Topics/Discussion

Promoting Reading – Book Start

Last year I shared a post about how in the Netherlands we have book weeks that promote books, sometimes certain genres. But that is not the only way reading is promoted here. As a new mom I got send a letter that I could pick up a book start suitcase for Merijn at the library where he is then also signed up for the library for free. Now that I have been feeling better we finally went and picked it up.

So what is book start? The book start program focuses on children from 0-4 years old to promote early reading. You can never start to early, not even with a baby. Research has shown that reading to your baby helps with their speech and language skills. Of course a baby can’t keep its attention on a book long but if you pick the right moments and are interactive you will see the attention span grow over time.

I have said before that I don’t hold expectations of my child becoming a reader like I am. But reading is important to their development at a young age and for that reason I am happy that this exists. And that is why I try and read to him at least once a day.

In this book start suit case there were two things. A Dick Bruna (author of Miffy) fabric book and a book that had ideas to play with your child at various ages. Sometimes it can be hard to fill in the time with a baby so I think that can be a great asset. But personally I would have preferred another book to read to Merijn. The plays they had in there for his age I already did variations of. But they change the books in it at least once a year. On the site for book start (Dutch) you can also find various tips on how to use the books.

Does your country have something similar set up? How was reading promoted to you at a young age?

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15 thoughts on “Promoting Reading – Book Start

  1. That’s such a lovely way to promote reading! Is Merijn loving his new book? I started reading in a very traditional way, through school. One of the teachers in high school recommended The Hobbit, and I fell in love with reading ever since. It’s kind of amazing how much teachers help in peaking a young person’s interests. I hope Merijn encounters awesome teachers who can help him find interests that make him feel fulfilled.

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    1. It is. He likes to play with it though I got another soft book and he seems to like that a bit more. It does. It isn’t until recent years that there has been such a focus on starting reading to the young ones likes this.

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  2. That’s so cool! I didn’t know they had Boekstart at all. I’m not sure if they have anything similar here in Germany. I don’t believe they do, then again, until I had read your post I didn’t know they had it in the Netherlands neither and I’ve lived there for over 25 years. πŸ˜‰

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  3. Ha, je bent super goed bezig! Iedere keer dat ik iets over leesbevordering of voorlezen tegenkom denk ik terug aan mijn eindwerk van euhm … best wel lang geleden. (12 jaar of zo?) Het toeval wil ook dat ik net nog als vrijwilliger voor de plaatselijke bibliotheek boeken heb gekaft voor dozen die onthaalouders kunnen ontlenen. Dat boekje van Spelen met je kindje heb ik de afgelopen week dan ook enkele keren geplastificieerd. πŸ™‚

    De enige vorm van leesbevordering die ik me van vroeger kan herinneren zijn de bezoekjes met de klas aan de bibliotheek (we gingen echter sowieso elk weekend met mijn ouders naar daar) Γ©n de voorleesmoeders die in groepjes kwamen helpen tijdens een leesuurtje op school. Dat is uiteraard nog veel langer geleden dan 12 jaar.

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    1. Haha dat is wel erg toevallig. πŸ˜€

      Ohja de voorleesmoeders kan ik ook nog wel herinneren al zat ik al snel in een groepje dat zelfstandig mocht gaan lezen. Mijn moeder was altijd voorleesmoeder. Ik zat in groep 1 al in boekjes te bladeren. Blijkbaar zat ik altijd al met mijn neus in de boeken. Maar het echt leren lezen ging gepaard met boekjes gooien thuis. Wel voordat we er ook echt aan begonnen op school, haha. Mijn moeder was dus veel met mij bezig met lezen.

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  4. We have nothing like this here. I was raised being read to from infant on and my father bought me tons of books. I was read to so much because my cousins were much older than me and read to me, too, that I was reading by four years old just picking it up by myself. Here in the US it is left up to the parents until children go to school. I knew that I was going to teach Baz to read before school, but I thought it would be around four years old like me, but he was ready at two years old and he let me know it, ha ha. I did a combo of flashcards, Bob Books, and Dr. Seuss books with him. It was great fun too, and a bonding experience. πŸ“š

    Merijn looks so cute in that first photo. The composition is fab, too. It looks like a photo for an advertising brochure! πŸ“·

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    1. Yeah it is up to us as parents as well but they do a lot of promotion for early reading. There is one morning where you can go to the library and read to your child until 4 (school age). But Merijn is a bit too young for that and really can’t concentrate on anything that long.
      Baz really loved his books then. Does he still read a lot?

      Thank you. ❀

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