Recently we gave you a list of all our favourite books about the Human Body for kids. Finding time to read with your kids can be difficult. Persuading them that science book will be really fun can be even harder. That's why we came up with these top tips to make reading factual books with kids fun! All the latest research suggests that reading to children is actually priming their developing brains, hot-wiring them for other learning experiences. We can all learn so much interesting stuff from the amazing factual books out there. So why not give these tips a try?
Let kids pick out their own books
Just because we like a book's style doesn't mean it will appeal to all kids! According to a Scholastic Survey kids really are much more likely to be interested in books they pick out themselves. In fact 89% of the children surveyed said their favourite books were ones they'd picked themselves. This ameans letting kids choose their books at the library and the bookstore. We also suggest both at home and in the classroom making a selection of books on any topic available so kids can pick out the ones that appeal to them most. An added bonus of this approach is that children learn the value of researching and comparing information from more than one source.
Let kids see learning can be lifelong
Kids seem to really like it to see us learning too. Make sure to let them know the books you're sharing are teaching you new stuff too. In areas like the human body our understanding has come a long way since our school days so be prepared to be surprised and to share it!
Discuss interesting details and information
Child development experts suggest doing this whatever the book you're reading. When the science is inconclusive or a book discusses how people used to think about something this can be especially interesting. Doctors used to believe illness was called by miasma, a noxious form of air, discussing this theory with your kids can help them to understand how science has evolved and changed.
Mix things up a bit
Of course reading is important but it is only one weapon in any parent or teacher's armory. It's worth mixing things up from time to time. Bring the books to life with any of these suggestions. Do a practical experiment (lots of the best factual books have hands on suggestions). Watch a documentary on your chosen topic. Visit a museum or go on a field trip. Play an educational app that can help add a visual and hands on element to what you've been reading.
Look for books that make kids laugh
Just because a book is factual doesn't mean it can't be funny. Research shows kids of all ages want books that make them laugh. So check out series like Horrible Science or books about pooping, farting and burping. They're sure to get everyone giggling.
Remember this is time well spent
Of course all the research show this! But this Washington Post quote from Liza Baker, executive editorial director at Scholastic shows that it's more than just the science:
“We’re blown away that kids time and again said the most special time they recall spending with a parent is reading together.”
There's not really much to add to that is there except that reading with teachers, grandparents, uncles, aunts and other special adults is great too.