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With the shocking news that 500,000 children leave primary school unable to read or write, it's clear that in many cases it's going to be down to parents to ensure their kids are equipped with basic literacy skills. Our son could read by the time he joined reception class, but this was only because we helped him. We started off by teaching him to read the backs of cereal packets, and gradually progressed to makes of cars (reading as we walked along the street), before moving onto more complicated things like dinosaur names. His teacher was furious with us, but who cares? Children are like sponges, ready to soak up whatever you can teach them, and my heart goes out to those kids who don't get the right kind of support at home or school.


Anyway, if, like us, you're stuck at home today looking at the rain (again) and want to avoid 'I'm boooored' being repeated like a mantra you may like to take a look at these two fabulous free online interactive storybooks from learndirect, which have just been launched by actress Angela Griffin. 'My daughter Tallulah is five and she loves going on the computer,' Angela says. 'So it's a magical thing for her – she can change pictures, match words and do puzzles. It helps to bring reading to life for her, and for me.'

written by Liz Jarvis