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Mumsnet users share their tips for encouraging their children to love reading with McDonald's

437 replies

JustineBMumsnet · 03/08/2018 16:56


Reading with your child can be a fun, educational and rewarding experience, but reading may be an activity your child comes to associate with schoolwork rather than fun. With their fifth Happy Readers campaign coming up soon, McDonald's would like to hear about how you encourage your children to love reading.

Here's what McDonald's has to say: "We're committed to helping families enjoy time reading together and believe in the power of stories to ignite children’s amazing imaginations. However it’s not always easy to fit regular reading into busy lives. As we prepare for our 5th Happy Readers campaign, giving away a free book with every Happy Meal, we're keen to get advice from Mumsnetters. Your tips and advice for building a love of reading with your children, inventive ways you manage to build regular story time and reading into your busy lives, and, with the school holidays in full swing, all the ways you encourage, nurture and ignite your children’s imagination. Through reading and beyond."

How do you encourage a love of reading? Do you have tips for building reading into your child's daily routine? How do you ignite your child's imagination while reading with them?

However you encourage a love of reading with your child and using their imagination, share this with McDonald's below to be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


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Mumsnet users share their tips for encouraging their children to love reading with McDonald's
OP posts:
BristolMum96 · 03/08/2018 17:24

Always have books in house. Don't make them out to be anything different to regular toys. Kids will want to 'play' with them and read them just as much as any other toys.

DioneTheDiabolist · 03/08/2018 18:11

Take turns. When DS(11yo) was younger I would read 2 pages and then he would read one. We would be in fits of laughter making up voices for the characters. Grin As he got older he would choose his own comics, which all kids know isn't real reading.Wink

abitoflight · 03/08/2018 18:12

Books in house
Charity shops to buy piles of different types of books for variety when they are older and not sure what genre they'd enjoy
I'm not paying £5 plus for a hundred page book when I don't know if they'd enjoy
A kindle - esp youngest cracked through tons of books in series if she enjoyed first free or reduced one

asuwere · 03/08/2018 20:21

We have bookshelves in each bedroom and the living room so there are always books around. I've always read bedtime stories since they were babies and as they've grown, they get to help read with me. Going to the library helps as they get to pick their own books and discover what they like.

cholka · 03/08/2018 21:10

I will be teaching my children how to read exploitative employment contracts and union documents thanks.
McDonalds is never coming near my daughter, it's filth.

Treaclespongeandcustard · 03/08/2018 21:23

We read every night before sleep and I love books as much as my children. We go to the library and I buy new books often too.

waitingforwombat · 03/08/2018 21:47

Books from when they are tiny as something special.... Time to snuggle with mum or dad, always available in playroom/bedroom. Books as gifts. Books in dens, books up trees, books in playhouses, turning a blind eye to reading after lights out! Encouraging reading in whatever form - comics, dreaded rainbow fairies, shopping lists, road signs. Reading is rewarding if you can read chocolate cake on a menu and then are allowed to order it! Reading out loud with silly voices, sharing books mum and dad enjoyed as children, big sister reading to little brother and rediscovering her toddler favourites. Reading in mums bed, or in the dark in the garden with torch and a blanket. Reading about Egyptians? Visit Ashmolean museum to see Egypt exihbit and take the book to read there! Reading little house on the prairie? Go and see the wolves at the zoo and read to them. Reading the gruffalo? Go for a walk in the wood and act it out. Reading is an adventure - it should feel like it!

Imgettingcheesefries · 03/08/2018 21:53

My 3 year old loves being read to. She's got quite a lot of picture books and we read everyday. Going to the library helps because she chooses her own books and she will talk about it on the way there "I want a book about cats/birthdays/swimming..."

JellySlice · 03/08/2018 22:22

I never pushed it. If a dc was reluctant to read a book 'properly ', never mind. There's always something to read. We used to make up silly sentences using licence plates, or think of words using the letters, eg CV54 LGA might give Can Violins Love Giraffes Again, or CaVe aLliGAtor. Or, in the supermarket, "Bring me a packet of caster sugar" required them to read to work out which sugar I wanted. And I never stopped reading to them. I would often say "You read the 1st sentence/line/word, and I'll go on from there."

