Today we share an article from business owner Gemma Webb from Phonic Stars Croydon. Gemma shares her blog on why we should read more books with our children.
I love a story. My 3 children have always been given books as gifts. Over 8 years of collecting, I have enough to start a small children’s library! From ‘learning to read’ books, picture books, to chapter books and poems. Yet, I still can’t help buying more!
I can remember reading “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson each night to my first born from the age of 6 months. He was most likely more interested in his bottle than me reading, but it was our routine. Quiet time. Snuggles and cuddles, and just being in that moment.
What can we get as grown-ups get from reading with our children?
Well, from a very young age, they start to learn important listening skills. This is helping develop language skills from pitch, speed, emotion. We could make environmental noises such as cars going ‘beep’ or cows going ‘moo.’ This is all part of Phase 1 Phonics. Even when we sing nursery rhymes we are encouraging language. When reading, be sure to talk about the pictures, the expressions, and give extra dialogue. Point out characters or objects for example, “Look it’s the cat.” You could use description of pictures too, use of colours or shapes.
As children get older, develop this into questions: “Look it’s the cat. Where is he going?” Discuss ideas of what may happen next or why the character may be doing something. Giving this opportunity to discuss the story will help your child understand the plot but also will encourage other life skills like reading emotions, decision making and the world around them.
Your child may want to read a story repeatedly. This is a way to expand on the story. Maybe they don’t understand the story, or maybe they can relate to it. Either way, children love repetition, so try not to be discouraged (even if it is boring for you!)
As your child grows up, they will start to learn more from books. Use your finger to follow the words as you go. This way they will realise we read from left to right in English. They may start to recognise letters or short words. The biggest part is realising the words will match the pictures.
Passion for Books
Something we focus on in Phonics Stars™️ is a passion for books. Our sessions always end with a story. We like to develop knowledge of books even further and often start our story time discussing features of the book. What is the title? What does the Author do? What is the name of the person who draws the pictures? The bit of information on the back is the… blurb! (Kids love that one as you can be really silly with it!)
It’s important in our busy lives to try and make time to read with our children, even as they get older. I still read a bedtime story to my 8 year old (now chapter books) but he loves to talk about the story with me and we can stop at big words to discuss there meaning.
From child to grown ups, books are magical. They can transport us into another world. An escape from life. My children like to sit and listen to me read sometimes, so they can visualise the story. This is a great way to improve imagination.
Reading is such a wonderful and simple activity to do with any age. With so many benefits from literacy and learning about the world, down to my favourite part – cuddles with my children. Why not make it part of your bedtime routine?
Did you know Phonics Stars™️ UK, Phonics Stars™️ Croydon, Phonics Stars™️ Bexley & Greenwich and Phonics Stars™️ Blackheath & Lewisham all run bedtime story’s on a Friday on their Facebook pages. Why not check them out!
Carla is the founder of MyBump2Baby. Carla has a huge passion for linking together small businesses and growing families. Carla’s humorous, non-filtered honesty has won the hearts of thousands of parents throughout the UK.
She has previously written for the Metro and made appearances on BBC News, BBC 5 live, LBC etc. Carla is a finalist for Blogger of the Year award with Simply Ladies inc. Carla is also the host of the popular Fifty Shades of Motherhood podcast and The MyBump2Baby Expert podcast.