Read On. Get On. – a coalition of leading charities, teachers and businesses – has launched a free nationwide giveaway of ‘story starters’ to encourage parents to have more conversations with their young children.
The story starters are fun activities about the popular children’s characters Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly and Topsy & Tim in everyday scenarios to give families inspiration to create stories wherever they are.
The activities, which have been produced in partnership with Ladybird, are available in every library and children’s centre in the National Literacy Trust Hub area in Bradford.
The story starters are also available online from the on the Read On. Get On. website from today, along with links to resources that help develop children’s language and literacy skills, including the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life website.
Research commissioned by Read On. Get On. found children aged between three and ten-years-old ask an average of up to eight questions a day and parents find it difficult to answer half of them. The poll of 1,100 parents shows nearly half found questions about life events, such as the arrival of a new sibling, the most difficult to answer. A quarter of adults were perplexed by questions including ‘Why is the sky blue?’ and ‘How many stars are there in the sky?’
The latest report from the coalition, Ready to Read, which features the work of the National Literacy Trust Hubs, shows that this questioning should be an encouraging sign for mums and dads. Asking lots of ‘why?’ questions is a key stage in the language development children need to get ready to learn to read before they start school.
Speech and Language Therapist Kate Freeman said:
“Studies find that if children don’t have strong language skills at age five they can get left behind when they start school and struggle with learning to read. That’s why it’s so important for adults to chat with children to help them develop the essential language skills needed to be ready to read when they enter the classroom.”
The National Literacy Trust, the charity behind the Bradford Literacy Campaign, is one of the partners leading The Read On. Get On. campaign, which aims to get all 11-year-olds reading well by 2025.