule of not reading the same book twice in the same week!  Besides, the years of reading to kids are so short so why not make the most of it.

5. Ask them to read to you – once your kids are at a reading age, they’re going to love reading to you.  Kids love pretending to be the adult so it becomes a little game.  Once in a while I ask Anya to read to me and she loves it.  And not just to me – when she has younger friends and cousins over, if I suggest it, she will happily read to them.  And when the older ones come, they love reading to her.  

6. Buy as many books as you can and involve your kids in the choosing of the books .  Even though kids books can be expensive, I would much rather spend the money on books than on those ridiculously priced kids magazines or cheap plastic toys.  I’ve started setting up a wish list on amazon for Anya and we go through the list together and she chooses the books she wants.  If you’re looking for recommendations, I usually share the best kids books I come across here, so you can browse my book section if you’d like to.

7.  Last, buy different kinds of books as you never know what will appeal most.  While fabulous fictional stories are a given, there are so many other types of books out there.  From biographies (there are some fab ones for kids out there), atlases, kids poetry books, art books, even joke books – the list goes on.  One of my absolute must have books is this kids atlas.  It’s something Anya keeps referring back to and really enjoys exploring and discovering more places.  And we have a Roald Dahl joke book which I think any kid would devour!

These are a few things I’m doing to encourage reading but I’d love to hear your tips too.

Have a wonderful weekend x

{photo by ebabee, t-shirts by wild boys & girls}

"classic literature books for 10 year olds"

Once the school term starts, so do the birthday parties.  Come September, I am on the hunt for gifts and this year I am trying hard to be organised.  That means finding a few nice gifts and ordering them now so I don’t have a huge panic the day before each birthday party that ends in me paying crazy shipping prices for next day delivery.  One of my favourtie gifts for kids is books.  While on the hunt for some new books, I came across these timeless classics with the most beautifully illustrated covers and I thought they would make beautiful gifts.

Anya and her friends are a bit young for these books but Anya has older cousins and sometimes gets invited to her friends older sibling’s parties.  So I end up looking for gifts for a range of ages and I thought I would share them here in case you do too.  These classic books are a great way to introduce 8-12 years olds (depending on the book) to literature and are the kind of books that are kept forever.  Over the years there have been many different covers for these books, but when I saw these ones illustrated by Anna Bond, I loved them.  There are four classics in this range and each cover is illustrated in the prettiest colours with beautiful drawings that make you want to pick up the book and get reading.  All the books also come with matching bookmarks. Wouldn’t they look lovely on a shelf or on a table?  And besides, what can be nicer than giving a child a timeless gift that will last forever?

These classics will be available from October but can be pre-ordered now.  And dare I say it, but I will – I am also thinking of these as lovely Xmas gifts.

"reading corners for kids"

Now that Anya is learning to read, I am thinking about ways to encourage this.  One of the things I want to do soon is create a cosy little reading corner in her room.  A reading corner will probably encourage most kids to read a bit more if it’s a snug little space and if their books are easily accessible.  It doesn’t have to be very big, in fact I think the smaller and cosier, the better.

"kids reading nooks""kida reading nooks"

There are loads of different ways of doing this but one of my favourites is creating a little hideout with a teepee or a tent. The teepee could even be placed in a corner of another room like the living room.  Another easy idea is a simple mattress or some floor cushions placed in one corner of the room surrounded by bookshelves or even book-filled wooden crates on the floor.  I also like the idea of having a statement lamp to add a bit of fun to the space like that adorable miffy lamp.  There are lots of ways to make a reading corner really special and inviting.  The above are four spaces I really liked and found inspiring so hopefully they will inspire you too.

{Image credits: top photo by Mokkasin (a blog you HAVE to check out if you don’t know it); 1.  Vivi & Oli…  2.  Weekday Carnival…  3.  Binti home…  4.  Mini style blog.}

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