As a woman in tech, I’ve seen first-hand the transition to digital over the years. More and more children are now watching content on dedicated channels such as CBBC, CITV, Nickelodeon and Disney. And for as much as we have a love, hate relationship with our digital devices, in a positive way, the internet has given children more freedom to explore their own interests rather than being tied into the content offered to them from the TV schedules or magazines.
According to a report on the BBC News website, children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen. Out of the report, eight-year-old girls spend the least – three-and-a-half hours, according to the study. With so much technology available to children these days, the biggest contender in our house is YouTube Kids. My children spend a lot of time watching other children opening Kinder Surprise on YouTube. It’s quite bizarre! But, despite these online trends, I think we would agree that we would rather our children spent a little less time on YouTube Kids and a little more time reading.
Whether online or offline, reading for children is important. Stories and books open a whole new world of adventures for children and it’s never too early to start encouraging children to develop their reading skills.
Over the Easter holidays many of us would have brought books back from school, which may (if you are like me), will sit in their book bags until the day before school (guilty), when we will frantically read them all in one hit. Therefore, I thought it was a perfect time to talk to you about Reading Eggs. A great way to help the children to stay motivated with their reading over the school holidays.
I have been working with maths and literacy experts, Reading Eggs over the past twelve months as I really like their approach to helping children get a head start with their reading. Reading Eggs have got the balance right of helping children with their reading online, so they can learn anytime, anywhere. It’s not just my children that enjoyed it, in fact 91 per cent of parents who try Reading Eggs report a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading within the first few weeks. It’s is designed to teach children essential early reading skills in a fun and engaging way.
This award-winning online reading programme is aimed for kids aged 2–13. It focuses on the key strategies essential for sustained reading success, covering the five elements of learning to read – phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Their wide variety of programmes helps children to improve their literacy skills in a safe and highly supportive online learning environment. It features fun characters, catchy music and an exciting rewards system to enhance children’s motivation throughout.
What I love the most is that as parents, we can track the child’s progress with an integrated reporting feature, to check their estimated reading age and more. Here are three ways it has helped my children and why I would recommend you give it a try:
1. Builds Cognitive Abilities – Reading develops a child’s imagination and creativity, and is a great approach to support your child to dream! In addition, reading supports logical thinking and problem solving skills.
2. Better communication skills – Your child is developing useful communication skills by observing the interactions between the characters in the books. It is also a great opportunity to spend quality time together and bond with your child. Many children, as they get older, have fond memories of times spent reading with parents.
3. Can Be Calming – Reading can be a great way to relax your mind and focus on whatever it is that you are reading. Your brain slows down you often feel a sense of relaxation.
In summary, I know sometimes there is nothing like picking up a paperback book, but it’s about giving parents and children choice with more access to reading through ways like Reading Eggs. Overall, it needs to be about making books accessible, so you’ll have a budding lifelong reader in your family.
This article is brought to you in collaboration with Reading Eggs but all opinions are my own. For more information, visit their website www.readingeggs.co.uk. Disclaimer: The 4-week trial offer is only available to new customers. Ends 30th April 2018.