There’s no denying it reading is an important skill. It helps with language development; social development – helping us to empathise with others/or learn to understand them better, gives us something to discuss with each other, put things into perspective, to look at things from a different angle; helps us to learn moral messages; gives us the ability to learn new things, provides information of what is happening in the World around us; helps us to remember (lists, important dates, appointments); help us find our way (directions); keep us thinking, and questioning (what may happen at the end of the story); gives us a way to relax and unwind from the daily worries and encourages lifelong learning too.
Sometimes I do find it hard to fit in all the reading with 3 primary school aged children. We make sure the youngest always has a bedtime story, the next one up reads to us at bedtime, and our 9 year old reads either to himself or whilst I’m washing up/ironing (we do sit down and listen too, but this is what we do when we are really busy) and the oldest we really struggle so he reads alone (he is 17 this year).
So anyway to encourage young readers I thought I would Giveaway this fantastic Hello Kitty and Friends – The Friendship Club donated by Harper Collins at BritmumsLive.
The book is about Hello Kitty’s experiences as she joins a new school and decides to form a friendship club! See a review over on Kiddy Charts. One lucky Pinkoddy’s blog reader has a chance to win! Just enter the rafflecopter below. UK Only. Closes 31st July 2013 0:00AM.
One of my favourite books growing up was most definitely Winnie-the-Pooh so I was delighted to hear that there was now a Winnie-the-Pooh “Classic Pooh” app of my favourite stories, which meant my youngest could enjoy the tales of Pooh Bear without me having to worry about him damaging such a treasured book. He loved the control of being able to decide which page he was on, swiping backwards and forwards, and I liked the fact that the story could be read to him (by Rufus Jones) – especially as he does like the same thing over and over and over again. Using the iPad is also good to help my son develop the muscles in his hand – at the moment there is concern that it is a bit floppy and he cannot hold things properly.
This app is free to download too! Further available is the extra ‘The World of Winnie-the-Pooh’ which offers essential background to the stories for £2.49.
The Write to Read app (£4.99 on iTunes) I originally thought would be just perfect for my 5 year old. Since being in his Reception year at school his love of reading has rocketed. He reads absolutely everything he can find. This app allows him to learn to write, and spell, the words as it sounds out what is typed. But what I really loved about it was the fact that you can create your own story using your own photos. This is particularly useful for my youngest son with special needs, as he is a visual learner, and this would be ideal to write tailor-made social stories for him, that make the most sense, as we can use photos from his environment. He is moving from pre-school to Reception this year so I am intending to use this app a lot to prepare him.
For my almost 10 year old, I feel that reading is one of the most important things he can do to prepare himself for his upcoming examinations – first his 11+ and then his SATs. So when he discovered that he would be allowed to use technology on a week night he was delighted to do some reading – you see my boys are only allowed on computers/tablets etc at weekends normally, unless they’ve done something amazing. So he’s happy to be able to borrow my iPad and I’m happy he’s reading. One of the eBooks appropriate for his age is Will Solvit (download the first copy for FREE here) – and my son is really enjoying it and actually ended up going to bed late! The series is about a 10 year old boy who is destined to be an adventurer. The first book sees him travelling back in time to when there were dinosaurs (always a hit in our house). There are jokes, facts, great illustrations and moral messages, including his friendship with Zoe. For those of you who prefer good old fashioned books then they are also available in paperback from Parragon books.
And my most favourite find of late is Sensory Dinosaurs by Jill Christmas (available from Speechmark Publishing at £32.99). Jill has extremely kindly let me share the information from this book so please do look out for future posts. This is a must have tool for any child who is struggling in school – with their condition is diagnosed or not; covering sensory issues, developmental coordination disorder, dyspraxia/proprioception, Asperger’s syndrome, Self-esteem issues, joint hypermobility, Dyslexia, and balance difficulties. Each one has a story about a dinosaur, who starts off sad, it is explained why it is that they are sad (eg too much light and noise) and what happens to help them, and then you see them happy. The book is packed with tips on how to help, and dinosaurs to colour. The pages are easily photocopy-able in order that parents/carers and schools can share the information and be on the same page with helping the child with these conditions. This book is particularly useful for us, as it is known that children are more easy to access help/learn easier, if t is linked to something they are interested in – and dinosaurs are definitely a big hit here.
Other Great Posts by Bloggers in Relation to Reading & Apps
Disclosure: I received the Hello Kitty and Friends book, a Winnie-the-Pooh gift set; The Write to Read App; A Will Solve it Book; and the Sensory Dinosaurs book in order to review these products. All opinions are my own and links are No-Follow.