I’ve been an avid bookworm for as long as I can remember. I just can’t imagine a world without books playing a dominant role. It’s a passion that I’ve been trying to pass on to my son since he was a baby. He’s always been surrounded by books and I’ve read to him since he was a few weeks old. You’ll all know that he’s a bit of a reluctant reader, he’s much happier to let me do the work so I have to get creative to try and spark his interest. We’ve been bringing books to life with BookTrust Time to Read and it might just have done the trick.
Research shows that children who enjoy reading do better at school and BookTrust believe that family time spent reading together is very important, as do I. Their Time to Read campaign highlights the fact that by sharing picture books with children from an early age really does help children become independent thinkers in the years to come.
Bringing books to life with BookTrust Time to Read this year will see every Reception aged child in England received a copy of Little Monkey by Marta Altes. 700,000 children will receive their very own book parcel and we’ve had a sneaky peak at Little Monkey and the other books within the book bundle and they are lovely. The BookTrust website also has more information to help families make the most of storytime with book lists, tips and fun downloadable activities like making banana bread and paper plate monkeys!
My son and I always love story time, even now that he’s 8 years old. Curling up together on the sofa or bed, just the two of us and a good book, it’s long been our favourite way to end the day. It’s a time for adventures and imagination to run free, a time for questions and concentration. A time to just be together and enjoy the story at hand.
I’ve always been really keen to bring school topics to life for my son by visiting places that relate to whatever he’s been learning, whether that be to the woods to look at trees and leaves, or to Hampton Court Palace when he was learning about the Tudors. We also do this with books and we’ve been bringing books to life with BookTrust Time to Read by visiting the Severn Valley Railway. My son is mad about steam engines and we’re slowly working our way around the Heritage Railways of the country. On one such visit I discovered the Peter’s Railway series of books, written by Christopher Vine. I knew instantly that the books would be a great way to encourage my son to read more.
We’ve read a few of the smaller picture story books before and I recently bought him the original hardback book of Peter’s Railway itself which tells the story of how the railway came to be built as well as having information on old railway stories and how it works pages. A trip on a steam train seemed like the ideal way to encourage my son to read the book himself whilst learning more about the engines he loves.
The story tells us who Peter and his Grandpa built their own miniature railway so they could visit each other easily. Peter learns about how railway lines are surveyed and constructed and then learns about how the steam engine itself works. Whether it’s a full size engine or a 10th scale model, the process is the same.
My son was happily reading Peter’s Railway to us as we sat aboard the first steam train ride of the day. As well as enjoying steam train rides for the rest of the day, I knew we could visit the Engine House Visitor Centre at Highley to bring elements of the book alive too.
In the story Peter and his Grandpa are shown how all the different levers on the locomotive work as well as the pressure and water gauges. The book is beautifully illustrated and has lots of factual diagrams too, making it a perfect book for my son to enjoy. Whilst there wasn’t an opportunity to stand on the footplate on one of the running locos, my son could have a look at one of the exhibits up close to really bring the story to life.
I’d also forgotten, but there’s a Peter’s Railway Educational Area there too, so we got to enjoy looking around there, watching the video of the miniature railway the book series is based and putting theory into practice.
Bringing books to life with BookTrust Time to Read really worked for us as we enjoyed showing my son that he could mix his passion for steam engines with reading too. I’ll be adding to our Peter’s Railway collection over the coming months and hope to keep the momentum going as we continue his reading journey.
Of course, if you follow the blog already you won’t be at all surprised to read that as soon as we got home from our steam train adventure, my living room was full of trains, tracks and a Lego built station. Inspiring imagination, that for me, is what reading is all about. Don’t you agree?
I’ve got some exciting news to share too regarding the BookTrust Time to Read campaign. Join @BookTrust and me @Minnowmep for a Twitter Party on Thursday 20th September 2018 from 8-9pm using #TimetoRead to take part. There will be 5 x £20 book tokens to win during the party! We will be discussing what we love about reading with our children, from babies right through to sharing books with children who are of reading age. Let’s share our favourite books, best books for dealing with difficult topics, and explore how we love to bring stories to life for our children.
How do you enjoying bringing books to life with your children?
disclosure: we have been compensated for our tickets and provided with funds for refreshments in exchange for this post. My comments always remain my own honest opinions.
As well as the chance to win 1 of 5 £20 book vouchers in the Twitter party I’ve mentioned above. I’ve also teamed up with BookTrust to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a Time to Read book bundle of their own worth £20 including Little Monkey by Marta Altes. Complete the Gleam form below for your chance to win. Good luck!
Terms and conditions:
(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).
Only the first step of this form is mandatory, all other steps are optional. Only one entry per person is allowed.
This giveaway is for UK residents only.
Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person. The winner’s details will be sent to Rock and Roll Babyworld PR for BookTrust , in order that they can arrange delivery.
The giveaway will close on 14th October 2018 at midnight.
Don’t forget to visit my Giveaways page for more great prizes on offer!