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April 2024

World Book Day – How Reading Benefits All Children

If you’re anything like us, you might have spotted a few Harry Potters, very hungry caterpillars, Big Friendly Giants, and Mad Hatters passing by your window on the way to school recently. That can mean only one thing – World Book Day has just passed us by.

Celebrating the power of reading, World Book Day is an annual event at many schools and libraries across the country. Kids grab the chance to dress as their favourite characters and join in some literary fun, but it’s also an ideal time to reflect on the importance of reading and sharing a love of books with kids.

In this post we’ll explore why reading is so beneficial for children and give you a few suggestions as to how to share a love of reading activities with your foster child.

How reading benefits children Numerous studies have discovered the benefits of reading for children, including:

  1. Developing empathy – Reading allows us to imagine ourselves in the place of the characters in the book, how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking, helping to promote empathy. Putting themselves in a character’s shoes also allows children to gain a deeper understanding of their own emotions.
  2. Improving literacy skills – Regular reading helps to expand a child’s vocabulary and gives kids a good academic grounding to succeed across the curriculum.
  3. Providing stability – A recent study commissioned by The Book Trust identified that reading can be a ‘stable activity’ for children across their lives. It allows them to access information independently and can be a comforting, constant presence in difficult circumstances.
  4. Increase creativity and imagination – When we read, we have to use our imagination to picture the characters and settings, and to predict what will happen next.
  5. Enhancing concentration – Reading encourages children to focus on one task for a period of time. This skill, the ability to focus, is one that is vital for success in other subjects, and can also be a good opportunity to encourage quiet time.


Reading with kids at home can have a range of benefits, and is a great way to spend quality time with your foster children. Here are a few tips to make reading sessions enjoyable for you both:

  1. It’s never too early to start – Even if your child is too young to understand what is being read, they’ll still enjoy looking at the pictures and following along with funny voices.
  2. Try out a range of books – Every book is a gateway to a different world, and changing up what you read will give children access to all of these varied experiences. There are many books written specifically by authors who have experienced the foster care system, both as children and as carers, too.
  3. Tailor activities around favourite stories – Reading is a fantastic conversation starter and a good way to get to know the kids you’re looking after. You could encourage conversation about their favourite parts of the book or help them to make their own illustrations to decorate their space.

To find out more about fostering, please explore the resources on our website or contact our friendly team on 0203 757 0070.

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