Sharing stories with 5 to 11 year olds

Sharing stories is as important for primary school age children as it is for babies and toddlers. It helps build your child’s literacy and learning skills, support their social and emotional growth, and is a great way to build bonds and create special memories with your child.

Finding ten minutes a day to read with your child makes a huge difference.  Sharing a book at bedtime can be a nice way to include reading in your child’s daily routine and create a special time together every day, but you can read anytime and anywhere whether you are at home or out and about. 

How to read with your child

Reading with your child can mean sharing books, stories, rhymes or any other writing. You could:

  • Read together. This could be any type of story from picture books to comics and longer chapter books. For younger readers this can be a great way to tackle longer stories they don’t feel confident about reading on their own.
  • Talk about the things that you have read. Encouraging children to talk about their books is a great way to share stories, especially for independent readers or older children.
  • Tell each other stories – a great way of sharing stories even when you don’t have a book in front of you can be to re-tell your favourite stories or make up your own story or new words to a rhyme.
  • Talk about the pictures in books. You can explore the illustrations in any book or find wordless picture books for children of all ages that can be shared together.

Choosing books to read

Children will read and bring home a variety of books from school, from picture books and Beginning to Read books to chapter books and longer fiction, but you are not limited to these. Non-fiction or information books that they can ‘dip into’ are also great. Reading any book that your child likes will help their literacy skills, and reading what they love will encourage them to keep reading! 

"If you want children to love reading – let them read what they love!

You can find a huge range of books for children available to borrow for free at your local library. Every Cheshire East Library has a children’s and young people’s section with books for children at every stage of their reading journey. Visiting the library lets your child browse the shelves and choose the books that interest them the most. You can also find and reserve books on our library catalogue. Children can borrow up to 20 items at a time and if the book they need is in another library they can reserve it for free and we’ll let you know when you can collect it from your local library.

The library also has a wide selection of children’s eBooks and eAudiobooks that can be borrowed for free on our BorrowBox app.  Audiobooks are great for long car journeys!  For those who prefer to read comics or magazines, we have some popular children’s titles available on our Libby app or through the Cheshire Libraries OverDrive website.

Join the library and find out more. 

Finding new book ideas for children

It can be hard to know where to start looking for a new book idea for your child. The library can be a great place to start. You can browse the shelves and ask library staff for recommendations. You could ask teachers and other parents at your child’s school.

 There are some great places to look online for book ideas:

For more ideas and information about books in other languages, visit the useful web links: books and reading information page.

Books to help with children’s mental health

Your local library has a collection of Reading Well for Children books that have been chosen by experts to help with children’s mental health.  The collection features books on lots of health and wellbeing topics, including bullying, worries, and self-esteem. 

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.

Let’s Get Ready for School book bags

Your local library has a Let's Get Ready for School collection of book bags with books and materials designed to prepare children for school and support them in their first years at school. The bags include wordless picture books as well as school related stories and other resources, and are great for sharing with children in their first years at school. They can be particularly useful to support children in their transition to reception, from reception to year 1, and after school holidays. 

Summer Reading Challenge

During the long summer holidays children aged 3 - 12 can take part in the Summer Reading Challenge in their local library where they will be encouraged to choose any six books to read over the summer. Children visit the library to talk about their reading and collect stickers to complete the challenge. 

You can find more information about this every summer at your local library. 

Further information

Children of any age can join Cheshire East libraries and borrow books and multimedia items. They can also use public computers in libraries (with parent's permission).

Cheshire East Libraries also run activities for children such as Lego clubs and children’s book clubs as well as special events during the school holidays. You can find out what's going on at your local library.

Page last reviewed: 26 January 2024

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