How To Give Your Kids A Lifelong Love Of Reading

Whenever I look back at my childhood I don’t see toys, just piles and piles of books. I developed a love for reading at a very young age. I remember being 6 or 7 and reading the Cape Argos (a local broadsheet newspaper in Cape Town). Every Christmas the first thing on my list would be a new book, which I would read straight away.

Over the years my love for reading has grown with me. If you follow me on social media you will know that I normally buy or loan a book once a month and I love nothing better than having an early night with a book and a cuppa to wind down after a busy day.

Luckily Amber has developed my love for reading too. In fact she was a young starter. At 6 weeks old I started taking her to a weekly baby and toddler reading group at the local libray. This 30 minute session would involve one of the library assistants reading a story and then singing some nursery rhymes. You were then allowed to stay and play after the session. We attended this weekly until Amber started nursery. I remember Amber starting nursery and one of the teachers commenting on how much Amber loved storytime and would always be in the library section. And now, at 4-years-old, her favourite activity to do after school is head to the library.

Another favourite is gymnastics and luckily we were able to tie the two together when Amber was sent a copy of the book ‘Join Gymnastics’ by Gemma Coles. Gemma runs Head Over Heels gymnastics and provides resources such as DVDs, books and apps for coaches, PE teachers, parents and individuals interested in gymnastics.

So, back to the book. Join Gymnastics is a story about two nervous kids who are trying out gymnastics for the very first time. They are welcomed by some experienced older kids and start to develop confidence and skills over the course of the book. They soon learn that there is nothing to be nervous about. The illustration in the book is great and Amber was confident matching the pictures and interperting the story, and found the book funny. The best part was that because Amber was 3 weeks into her own gymnastics classes she could relate to the characters and said “Mummy, I was nervous too when it was my first class but now I can do it all on my own.” I think that we sometimes forget how anxious kids get because they always come across as so fearless, so the story is fantastic at giving kids something to relate to, while being educational at the same time. I would say the book is aimed at pre-school to 7 years old and it very reasonably priced at £7.99.

We loved reading the book together and enjoyed the positive messages about learning from others and trying until you succeed.

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