Children and teens read more when they are surrounded by books and other high-interest reading material.
The most obvious step [to creating readers] is to provide access to books.
— Krashen (2004).
Borrowing books and other resources
There are lots of options for borrowing books instead of buying them.
- Discuss with your child's school /school library your options for borrowing resources, e.g. read-aloud chapter books for bedtime reading
- Ask the librarian for advice on culturally inclusive reading material — print, multimedia and digital, e.g. te reo Māori, Pasifika and ESOL languages.
- Increase your knowledge of children's literature, ask for reading recommendations about authors, titles, genres and popular non-fiction.
- Use your public library — explore the range of resources e.g. books, large print books, eAudiobooks, eBooks, eMagazines, eNewspapers, musical CDs, and DVDs of movies (including ones with captioned titles if your child has hearing disabilities).
- Also look at the Ministry of Education's list of groups that provide library resources and digital collections for students with special education learning needs.
Groups that can support you — information from the Ministry of Education.
Build your home library
Ways you can build your home library are to:
- surround your home with books in a range of genre, magazines, newspapers and catalogues
- make story-boxes or bags that contain a story book and items that correspond to items in the story
- swap books, comics and magazines with other families
- visit specialist children's booksellers, or bookshops with knowledgeable staff to discover the best resources available
- give gift books or book tokens for birthdays and Christmas
- buy second-hand reading material from shops or online
- get games and puzzles that require your child to read and follow instructions
- use everyday materials such as cookbooks, cereal boxes, websites, television adverts, telephone directories, and environmental print such as road signs, billboards and logos.
Explore online reading material
Check out suitable digital resources at your school library and on public library websites. Some examples schools use include:
International Children’s Digital Library — digitised copies of print books from around the world in more than 50 languages, including a small selection in Te reo Māori and Pasifika languages.
Kiwi Kids News — latest news items and current events about NZ and overseas selected for students and teachers.
My home library — author Anne Fine shares tips and free bookplates, created by notable children's book illustrators, which you can use to create a sense of ownership in new or secondhand books.
Project Gutenberg — range of digitised print books from around the world, including the Children’s Bookshelf and Audio Books sections.
Story boxes: A hands-on literacy experience — Norma Drissel shares ideas for story boxes, includes picture book suggestions and objects to use.
Unite for Literacy — eBooks/audiobooks (fiction and non-fiction) in English and a variety of other languages for emerging readers.