JellySlice · 03/08/2018 22:25

They all became avid readers, BTW. Now they are young teens sharing books has evolved into them recommending books to me!

diamantegal · 03/08/2018 23:09

Books all over the house - we all read at bedtime, it's just the done thing. But now he's older (8), story time has moved to reading time. It's not supervised - if he wants to read easy books, he can do (it's not like I read classics every night), but we make a point of taking to him about it, whatever the book.

Although the point when I congratulated myself was when he got on the train and turned straight to me to ask for his book. It was only a 20 minute journey, but just felt like I'd cracked the "read when you get free time" piece. I'll ignore the fact he subsequently had a near miss of walking on to the tube tracks when he wouldn't stop reading...!

MrsFrTedCrilly · 04/08/2018 00:43

I think it depends on the child, one of mine was an avid reader from a very early age so never needed encouragement. The other was very reluctant but finally got the bug after discovering a few characters that she loved. We tried to read everything (shops signs labels etc) when we were out and about with her and played the car registration game like a PP mentioned. Keeping plenty of books about and snuggles with a story are really important too.

Nquartz · 04/08/2018 06:00

A real variety of books, more so as DD is getting older, from picture books with short sentences to 'proper' books we read chapter by chapter.
At least 2 stories pretty much every night before bed.
Regular trips to the library to try new/different books.

GriseldaChop · 04/08/2018 06:19

We have bed time stories every night and although DS isn't quite old enough to read he'll often ask to read to me and he'll look at the pictures and tell me a story based on them. He's going excited for starting school in September and being able to read is in his wish list!

NastyCats · 04/08/2018 06:26

Fortunately, I don't think I have ever needed to encourage my school to read - they just love it although the younger one is very selective about what she enjoys reading in her own time and can be quite opposed to anything she suspects won't make the grade. I enjoy surprising her by proving her wrong sometimes!
I do spend a lot of money on books but we use charity shops, AbeBooks, libraries, Kindle and like the PP above do lots of book/story related activities. When they were younger they had an amazing time making 'Goblin food' (Yes, dire Rainbow Magic Fairies) when I cleaned out my kitchen cupboards. They still talk about it! Also they loved the Story Museum in Oxford at that age.

AlwaysColdHands · 04/08/2018 06:30

We are lucky enough to have a houseful of books, I buy a lot second hand or from charity shops and we also try to get to the library once a week. I try hard not to veto any books chosen!
We’ve used books to try and help understand situations & transitions e.g. potty training, being kind to friends, going to hospital, starting nursery etc. These are brilliant because we can talk about them a lot afterwards to reassure and reinforce :-)
We never, ever had bedtime without stories, and try not to rush then. Also, I try to make sure I am seen reading (actual books, not always a phone/tablet), and we try to settle down and read some books in the daytime at weekends too, so it’s not always seen as just a bedtime thing!
It helps that I LOVE books & could not live without them!

1moreRep · 04/08/2018 07:19

bringing reading into the 21st century so i get her to research recipes, find facts on the internet and then also have reading structured time

fishnships · 04/08/2018 09:31

Re-read your own favourite books to your children! If you enjoy them you will convey that enthusiasm. I say Enid Blyton every time. These books can now be viewed as part of history and may open up discussion on a number of topics but she was such a good storyteller that children love them!

wafflethewonderdog · 04/08/2018 12:11

We have a bookcase in each bedroom and one in the playroom. Always a story before bed which they choose themselves. We read stories then like watching the animated versions eg room on the broom, the gruffalo. When they're a bit older we'll start going to theatre shows too to see the stories on stage.

BaconCrispsGone · 04/08/2018 12:29

A house full of books and regular trips to the library

NeverTwerkNaked · 04/08/2018 12:30

I genuinely enjoy reading with them!
We have a lot of books in the house but I don’t force them to have stories. My daughter sometimes chooses to do a “show” instead of a bedtime story.
I also give them free range on what they choose - my son usually chooses factual books rather than fiction.


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stabbybitch · 04/08/2018 12:36

We have lots of book, which always come from the charity shop. We all love going round our village charity shops and coming home with piles of books. We take them back when we're finished or donate them to school. Reading together before bed has always been our routine.

MakeTeaNotWar · 04/08/2018 13:46

I read all the time, the house is drowning in books and I work in newspapers so it's no surprise that my children have also cultivated a love of the written word. We visit the library weekly and have completed the summer reading challenge.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy · 04/08/2018 14:34

You cant force them to love reading.

Just make good books available. Set an example by being a reader, give them a bedtime story. They'll do the rest.

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