18th June 14
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Albert Einstein.
This Thursday will see the celebration of World Book Day when staff in schools and nurseries all over the country think of inventive ways in which to celebrate reading, authors and all things book related.
Here at Park Hill we are no different, with lots of exciting activities planned. A visit from an author, pop up libraries appearing around the school and children making their own books (those that are a little young for reading are filling theirs with pictures). One eagerly anticipated event for the children is, of course, dressing up as their favourite characters and bringing the accompanying book with them. We look forward to publishing the photographs on our Facebook page at the weekend.
World Book Day or not, one thing that should not change is reading at bedtime; a wonderful way for you and your child to wind down at the end of a long and busy day.
In a world that has ever changing technology and lives becoming busier with longer working and school hours, finishing the day with a story can help build a good bedtime routine and give a quiet 5 minutes in which to bond with your child.
Many of us use e-readers, iPads and computers or smartphones for our daily reading. This leap in technology has been wonderful in enabling us to access anything we like to read: blogs, news articles, books, white papers etc but it does not show children how often we are reading and what we are enjoying. Curling up with a book at bedtime is an excellent way of a parent modelling reading to their child, especially as parents are the biggest role models in a young child’s life.
All too often people stop reading when they leave school, having torturously ploughed through texts that are outdated or irrelevant to the person. Changing how people view reading can be tricky but, if we give reading the importance it deserves, and get the balance right in childhood then we are half way there.
Stories, particularly at bedtime, when a child has little else to focus on, are a fantastic way of opening them up to exciting adventures in an environment in which they feel safe and secure. Most childrens stories have a good moral throughout, helping the child reading (or listening to it) develop a good moral character.
One of the wonderful things about books is that the advantages of reading extends further than just the time in which you are doing so. The attention span of a child is largely enhanced when listening to a story. Books also help develop imagination; not only do the children have to picture the scenes being read to them in their heads, deciding what the characters and scenery look like, it helps them to develop their own story writing in later years as they have had good practise whilst listening.
For young children books written in rhyme can help keep them engaged. To quote a much loved author, Dr Seuss: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”