How are you celebrating Roald Dahl Story Day?

Lots of special events have happened in the last week. These things will be annual events that we remember and celebrate every year. There are many iconic figures in British History and with the help of the digital world, we can learn about renowned figures across the world as well. Our children have wonderfully fortunate opportunities to place the name of someone into a search bar and are provided with a wealth of information about how these people have contributed and effectively moulded the society they grow up in. One of those icons for many generations, including our own, is Roald Dahl. As such an icon, Dahl has a dedicated day each year where many of us reminisce about his influence on our own upbringing and introduce them to the younger members of our family. For ideas on how to celebrate this day and more about Mr. Dahl, check out our article below!

Who is Roald Dahl?

Roald Dahl is best known as one of the most inspirational British authors. He was also a screenwriter and a fighter pilot during the second world war. It might have been his experience as a secret agent that provided him with the creativity for storytelling but there's no denying his placement as one of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. His first children’s book was, The Gremlins, and most notable as the public’s favourite children’s choice is, Charlie and the Chocolate factory. When studying at Repton, Cadbury sent boxes of chocolates to be tested; this is where the inspiration for the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came from. This as well as Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Minpins and many others have become classic films loved by children across the world. 

What is the importance of reading with children?

Although films are a great way to get children engaged with creative stories, the skill of reading is a crucial life skill. Many of us begin introducing reading to our children by reading to them and sharing books. As they begin to learn language and interpret written words, the act of reading becomes a social bonding activity between parent and child. Whilst improving their language skills children are also crucially working on their cognitive development when reading too. Many children and adults love to read and find this a healthy habit which can start with the introduction of a favourite story, cultivated from a young age. Similarly, reading as a habit for a child can help prepare them for academic success at school as well as increase their concentration and discipline. Finally, reading can also improve their creativity and imagination which can provide children with a great foundation for a happy and successful future.

What impact does visual imagery have when reading?

When reading as an older child, teenager or adult, a good reader will construct their own imagery as they read. When a child begins reading, they don't have the background experience and knowledge to create these visuals to match the story they are working through. Visual prompts when reading at a young age do many things. Firstly, the attractive imagery can draw in the attention of a child to become interested in the book to sit and spend the time reading with you. Secondly, imagery throughout the story can help start making associations between things and words as well as helping to keep their attention on the story throughout the book. 

How can we encourage independent reading?

Once a child has reached a level of competency in reading, they can begin reading on their own and there are a variety of books for different abilities. By helping a child choose books that are ability-appropriate rather than age-appropriate, we can ensure that our children don’t become discouraged when reading on their own, supporting their healthy hobby. Reading in the evening before bed can have a positive impact on a child's sleep allowing them to have a more restful sleep, and experiencing the necessary sleep cycles needed for a healthy following day. The more a child reads, the more time is spent choosing the following book and this is often rewarding enough for a child when building this habit. 

What activities can we do to celebrate Roald Dahl Story Day?

With all this talk on the healthy impact reading has on children, we hope that you’ve been inspired to do something new in your home to encourage your little ones to increase their hobby or start this a new one! Here are our favourite activities to celebrate Roald Dahl Story Day:

  • Pick up a Roald Dahl book - It might seem very obvious, but a great way to get involved is to pick up a classic and snuggle down for a good family reading session. 
  • Watch a Roald Dahl-inspired film - Another great idea is to watch one of the films created from one of Dahl’s stories and then take the time to compare it with the original book with your child. 
  • Story Board in the style - If you’re already a fan of Dahl and your family is too, it's time to get creative and make your own stories in the style of Dahl. We love the Medium Masa Desk & Bench for being able to just keep rolling paper out as the story develops!
  • Roald Dahl character Pictionary - A special one for the older members of the family is a game of Pictionary, specifically for Dahl’s characters. Quentin Blake famously drew the artwork for Dahl’s most famous books and it's great fun to try and replicate this in a Pictionary game. We love the Retro TV Blackboard for this game!

We hope you’ll be celebrating Roald Dahl day with your family this year and that you’ve found something to inspire you and your little one to try out a Roald Dahl book!