Inspiring a Love of Reading in Young Children

In light of the excitement of World Book Day, our Library Manager shares her top tips to help inspire a love of reading from a young age.

3 March 2023

At Downe House we believe reading for pleasure promotes a variety of mental health and academic benefits that allow pupils to be inspired, relax and explore creative ideas.

The positive effects that reading can have on society are widely documented and what has been made abundantly
clear by research is that books can help us to enjoy the little things in life and be happier in ourselves; a useful
and timely reminder for all of us to draw on the many benefits that only reading can deliver.

Dr Josie Billington

We foster a love of reading throughout the School, from our extensive library selection, book clubs and book reviews for every age group to interactive residencies and days of celebration, such as the Downe House Festival of Literature. However, we understand that a love of books, storytelling and reading can be ignited from a much younger age.

Top Tips for Inspiring a Love of Books

Our Library Manager, Mrs Jenny Hill, has collected her top tips to help inspire a positive relationship with books for children from a young age:

  1. Read with your child whenever you can – it is never too much
  2. Choose or create a cosy, warm place to share books and make it a treat
  3. Discuss the characters and themes whilst reading with your child to answer any questions they may have about the story
  4. Introduce your child to audio books – in the car, in bed, relaxing on the sofa… audio books are a great way for your child to enjoy different voices and sound effects used in the recordings.
  5. Lead by example. Be a positive role model for your child by reading yourself and discuss with them why you enjoy reading.
  6. Watch films based on books and discuss the differences. How have the books been adapted for film? Can your child spot the differences?
  7. Offer your child a variety of reading material, including comic books, magazines and bite-size fact books dotted around the house to encourage micro reading – five minutes here and there soon adds up and encourages independent reading.
  8. Take them to bookstores and libraries – treat it like a treasure hunt to find the most exciting book. What makes the book they have chosen interesting to them? Is there a genre or theme your child likes to explore?
  9. Include poetry in their reading diet – an essential element in discovering the power of language and children should be encouraged to read poetry aloud. Is there a recording of the poem being performed that you can play for your child? Is it similar to how they thought the poem would sound?
  10. Finally, don’t despair if your child stops reading for a while as they get older. If they have formed and modelled good reading habits when they were younger, they will come back to it! Make sure to discuss with them why they have stopped reading – are the books too young or have they lost interest in the genre?

Discover more about the Downe House Library and all the resources on offer to encourage a love of literature in our pupils.

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