If you follow the blog, then you will know that we loved to read. I’m a real bookworm – always have been – and I am incredibly proud that both my children have inherited my love of books. Reading together is so important. Not only to help with your child’s development but I love the time spent together over a good book.
We read no matter the time of day, as getting lost in a good story together is always time well spent in our house. Though I have to say my favourite time is bedtime when we chat through our day and settle down with one of our (many) favourite stories. So, when I heard about the BookTrust Time to Read campaign, I knew that it was something that I could get behind.
WHAT IS TIME TO READ?
BookTrust is on a mission to get families reading with their children, even once they’ve reached primary school or can read on their own. They believe that time sharing stories is time well spent and I could not agree more!
Reading has always been important to me. Somewhere to escape to, somewhere to explore and somewhere to find comfort. Even now, just picking up a book and starting to read is incredibly soothing. That’s something that I want to give to my children as I think a love of books gives so much. It opens a word of imagination, provides time together and also opens up a window to discuss some serious topics with children.
USING BOOKS AS A TOOL
It could be that your child is gaining a new sibling. It could be that a close member of the family has died. Or it could be as simple as you need to start potty training and don’t know where to start. Whatever the conversation you need to have with your child, there is no doubt that books can help.
For us – most recently – it’s helped us tackle anxiety. It’s no secret that I worry about the Bear. She is quiet and prone to over thinking things. Little worries can build up in her, often manifesting as tears at bedtime. A simple explanation of the church and graveyard that sits opposite her school resulted in weeks of worry. This ultimately resulted in the sharing of tearful fears over not wanting to die. You get the idea! Just having her open up about her worries is the first step in dealing with them.
New BookTrust research has found that only half of 8 – 11 year olds (51%) speak with their parents when they are feeling stressed, sad or worried. That same research found that 44% tried to forget about the problem or don’t say anything, instead they attempted to deal with it on their own. This statistic terrifies me. As in TERRIFIES me, and is one of the many reasons I am already trying to keep the conversation going with both my children despite only being young. The best habits are the ones that start early and books help me do this.
Pouch’s Magical Worry Cheeks is the magical school hamster that recognises that the children are carrying the weight of their worries in their school bags. Aimed at 5-8-year olds, it follows three children who have every day worries. These are worries that many other children may recognise in themselves and Pouch’s Magical Worry Cheeks provides a platform for the adults explore their troubles with them.
I found this to be an amazing book to use to help start the conversation with Darcie about anything that me be concerning her.
As the story progresses the children’s school bags grow as their worries do too. However, there is hope as Pouch recognises their disquiet and helps. He talks through their troubles with them, and by doing so his hamster cheeks start to grow and the children school bags shrink.
Not only does this story allow us to open up a conversation about our personal worries, but Pouch’s Magical Worry Cheeks comes with a series of activities centred around the story.
My favourite are the questions which ask what would be in our school bag of worries? What would we talk to Pouch about? And asking the simple question of what colour would our worry clouds be?
These simple questions can act as a fantastic gateway to discussing anything that may be worrying our children.
Another way of keeping that conversation open is to use crafts to keep the conversation going. We love getting inspired by the books that we read and Pouch’s Magical Worry Cheeks was no different. Darcie was a little concerned that her classroom didn’t have a hamster so we decided to make our own using simple felt shapes.
One that had his very own worry cheeks that we would write down our worries and give to him.
Luckily for us, at the moment it seems that my worries are unfounded as she’s settled into her reception year at school with ease and she assures me that her worry cloud is yellow because she is happy like sunshine. However, it’s reassuring for me to now and then, dust off Pouch and have a little chat about the worries that we both have.
I am pleased to confirm that the BookTrust team giving away a goody bag to one lucky Tippytupps reader filled with a selection books to add to your home library. Just enter via Rafflecopter using the link below and follow the usual social media accounts.
This giveaway is open to UK residents only, is powered by Rafflecopter and will close on Sunday 13th October 2019 at midnight. The winner will then be chosen at random using the tool. Please note this competition is hosted by the Tippytupps blog but the prize is being provided by BookTrust who will be responsible for posting your prize out to you. For full terms and conditions for the giveaway, please visit the Tippytupps terms and conditions page.
TIME TO READ TWITTER PARTY
If you enjoyed this post, they why not check out our other book reviews over on the blog.
DISCLOSURE: we have received a goody bag as a thank you for getting involved in this campaign. However, how we chose to get involved was our own decision and – as always – all thoughts and opinions remain our own.