It’s no secret that reading is important - it can help us de-stress, build our vocabulary and even strengthen our brain. But did you know that reading can have a positive impact on children’s mental health too?
The current situation has no doubt taken a toll on everyone, and the many young minds who have had much of their formative educational years interrupted are certainly no exception. Right now, parents, carers and teachers need to be doing everything they can to ensure children’s mental wellbeing and development are safeguarded.
Books transport us to new worlds, introduce us to inspiring new characters and show us new perspectives on life -and you’re never too young to start! Here are 5 ways you can celebrate International Children’s Book Day on April 2nd with your children or pupils and encourage them to begin (or continue!) their literary journey.
1) Urge them to read a book they’ve never read before.
There’s never been a better time to pick up a new book and immerse yourself in a story.
Your child could choose something new from their favourite genre, ask their friends for suggestions or go for something they wouldn’t normally choose. You could even give them an age-appropriate recommendation yourself - if you’re a teacher, why not set your class an interesting book to read and discuss together? Something educational, something
historical, or something that’s just plain fun - whatever it takes to get them reading!
2) Have your children tell you about their favourite book.
Childlike enthusiasm is a magical thing. Kids love to tell us about their interests, and studies show that providing a listening ear and positive attention helps to make children feel more secure and valued. Ask the children around you to pick their favourite book and tell you about it. If you have a particularly artistically-inclined child, they could even perform a puppet show inspired by their favourite book, or act it out as a play! The important thing is engaging with what makes the child tick.
3) Start a children’s book club.
This is a great way to get a not-so-avid reader interested in books! Whether it’s a family group or just between friends, having a book club makes reading more fun and motivates children to read cover-to-cover so they can contribute! To make it even more fun, kids can give their book club a name or have theme weeks, with themed snacks and dress-up competitions. Spending time with friends can be the perfect incentive to make your children
enthusiastic about reading.
4) Get them to write their very own short story!
Who says Children’s Book Day has to be all about the reading? Encourage the children around you to get in touch with their creative side and come up with an original story, or maybe even a poem! They could base it off their favourite book series or come up with something totally original. You could even give them a prompt, or turn it into a competition between friends or a class - the possibilities are endless. Who knows, maybe one day your child will become the next Roald Dahl or Jacqueline Wilson!
5) Celebrate with ZooLab!
ZooLab offers a number of Animal Story workshops to inspire your children and get them interested in fiction. Our stories are written in-house and ZooLab's team of animals help to bring them to life! Whether it’s Jane’s Egg, Ben in the Glen, Rainforest Adventurer or any of our other fantastic workshops; your kids will love having the opportunity to get involved in interactive story-based learning.
Check out our website or contact a member of the ZooLab team on 0845 330 6322 for more information or to book a session with us!