Guest blog by Emily Bright, Parrot Street Book Club
I don’t know about you, but isn’t finding an activity that’s ridiculously fun and yet incredibly good for you like the holy grail? We believe reading is just that kind of magic activity and helping children to get into the habit of reading for fun can be life changing for them.
A cosy den to get lost in with your children
There’s a huge push on reading for pleasure in schools at the moment and it’s not simply about improving reading skills. Yes, reading obviously improves language and vocabulary but research also shows that when children enjoy reading and choose to spend time reading regularly, there are huge social, emotional and even physical benefits. Reading boostsempathy which children will then apply to their friendships and learning. It also stimulates imagination and creativity. Children that still read for fun as teenagers are more likely to enjoy not only academic success but lower levels of stress and depression than their peers.
Creating a calm and quite space for your children
With so many digital distractions competing for our children’s time and attention these days we need to do more to help getour kids into the habit of reading. Making books and reading an important part of family life is key. Here are 5 tips for building the reading habit, whatever your children’s age:
1. It sounds obvious but ensure that books are a prominent feature within your home. Have them accessible wherever you and your children spend time – you may find it good to rotate them from time to time too!
2. Don’t save books for bedtime. Whilst a bedtime story is a really lovely ritual, books are fun at any time of day. Why not even pop some in the car or your bag so that you can enjoy them out of the house too?
3. Let your children see you reading. Whether it’s a newspaper, magazine or Kindle, showing your children that you enjoy spending time reading and find it relaxing is hugely important.
4. Build the magical power of books by giving them as gifts, not only to your own child but to family and friends. Giving a book each birthday or even as party favours is a lovely habit to get into.
5. Weave the characters and stories you’ve read into your conversations, adventures and play. You will all think a bit more deeply about what you’ve read and make connections to your own lives – books will become more real and relevant, rather than something you look at and then forget as soon as you put down.
About Parrot Street
Emily Bright and Sarah Campbell run Parrot Street Book Club, an exciting monthly book subscription for primary school-aged kids designed to supercharge kids’ love of reading. Each month children receive a brand-new chapter book to keep and a fun-filled activity pack inspired by that book, including book club-style questions, puzzles, crafts, a recipe and more. They specialise in hunting out titles that parents and children might not have easily discovered on their own, introducing families to a fabulous range of books, authors and genres.
Why not creat the perfect reading nook for you and your child to get lost in with our comfy beanbags, inspiring teepees and cosy blankets.