Cuddle up – it’s World Book Day
World Book Day – held this year on 3 March – is a UNESCO-designated worldwide celebration that aims to encourage a love of books and reading in children of all ages. You’ve probably seen the kids in your local area going to school dressed as their favourite book character – according to a report in the Guardian, Harry Potter and Matilda top the heroes dress-up poll for WBD, while Harry’s arch-rivals Voldemort and Dolores Umbridge lead the villains’ rankings.
But it’s not all about dressing up. Schools, preschools and nurseries that have signed up will receive packs of book tokens (they’re giving away over 14 million tokens this year, that’s one for nearly every kid in the country). Children can swap these for one of 10 exclusive, new and above all, free books. This year’s list includes a Roald Dahl, a Star Wars story and a Mick Inkpen Kipper the Dog tale, so there’s something for every child, from pre-school to Key Stage 3. You can find everything you need to know about WBD16 here.
There’s a wealth of research that backs up the benefits of reading to – and with – your children (and it’s the best reason ever for grabbing a sneaky cuddle!):
- Books help little ones develop their memory skills (there has to be a plus to reading The Cat in the Hat umpteen times)
- It encourages better language development and pronunciation as they read along with you
- A book before bedtime helps to de-stress and relax children (so everyone gets a good night’s sleep)
- An added bonus is that children who read for pleasure do better at school in later life* (*Institute of Education research, 2013)
Create a reading corner
Having a cosy space where you and your child can settle down to read doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You’ll need:
- A comfy sofa or cuddle chair, big enough for two, three or more (story time can get quite addictive)
- Good lighting – a lamp that can be angled is your best bet. If the lighting is poor, it will make it hard for your little one to read and may put them off
- A bookshelf or a box to keep all the favourite reads close to hand
- A blanket or throw for you all to snuggle under
- Oh, and some fab favourite books, of course!
But we live in a digital world, we hear you cry. Aren’t books old hat? Well, we honestly think that nothing beats sitting down with your child and a well-loved book (iPads don’t have lift-up flaps, for one, and as for reading in the bath, well…). But that’s not to say there aren’t some brilliant apps out there that will help and entertain your child on their reading journey. Here are two of our faves:
Little Big Foot
A fun, interactive read and play-along for preschoolers – follow Little Big Foot’s adventures as he leaves home for the big city for the first time.
£2.99, iOS only
Squeebles Spelling Test
Designed for 5-11 year olds, this app encourages kids to improve their spellings by rewarding them with a fun game for completed tests. Stealth teaching or what!
If you are a fan of the classics and want to make a statement with your displays, check out our latest Pinterest board, ‘Once upon a bookcase…’. Lots of fun tips and ideas to make your cosy corner magical!
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