Woman and two young children in living room reading book and smi

I’LL TELL YOU A STORY

This week is National Story Telling Week (28th January – 4th February) – an important week for children all over the UK.  If your children are of school age, they’ve probably come home with some leaflets or handouts on the Week and their school or class may even be holding events to promote National Story Telling Week.  If you can make it, be sure to attend any sessions that are organised by your little ones’ school – teachers love to get parents involved and it’s a great reflection on your kids too.

LOVE YOUR LIBRARY

Your local library will also be sure to be staging some sort of event to promote National Story Telling Week – after all, libraries depend on regular readers to justify their existence.  With so many libraries in the UK under threat of closure due to the current economic crisis, supporting your local library is a great way of making sure it will be there for you in the future.  Modern libraries have great children’s sections nowadays with new books coming into their stock on a weekly basis.  This means that your child will always find something new to read in the library – it’s a great way of making sure they have plenty of books available and it’s all absolutely free!

During school holidays and half term, most libraries will organise activities for the kids (sometimes on a weekly basis) which will include crafts, visits from story tellers, authors and other interesting people (I once worked in a library where we had regular sessions with a guy who would bring in snakes and exotic insects for the kids to handle).  Libraries also have regular storytime sessions for pre-schoolers, often followed by a simple craft activity that lets the kids get their hands dirty without messing up your house.

READING BEGINS AT HOME

However, if you want to get your child in the reading habit, then you should really begin at home.  Make sure that your child has plenty of books available and try to have a regular storytime session at least once a day (bedtime is a great time for reading to or with your child – reading stories leads to calmness which will help to promote sleepiness).  Of course, your child is much more likely to develop an interest in reading if he/she sees you, as parents, reading on a regular basis.  This means that if Mum and Dad are often seen reading a book, baby is likely to ‘get’ the point of books at an early age.

If you need convincing of just how important it is to encourage your children to read, then take a look at the following five benefits of reading on a regular basis:

  1. Reading fiction boosts creativity in the brain, especially at a young age.  Learning to think creatively makes problem solving easier, an important factor when joining the adult world of work.  A creative thinker is eminently more employable.
  2. Reading expands the vocabulary and makes for better grammar and pronunciation skills.  This leads to an increased eloquence which makes it much easier to express oneself effectively.
  3. Reading helps to develop analytical thinking.  Reading will make us use our brains more and thinking more which actually increases intelligence.
  4. Reading enhances the memory and makes it easier for kids to learn.  This improvement in memory carries on into later years.
  5. Reading improves writing skills – a wider vocabulary coupled with enhancement in creative thinking leads to more career choices being available.

So, take advantage of what’s on offer during National Storytelling Week and encourage your kids to read on a daily basis – it’s sure to lead to a brighter future for them.

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