Stay At Home With Doorstep Library

15th April 2020

Let words take you places

Stay at home with Doorstep Library and let words take you places. The government has advised that we all need to stay at home for the foreseeable future, but many of us are already starting to feel a little stir crazy. We can’t go to work, we can’t visit family and friends, we can’t even go outside – surely there’s never been a better time to lose yourself in the pages of a good book. Below we offer you and your children, some fantastic tips on how to make reading an everyday part of life at home for the whole family.

Think outside the books: How to access books and stories from home

Your first question might be: how to get your hands on books when shops and local libraries are closed?  Stay at home with Doorstep Library

  • eBooks – Happily, libraries – including those in Westminster, Lambeth, and Hammersmith and Fulham – are still offering existing members online services, including free e-books. Alternatively, Open Library offers a wide range of eBooks to borrow. Oxford Owl is a wonderful source of eBooks for children of all ages and it’s completely free. You don’t need an eReader – you can enjoy eBooks on your phone, tablet, or computer. There are hundreds of new, exciting worlds just waiting for you to download and escape into them.
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  • Videos – It’s never been more important to help children see reading as a fun escape. Letting children enjoy stories read to them by others can help make storytime even more fun and engaging. Some of our favourite authors – like Michael Rosen – are sharing their stories (not to mention jokes, poems and more) online. And Storyline Online has a huge collection of children’s books all read by actors. So you can have Quackenstein read to you by the voice of Anna from Frozen, or let The Lion King’s Mufasa read today’s bedtime story. So, tune in and let someone else take care of the reading!
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  • Audiobooks – It’s also easy to access audiobooks and let your mind roam free whilst your hands are busy. Audible Stories are offering a wide range of audiobooks for as long as schools are closed. There’s something for everyone with stories for the youngest children, right up to books for teens and young adults. Listen to a story whilst colouring, baking, or even cleaning!

Beating Isolation through sharing stories

Reading doesn’t have to be something that each of us does alone. Sharing stories together can create a wonderful imaginative space where you can connect with others. At Doorstep Library, we know this to be true thanks to the wonderful relationships that our volunteers and families build together through the books and stories they share each week. And there are many different ways that we can all share stories together, both with those we live with, and our loved ones further away.

  • Shared reading
    As well as taking us out of ourselves, reading can also bring us together. And reading aloud isn’t only for your little ones. Stay at home with Doorstep LibraryIs there a book that you and your family might all enjoy? Take turns reading a paragraph or page out loud to each other. But don’t just listen! Pause your reading at interesting moments and ask each other questions. How do you feel about the story so far? What do you think of the characters and the decisions they’re making? Does hearing different opinions on the story change how you feel about it? You don’t even need to be in the same room to share a book together in this way. Download the same eBook and share and discuss a chapter at a time over the phone with a loved one, or use video calling to let your children hear and talk about a bedtime story with cousins or friends.
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  • Nursery rhymes – For very young children, the familiarity of favourite nursery rhymes can be really comforting during times of change. They can also be a really great way to stay active together. Can older siblings remember all the words and actions to their own old favourite rhymes? Explore a nursery rhyme book together through some activity! Encourage children to move around your living room whilst singing the Wheels on the Bus, or march along to the Grand Old Duke of York and burn off some energy together!
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  • Build a reading nook together – It might be harder to find the quiet space to read whilst everyone is at home so why not build your own cosy reading nook and make getting ready to read a fun activity in itself. All you need are Stay at home with Doorstep Librarysome sheets or blankets, some pillows and a little imagination! This is a great way to make reading feel really special and fun and to make a corner of your home a new space to be explored. Once your reading nook is ready, curl up and let words take you somewhere special. Where will words take you today?
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  • Or go on a Bear hunt on your daily outing – The wonderful team at Lovemybooks have organised a National Bear Hunt. You can join in by placing a teddy bear in your window for children to spot on their daily walk.  Spot teddy bears in windows and tweet your pictures, tagging them #NationalBearHunt for inclusion on social media.  There are lots more fantastic activities for children on their website – so do take a look!

The Doorstep Library team are also working hard to continue to provide a weekly Family Newsletter – filled with useful tips and resources to help keep families reading.  If you would like to sign up to receive a copy of our Family Newsletter please sign up here:

Please also see our recent blog on how to keep your family safe online.