If you’ve visited McDonald’s recently with the kids, you can’t help but to have noticed the new toys in the Happy Meal boxes.
Gone are the plastic, musical toys that get left on your bedside table and go off all night, leaving said parent wondering where the noise is coming from (just me then) and, in its place, are nice, quiet, educational books.
You see, the M (our code word for McDonald’s) has teamed up with the National Literacy Trust, Penguin Random House Children’s UK and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate to help encourage family reading time in the UK with the McDonald’s Happy Readers initiative.
It is taking place for the next six weeks – McDonald’s will be giving away millions of books containing excerpts from some of Roald Dahl’s most loved stories in their Happy Meals.
I have always loved reading. I studied English Literature at university and I feel it is my lifes work to pass on my love of reading to my children.
I buy them loads of books and I have even read some childrens literary classsics as bed tme stories-as much for my own benefit as Boo’s.
Unfortunately, some families are not as fortunate as mine and they have more important things to spend their money on like food and housing costs so I supppose (quite rightly so) books do not top their list of priorities.
Thanks to McDonalds though, more families can have access to books.
I have always love Roald Dahl. I honestly can’t choose a favourite but, I suppose, at a push, I would have to say The Twits or The Witches are up there. I can still remeber my teacher reading The Witches in primary school and I honestly think that experience ignited my love of books and reading.
I think by putting on voices, different accents and real expression into reading out loud for children can really engage them. Unfrtunately in our house, nine times out of ten, Boo will come and take the book off me, preferring to read it herself in her own special way.
It doesn’t mattter though, if it means she loves books and, if she doesn’t want to hear my best Truchbull impression, that’s ok with me.
Four restaurants across the UK will be hosting a dramatic story telling of an excerpt from one of Roald Dahl’s amazing tales. With an enchanted set and entrancing theatre cast, Roald Dahl’s world is going to be brought to life in front of a captivated audience.
· On Sunday 11th October the McDonald’s restaurant on Lord Street in Liverpool town centre will transport readers of all ages into the magical world of Roald Dahl with a fantastical storytelling from Fantastic Mr Fox.
· Then on Saturday 17th October the action moves to the McDonald’s restaurant on Boucher Road in Belfast town centre for a wondrous storytelling from Matilda.
· On Saturday 24th October it’s Glasgow’s turn to have James and the Giant Peach brought to life in the McDonald’s restaurant on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow town centre.
· And finally, Saturday 31st October sees the McDonald’s restaurant on Queen Street in Cardiff town centre bring to life Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
If you read the books aloud whilst using the Happy Studio app there are some exciting sound effects and interactive elements which really bring story-time to life for the little ones.
McDonald’s has also come up with these tips to help with reading:
Bring the story to life by using different voices for the characters.
Make your child the author! Stop at exciting moments in the story and ask your child to invent what happens next.
Make reading with your child a special time for you both, every day or week.
Children of all ages love to hear stories read aloud. Don’t stop reading to your children just because they can read by themselves.
Let your child help choose the books that you’ll read together. If your child is excited by the subject, the story will hold their interest better.
More information about the initiative can be found here: http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/Family/Happy-meal.html
*We were sent some story books and a lovely cardboard Twits beard (modelled by Baby G) for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. One of the books was from our own Happy Meal.