I always think a love of reading boils down to how much value we feel the reading adds to our lives. It maybe that it helps us relax after a stressful day, makes us laugh and feel happier or better understood. Perhaps we just enjoy absorbing information about people and the world around us or like to learn and sound knowledgeable; maybe it satisfies our curiosity for the unknown. With the fast paced and hectic modern lives we lead, most adults have to make the effort to allocate time for reading. But what if we felt there was nothing to gain from reading? Where would our incentive be to take the time out to read then?
It’s very hard to love doing something if it’s not enjoyable or beneficial in some way. Very few people read just for the sake of reading and killing time and although the reasons for reading may be personal to each individual, if you look closely enough there is always an incentive behind it.
As adults we continually assess how important something is to us and prioritise our daily activities accordingly. For a young child however they are not necessarily yet aware of why they want to do something. Their incentives are usually far simpler, being more a case of whether or not it is fun, achievable and enjoyable. I try and concentrate on these three elements when creating simple book related activities because providing children with an added incentive through play can go a long way to unlocking their love of reading and writing.
As it’s nearly 1st December, I’ve designed a simple Bedtime Book Hunt for advent (just in case your children aren’t already excited enough during the lead up to Christmas!). It’s to encourage the idea of daily reading through the added excitement of a book hunt. Every day of advent your child will reveal the title of a book for their bedtime reading. The book will be hidden somewhere in your house. Give your child some clues so they can hunt it down and then read it together as your bedtime story of the day.
Things you will need: 6 sheets of A4 coloured card; a 30cm rular; scissors; ribbon or coloured wool and 24 picture books (old, new or borrowed).
Step 1: Find twenty-four of your favourite picture books and write or type up their titles. These don’t have to be new books although I did pop in two as an added surprise.
Step 2: Cut the book titles into strips and put aside until later.
Step 3: Take six sheets of coloured card. I used red, yellow and green but use any colour you have to hand.
Step 4: Use the width of your ruler and full length of your paper to draw and cut the card into strips until you have 24 of the same width and length.
Step 5: Hole punch the top of each strip of card and thread some wool through each hole so it keeps the strips together and and you can hang the calendar up.
Step 6: To cut the strips into steps, start with the top strip and measure it from the end of your ruler up to 5cm. Mark and cut horizontally. Continue with the next strip measuring up to 6cm and cutting horizontally, then 7 cm and cutting horizontally and so on until you reach the end.
Step 7: Now number each step from 1 to 24.
Step 8: Stick a book title on each strip. Pick out the shorter titles for the shorter strips.
Step 9: Now find a place to hang it up ready for advent.
…and don’t forget to hide each book before bedtime.
If you liked this please try my other book advent designed to encourage writing.