Inspire a love of reading at home this International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is a significant day in the literacy calendar, and now more than ever, an important moment to highlight the significance of developing a love of reading from an early age. With 200,000 primary school children now leaving primary school without the recommended literacy levels for their age after missing out on classroom learning the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial that families can make up for lost time from the comfort of their own homes.

Being able to read well isn’t just important for academic achievement. It will also help a child to make sense of the world, boost wellbeing and enable children to dream about their future. By reading together families will be boosting children’s imaginations and expanding their knowledge of the world.

The National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life site is filled with lots of book-inspired activities for families with children of all ages. At the peak of lockdown and while school were closed in January 2021, as many 112,000 unique users visited the site to discover storytelling videos, exclusive ebooks and tips to create the ideal reading space. The charity’s research found that as many as 1 in 3 children were reading more during lockdown and 59% of children said that it made them feel happier too.

The National Literacy Trust recommends the following Words for Life reading activities to help your child discover the joy of reading and improve their learning:

Cosy book time

It’s never too early to introduce babies to books. This activity suggests sharing picture books with the very youngest children and creating a comfortable space for them to listen to stories. There’s also a handy video which shows real-life families demonstrating the activity themselves.

Read and explore I Am Perfectly Designed

I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown is a book about the celebration of the love between parent and child. On this page, children are introduced to the book with a special storytelling video and once they’re hooked, there are additional activities to try that will help parents and little ones to bond and appreciate the book even more.

What should I read next? book list

For children who have already shown an interest in reading but stuck for what to try next, this book list suggest titles suitable for children aged 3 to 12 based on their existing reading habits.

Books to wind down

This activity encourages families to build reading into a daily bedtime routine. Not only will it allow children to look forward to hearing a story every night, they’ll also be getting used to a sense of order that will help with going to school. This page also includes a video with a real-life families having a go at the activity.

To discover more tips and activities to help children learn, please visit Words for Life.

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