On Wednesday 23 May, children across the country took part in New Zealand’s first National Simultaneous Storytime. From Ōtāhuhu Primary to Central City Library, hordes of little bookworms settled down to listen to this year’s book – Hickory Dickory Dock.
Australian libraries have run the event before, but this was the first time New Zealand took part, making it the original trans-Tasman storytime and a celebration of reading and stories that crossed borders.
If you’re keen to get your kids reading – or just reading more – check out this list of our top 10 tips to get you started.
Set a reading routine
Have a special spot or a set time for whole-family reading.
Read aloud regularly
Expose your children to a huge and complex range of text and ideas – they’ll understand far more than they can read for themselves. Even older children enjoy being read to.
Join your local library
Where books and reading experts are on tap!
Increase the book conversation
Ask questions aloud as you read, e.g. “I wonder why he did that?” You’re modelling what a good reader does. Reading is not passive – when you read, you think.
Introduce a book series
Series of books allow children to become better readers and to build up their reading speed and momentum. The road to success is paved with series.
Do whatever it takes to increase reading action and fun
When kids enjoy something, they don’t want to stop.
Dads, get involved!
You are a role model in your kids’ lives with the power to turn them into readers. Especially let your boys see you enjoy reading.
Let children choose their own books
Children are far more likely to finish a book they have chosen themselves and, at the same time, will discover the pleasure and power of reading.
Increase the time your kids spend independently reading
More reading time means greater reading achievement.
If you can, build your children’s own book library.
The number of books at home influences your children’s enthusiasm and reading level.
Q: What is the best book for any child?A: It’s the one they want to read!
Rob Southam, Scholastic Ambassador
“A childhood spent with books prepares you for a lifetime as a reader.” Open a World of Possible, Scholastic 2014