Sunday 24 June 2012

Get your kids enjoying reading with the National Literacy Trust and McCain Smiles - 1000s of free books available

McCain have been working in partnership with Words for Life, part of the National Literacy Trust, to come up with a short video aiming to encourage more families to read with their children. It's full of  handy hints and tips to make reading with children easy and fun and I was honoured to be asked to set a question for Abigail Moss, Deputy Director of Words for Life, to answer in the video. Read on for more details about the campaign, as well as news of more than 100,000 Ladybird books being given away for free with packs of McCain Smiles this summer, and make sure you watch the video to see which question I asked !


New video showcases mums’ top tips for reading with children

Research* by the National Literacy Trust shows that nine out of ten parents would like to spend more time developing their child’s literacy skills, yet a shocking one child in three does not own a book.

Help is at hand with a new video featuring tips from mums on how to make reading a fun and effortless part of the everyday routine. The fly-on-the-wall-style video captures the conversations of a group of mums as they debate the joys and challenges of reading with kids. You can view the video here :

The video was created by McCain Smiles in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust to mark the launch of a massive book giveaway hitting supermarkets from 18th June. The film also features advice from National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life expert Abigail Moss.

The campaign invites parents to revisit a set of ‘Treasured Tales’ with their children, as more than 100,000 Ladybird books are given away for free with packs of McCain Smiles this summer.

The exclusive set of six Ladybird books include Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood and are great to read with younger children or for older, more confident readers to tackle themselves.

To take part in the promotion, look for unique codes on the leaflet inside all promotional packs of McCain Smiles, sold at major supermarkets. Simply collect two codes and head to to choose from six fairytales on offer – your choice will be posted to you free of charge.

*One Poll survey of 1,000 parents, February 2012 

To finish off, here is a list of great top tips for reading with your kids.

Smiles of fun! Top tips for reading together

Read yourself
Your kids copy you all the time so make sure they see you reading. By copying they will gain confidence and get to be great readers too.

Make time to read
Make sure you have a regular slot in which to read every day. This makes sure you don’t forget and stops everyone forgetting the storyline.

Be positive
Praise your child for their efforts reading – it’s fine for them to make mistakes. It’s supposed to be fun!

Point with a finger
Encourage them to follow the words with their finger.

Give them time
Let your child make a guess before you tell them the word. Help them to get the first sound or try breaking the word up into smaller sections.

Get them to read aloud... you, friends, pets or even their toys. Hearing their own voice helps your child practice their speaking and builds confidence.

Let them read their favourites
It’s good to read the same books over and over again as repetition helps to build your child’s language.

Involve the whole family
Get older children to read to younger ones – not only some valuable time off for mums and dads, but younger kids will follow their example and practise their own reading.

Don’t just read books
Encourage your child to read newspapers, TV guides, comics, cookery books and magazines too.

Do the voices
Liven up story time by making each character talk differently – this makes the story come to life for your children. 
For more ideas and activities visit

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  1. Well done on getting your question asked :-)

    I completely agree that getting kids reading is vitally important. Mine have always had books, even before they could sit up I would buy brightly coloured books and put them in their eye line.

    Teaching kids to read has to be the biggest thing you can do for them. Let's face it, even if they only ever want to do the most mundane job you can imagine, they will need to be able to read the ad for it!

  2. I'm a huge reader & have over 500 books in the house, and I'm determined that my son be able to read before he goes to school - I firmly believe in the importance of good literacy, and with boys I think you need to read them something that interests them, whether that be about football, dinosaurs, trains...whatever!

  3. An excellent campaign by McCains. I'm not an avid reader but my eldest daughter is.

  4. will definately get some of these - we can never have enough books in this house!

  5. I love things like this, it is so important that parents get thier kids reading from as young as possible. Too many kids nowadays are starting from square one when they start school..... Give them a fighting chance..... GET THEM READING :D xxxx Toni


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