Kids and reading: making it fun

If we look at some statistics there seems to be a case to be made that encouraging kids to read for fun can lead to a higher success rate in school. However for years we have been hearing reports that children’s enjoyment of reading is in decline. It is easy to begin blaming other forms of entertainment as distractions from the ‘good old fashioned’ book such as tablets, mobiles, computer games and TV among others. So should parents put their collective foot down and curtail the use of electronic devices in favour of the book?

According to a study done by the National Literacy Trust and Pearson there might actually be a happy balance to be found bringing both the book and the tablet together in helping boost literacy. Granted this is a narrow focus study based on a poll of 1,000 parents of three to five years olds but it does suggest that making use of technology to read books can help boost children’s enjoyment of reading.

Obviously this is not a suggestion for anyone to hand their child a tablet with a book loaded on it and walk away feeling content that their children are on the right track to literary excellence. It is however encouraging to see that technology can be used to offer a positive impact in learning to read.

The question still remains regarding the steady decline in children reading for fun. So it is pleasantly surprising to read a report just released by the National Literacy Trust revealing that children’s enjoyment of reading has increased for the first time in eight years. This is a survey of 29,422 eight to sixteen year olds showing that not only has the number of young children who say that they enjoy reading increased but more importantly, there has been an increase in the number of young people who read outside of class.

Among the fine work done by the Trust, today saw the launch of the Books about Town event in cooperation with Wild in Art, placing 50 sculptures based on well known children’s books scattered around London. This event will be running over the summer aiming to encourage young readers to discover the joy of reading as they follow literary trails around the city. There are maps you can download with trails around Greenwich, Bloomsbury, the City of London and the Riverside.

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