New Year’s Resolutions can be a bit of a bore, who wants to put themselves under more pressure during the gloomiest month of the year. But, what if you use the start of the year as an excuse to kickstart a new hobby that will benefit everyone; I’m talking about BOOKS!
Everyone knows that books are good for you, but like with vegetables, it can be a struggle to stomach them when you’re surrounded by other tempting options. TVs, phones and games consoles are the main culprits.
Are you looking to get your family into reading more in 2022? Here are some tips to turn your screen-addicted family into wiggly bookworms.
When it comes to starting a new healthy habit, routine is key. Why not schedule a set time each day when you all take out your books (or one book to read together) and settle down for a story. It doesn’t necessarily need to be bedtime; it could be just before bathtime (even during bathtime if you get your toddler a waterproof book) or for a few minutes first thing in the morning when you’re all waiting for your porridge to cool down.
You don’t even need to limit your reading to the house. My son loves reading in the garden (in the winter he just wraps up warm) and in the car on long (and short) journeys; books are so easy to bring out with you! There’s no need to worry about chargers, they’ll get a little soggy but won’t be destroyed if anything’s spilt on them and you won’t get a glare off them like you would off a screen. Most kids prefer real books to reading off a tablet, which is a good thing. It would be such a shame if they went the same way as tapes and CDs and were regarded as an old-fashioned form of entertainment.
The hunt for Christmas presents is behind us now (phew), however, there’ll be no shortage of birthday presents that will need to be bought during the course of the year. Books make great presents, they’re plastic-free, they can be re-read and re-gifted, and of course, they’re reasonably priced too. Why not let relatives know that you and the children would all appreciate books as gifts this year and suggest to your mum friends that your kids give each other books on their birthdays.
It’s key that kids feel encouraged to choose what they’d like to read themselves. The library is an ideal environment for them to browse to their heart's content and to try lots of different types of stories. I was guilty of urging my son to select a "proper" book when he first showed an interest in the 'Dog Man' series.
The books by Dav Pilkey are a comedic graphic novel series and to be honest, I just couldn’t understand the appeal and didn’t think they’d be beneficial to his reading skills. However, I gave in, and my son (and all his friends) absolutely adore them. It was 'Dog Man' that kickstarted his love of books and he’s now moved onto lots of other authors and is currently reading 'Harry Potter'. Now that’s a series I can get on board (the Hogwarts Express) with.