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Let's Get Ready For Book Week! 6 - 12th July 2015

Book Trust will be hosting a children’s book week this year from Monday 6th to Friday 12th July 2015.

Book Trust has been running Book Week in the UK for over 80 years, the main aim of this week is to focus on celebrating reading and share the joy of books with children and young people. Each year Book Trust is joined by nurseries, schools, libraries, children’s centres, authors and poets to celebrate books and reading for pleasure.

Reading to children is one of the best things you can do for a child’s education, and having a love for reading has so many benefits. Did you know that you can help a child develop a passion for reading from as early as just a few months old? Many studies have proven that reading to children has lots of positive effects; for example, choosing a variety of books to read aloud will help build a child’s vocabulary, and selecting books that tell different stories will help teach children about life topics; they also learn how stories are structured and how different character roles work.

Furthermore, encouraging children to enjoy reading in their earlier years will also help them in later education – according to the Institute of Education, children aged 10-16 who read for pleasure perform better at school.

Five tips to encourage an interest in reading:

1. Keep it FUN! – There are lots of ways to keep storytelling fun. One way can be by acting the story out and giving each of the characters their own voice. You can encourage your children to join in with you, acting out the story as you go along. Everyone can be involved!

2. Remember to read EVERYDAY – Include reading time in your everyday routine so that children will look forward to this time of day. Studies show that children respond positively to this type of daily routine.

3. Pictures are important too - Keep showing the inside pages of the book to children as you read; illustrations help a child to understand a story and connect with the book.

4. Discuss the story – Always talk about a new book that you have just read.  You can do this as you work through the book using the pictures to help the children remember what has happened. Ask questions like: What did you like about the story? What made you laugh? What didn’t you like? Would you change anything about the story? Using structured questions helps to build an understanding.

5. Avoid compulsory storytelling – Children may lose interest after just a short time of reading, especially the younger ones, but it is important to remember that this is okay! Making children cooperate and listen will only discourage them from reading. Over time and with practice they will learn to listen for longer and will enjoy it more.

Although children do start to build a foundation for reading right from their earliest months in life, studies have shown that children usually start to try reading for themselves around the age of three plus. Statistics from ‘Save the Children’ charity in 2014 show that one in four children cannot read well by the time they leave primary school. This is why the work of charities like Book Trust is so important in helping us all to support and encourage reading.  

Nursery Resources have created two free EYFS activities for you to use within your setting; these activities are based on two popular, classic books and help towards the Early Years Outcomes. The children will love them!

Book Week Activity 1 is based on the book ‘The Rainbow Fish’ and is aimed towards 2-5 year olds. The award-winning six book series, beginning with The Rainbow Fish in 1994, has sold millions of copies worldwide. This activity will be sure to make story time enjoyable for you and your children, at the same time it will help work towards: Literacy, Expressive Arts & Design and Active Learning.

Book Week Activity 2 is based on the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, and is also aimed at 2-5 year olds. This book is a 1963 children's picture book by American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak. The children can also create their own monsters in this activity. This activity helps work towards: Literacy, Expressive Arts & Design and Active Learning.

It has also been announced recently that Chris Riddell is to be Waterstones Children's Laureate 2015-2017! Chris Riddell is a creative writer and illustrator whose books will take the interest of both adults, teenagers, children and infants. You can read more about Chris Riddell and view his range of fantastic children's books such as Platypus and Mr Underbed via this link to Book Trust’s website.

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You can find more information about Book Trust and their incredible work towards Book Week here. You will also find lots of information and resources ready for Book Week which starts on 6th July. 

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