Story Time: Days out inspired by kids' favourite characters
Did you know that it is National Share-A-Story Month (NSSM), which is an annual celebration of the power of storytelling and story sharing?
With all the technology around these days, getting kids to enjoy reading can be an uphill struggle as they can get an instant buzz from watching something on a tablet, however, I have found that bringing their stories to life on days out can encourage a love of reading that will stay with them for life.
Starting reading with them when they are little is a key to a love of reading and we have a couple of favourite books which we use for days out.
The obvious one to use is the Gruffalo app. Recently launched by the Forestry Commission, the new Gruffalo Augmented Reality app combines with the self-led trails at 26 locations all over the UK.
The trail follows the story of the Gruffalo and is packed with fun facts about forest animals with fantastic activities to enjoy along the way, is completely free to do and you get to see Mouse and her friends come to life before your very eyes.
Another of our favourites you can play anywhere and can really spur the kids on when they complain about tired legs. You will often find us chanting 'We are Going on a Bear Hunt, we're going to find a big one' on days out in the forest or at the beach.
When the kids get a bit older, their tastes in books change. We found ourselves at the Tower of London after Isaac read the book Gangsta Granny and the Warner Bros Studio Tour is great for Harry Potter fans as you can practice your wand skills, walk Platform 93/4 and even learn to fly on a broomstick.
Living in Dorset we are very lucky to have the location for Enid Blyton's Famous Five stories on our doorstep. The tales of a group of four friends and their trusty hound who spent their school holidays solving mysteries is still relevant today and our favourite spots featured in her books are Corfe Castle, The Blue Pool and Furzebrook.
Finally, keep an eye out for things to do on your travels. We visited Scotland recently and visited the former home of JM Barrie. The town had an amazing Neverland playground in remembrance of the author which was based on his Peter Pan books which the kids adored playing in.