From a very young age, Alyssa has always had an incredible imagination. Quite honestly at times, it has completely blown me away. She listens and watches everything and always has and then these things suddenly appear in her own little make believe world that I can hear coming from her bedroom or the bubble bath and I cannot help but smile.
I quite honestly thought getting her to read books would be easy because she would be keen to feed her imagination with more and more information and whilst we are now at that stage at the grand old age of 6, where she does in fact want to read, it has been a struggle to get there.
When she first began school she was really keen to get going and then suddenly realised it wasn’t as easy and straightforward as it looked. Of course then lockdown began and out of the two full years she is meant to have been at school, she has only spent approximately one year there.
To begin with, I wasn’t sure how to tackle this issue. I love reading and always have and right from a little girl I can remember curling up under a blanket and devouring Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl and then later on the Harry Potter and Dark Matter series. Even now, when I really get into a book, I won’t put it down until I am done and still have copies of some of my favourite stories from childhood.
Then a thought occurred to me – Alyssa very rarely saw me read, as I would always do it at bedtime when I was winding down for the day. So she never saw me personally read for pleasure. So, I started doing this casually and after a while she would either go and grab a book of her own, or crawl onto my lap and ask her to read her mine – which quickly altered what I would read in front of her (there was a blushing moment when I was holding 50 shades of grey!!)
I had always read to her at bedtime and now made sure that I also followed along the words with my finger and after taking in the pictures, she would follow along and when she knew a word, would often shout it out and then takeover for a while. Once it was lights out and even now, she has an audio book reader that tells her stories to go to sleep to every night.
Whether it’s you on your own, reading to them or an audio book, it is SO important to read to your children as this actively encourages them to read and enjoy reading too! We’re at a stage now where her imagination far outweighs her reading level but I know she will get there. In the meantime, I’ve decided to start reading longer books with her that last several nights and keep her wondering what’s happening next.
What better place to start than back in my own childhood world of Roald Dahl! Very is partnering with Roald Dahl and their charity partner Beanstalk to promote how important it is to read to and with our children. This campaign is to support the launch of the new and exclusive Roald Dahl collection at Very.co.uk. Roald Dahl pyjamas and bedding for kids are arriving exclusively at Very to transport children into new worlds. Better yet, for every sale from the exclusive collection, Very will be donating all profits to reading charity, Coram Beanstalk.
A number of times in the past, Alyssa and I have watched the beloved film Matilda – Alyssa’s belief in magic is so pure and this simply fed it. Now dressed in her Matilda pyjamas, under her Matilda bedspread, I cannot wait to spend the next few weeks reading her the delights of what little Matilda overcomes to find her happy ending!
After that I think it will have to be Fantastic Mr Fox or perhaps Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – both of which I read repeatedly as a child. For me, it will be a trip down memory lane. For her, I am hoping it will be a drop of pure imagination.
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