Is there anything better than cosying up together, settling down and reading a book with the kids? Reading with the boys has been a huge part of our bed time routine and I honestly can’t see it changing for a long time. It’s a way for us to switch off from all things electrical, step back from the ‘blue light’ and embrace the words and pictures on a page.
I have very few, if any, memories of being read to when I was younger. I had a thirst for books though and have a very clear memory of choosing to read the first Harry Potter book lying on my bed over doing something else. I read for pleasure and, very rarely when I get the chance to pick up a book, it’s something I still love to do now. I want my boys to have that thirst for picking up a book – even if it’s just to look at the pictures.
Reading for pleasure not only increases things like vocabulary and understanding but it’s an incredibly way to bond as a family, open discussions and just have fun. Words are fun. That’s what I love about books that haven’t yet been made into a film. We don’t have any preconceived ideas about what the characters should look like, what their surroundings are and we just generally use our imagination rather than seeing someone else’s interpretation. That’s what reading is about for me.
For the boys, it’s all about the pictures at the moment. Toby has just gone into Year One at school and while his phonics are impeccable his blending, sounding out and overall ability to read is still very much in its infancy, yet give him some illustrations and he can come up with his own storyline, his own world and just open up his imagination to us. This is why reading to the boys is so important for us. It’s core to us that they use their imagination, that they can interpret situations from drawings and that they can understand the world around us.
The Power of Picture Books
Last year Toby was due to start his Reception year at school in early September but Jamie and I were going to be away for a week for a friend’s wedding. And we’d agreed to move house a week before we went.
I was so worried it would all be too much for Toby to take in at once; moving house and being there for a week, then staying with his grandparents for a week only for him to come home for a few more days and then start school. I worried the upheaval would unsettle him, that he would hate it and that there were too many changes happening at once. He proved us wrong, naturally!
One book we recently came across was ‘My New Home’ by Marta Altés and Toby was able to identify with the story and the illustrations, even a year on. He spoke fondly of the old house and how we were now in the new house and it was fun to hear how he was able to recall things like the boxes being moved, how his bedroom looked before we decorated it and laid the carpet. It just goes to show that illustrations are just as important as the words on a page when it comes to reading with children.
We were just able to share a moment and a memory together which was so lovely. Continuing to bond with my children is so important and, going forward, it’ll be this bond that allows us to have open conversations about anything and everything.
This week’s book of choice will be one about bringing a new baby home because that’s exactly what’ll be happening next week.
Bring The Book To Life
Sometimes it’s not about just reading the words on a page. Words can also be said a thousand ways. Take time to bring the characters to life with voices and actions and get the children to do it too. Perhaps forget the real story all together and get the kids to tell you their own story using the pictures. By getting them to create their own story they’ll prove that imagination knows no boundaries and it’ll help instil a sense of creativity and independent thinking that no other activity can.
BookTrust know just how important a well illustrated book is and, with that in mind, 700,000 Reception aged children will be receiving a copy of ‘Little Monkey’ by Marta Altés this September. They know that having fun with books is the best way to encourage a love for reading all while firing the imagination, improving vocabulary and giving you quality time to read together. There are also more books that encourage all of this and more in the Macmillan Childrens’ Books range.
BookTrust Twitter Party
Join us on Thursday for a Twitter party (full details below) where we’ll be talking about our best and favourite books, books that deal with hard topics and explore just how we all bring books to life for children! We’re giving away 5 x £20 book tokens throughout the party so make sure you join in with the hashtags to win! Use #TimeToRead #BookTrust and feel free to tag @BookTrust or me, @raisingtherings – we’d love to see you there!
Win With Me
Calling all families who love picture books; whether you’re firing their imaginations, sharing a story together or want to leave your little ones feeling inspired – you can get your hands on this book bundle from Book Trust by entering below.
Time sharing stories is time well spent. Whether you help your child develop a lifetime love of reading or whether you help them to overcome a fear or situation, books always have a place in both heart and home.
Terms and Conditions
- This competition will open on 19th September 2018 and will close on 30th September at 11.59pm
- One winner will be selected at random
- One winner will receive a bundle of 4 books from BookTrust (as above in the picture).
- You must be a UK resident aged 18 or over
- No cash alternative will be offered
- The winner will be contacted by email and announced on Raising the Rings Facebook and Twitter
- The winner will have 28 days to respond to their winner’s email
- You must enter using at least one of the entry methods in the Rafflecopter widget above, they are not all mandatory
- Prize will be provided within 28 days from winner’s response
*I received these books in return for the feature. I also received a nominal fee. All views and opinions are my own.