Have you found any yet? - Children's 'read and re-hide' book group launches in South Yorkshire
A new South Yorkshire group is putting a twist on the recent ‘rock-hiding’ game trend, encouraging families in the region to hide and share books instead.
The ‘Look For A Book South Yorkshire’ Facebook group aims to get children out and about, away from technology, and enjoying reading.
The group, which was created just one month ago, already has nearly 1,500 members playing literary-hide-and-seek around the region.
A number of ‘Look For A Book’ groups have already popped up all across the country, and this local chapter was launched by 34-year-old Lea McNulty, who reveals she was inspired after seeing the popularity of a similar group in her hometown, in the north east of England.
“I thought it was such a great way of getting children away from devices and engaged in their communities, and in reading once again,” says Lea.
“I'm not entirely sure of the origins of the idea, but I decided I really wanted to introduce a group in my own local area of North Anston, and the South Yorkshire chapter was born!
"I don't have children of my own, but I'e always been an avid reader, and really wanted to try and encourage the next generation to pick up a book instead of a tablet. It's a fun and free way to get children and their families enjoying time together and enjoying the local area.
"The concept is really simple: you take an unwanted children's book, place in a waterproof wrapper – ziplock sandwich bags are a popular choice - pop a note in encouraging the finder to read, re-hide and post the find on the Facebook page, and then go and hide it somewhere.
“If the finder enjoys the book they can keep it, but we do ask that they re-hide another in its place. So far, books have been placed in local parks, woodlands, shops, doctors and dentists offices, even in phone boxes – the possibilities are endless.
“The hope is that if children are excited about hunting for books, finding a new one, or hiding one and seeing it being enjoyed by others, that excitement will spill over into a passion for reading. Not every child has the time or luxury of going to a library or having a book bought for them, so this is helping to make reading accessible. I really want to help reignite the joy of reading.”
One member wrote on the group page: ‘My girls were very happy to find a book in South Anston park today! They have come home to read it and will re-hide this week along with some of their own books.’
Search ‘Look For A Book South Yorkshire’ on Facebook.
Promoting reading to kids
- Make regular time every day to read with your child, ideally as way of winding down before bed.
- Read in a comfortable environment, and consider creating a private nook for them to read alone in.
- Be sure to choose a variety of reading material, so they can discover their favourites
- Exhibit a love of reading yourself!