Making reading fun for children can spark a lifelong love of books!
by Phyllida Jacobs
Childhood is a time of exploration and wonder, when we discover everything for the first time and our unique personalities start to form. But most of all, it is a time to have fun! When I was little, the best part of my day was always curling up in bed with my teddy as my dad read me a story. My favourite book was the weird and whimsical poem The Walrus and the Carpenter. I loved moving the pop-ups and tracing the colourful illustrations while he recited the words with a smile. As I’ve got older and graduated from picture books, this feeling of joy has never gone away.
Early experiences like mine can give children a sense of pleasure in reading that lasts a lifetime. The joy of reading is something we can all share! Whether they love princesses or pirates, children should be able to read books about the things that excite them. Letting children choose their own books is a great way to get them engaged and ensure that they have fun reading. This helps to hold their attention for longer and improve their concentration. By adding a big dose of fun to our books, we make sure young readers begin to see reading as an enjoyable activity.
A good story can also spark other fun activities like games and role-play that give kids a chance to set their imaginations free. If you have a baby on the way, The New Baby and Me is a great way to talk about the new arrival with them. It features fun craft activities that families can enjoy together, helping them to feel included in this exciting time. Even children as young as babies can get involved in the fun! Our book The Drum encourages readers of all ages to get moving and feel the beat. Dancing to the rhythm of The Drum is a great way to really interact and enjoy the book!
Making children’s books fun is even more important for those who might find reading a challenge. Reluctant readers need exciting books in order to really spark their curiosity. This shows them that reading isn’t a chore! What makes a book engaging depends on the individual, and finding out what you like is all part of the fun. Wordless picture books like Caged can be a great starting point as they allow children to tell a story in their own words without worrying about getting it right. It gives them a chance to use the power of imagination to set their own narrative and fully experience the adventure, so that they can be a storyteller themselves!
Kids also learn best when they’re enjoying themselves, so fun children’s books are key to helping young minds grow. But books don’t have to be educational or have a moral in order to enrich the lives of young readers. In fact, the silliest books can end up being the ones that stay with them into adulthood. As long as they are filled with joy, humour and adventure, children are sure to love them. All it takes is the right book at the right time!
Phyllida Jacobs is an intern at Tiny Owl Publishing
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