The summer holidays bring a welcome break from the classroom, but just because school’s out doesn’t mean story time has to come to an end. The benefits of reading are endless – from improving the imagination to higher levels of concentration and expanding your child’s vocabulary. The holidays are the perfect time to show the kids that reading can be fun.
Don’t force your little ones to sit down with a book, instead introduce them to exciting narratives that capture their imaginations and give them the freedom to choose their own reading material. Take a look at some of my top tips for keeping the kids reading over the six week break.
Make use of your local library
Your local library should be your first port of call at the start of the holidays and is a fantastic way of accessing a wide range of books for free. With everything from sports biographies to cook books and graphic novels to classic paperbacks, even the most reluctant of readers will be able to find something to fuel their passions and interests. Many public libraries offer a summer reading challenge where children receive prizes for each completed text, which doubles as a great way of remembering to exchange their books each week.
Give them an incentive
Grown-ups love a good incentive and children are no different. Create a chart and offer exciting incentives once they’ve completed their chosen book. J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series makes for a great summer reading collection that adults can enjoy too. Once finished, take the kids along to the Warner Bros Studio Tour and watch their faces delight in The Great Hall that they’ve been reading about. You can even snap a few pictures of the gang next to the famous Hogwarts Express – if only the beginning of term bought that much excitement in real life!
Pack a book
If you’re going away on holiday this year, instead of packing the tablets and games consoles, encourage your children to pack a book for the journey. Hours spent in the airport or on trains can instantly become more fun and a lot calmer once they’re lost amongst their favourite pages.
Like everything, once reading becomes part of your family’s daily routine it will feel like second nature. An optimum time for cosying up with your favourite books is bedtime, offering some much needed downtime before the lights go out. As well as your child reading alone, spend time reading aloud to them, sharing epic adventures and learning about your child’s interests and tastes.
Create a reading fort
Children love the magic of forts and you can have a lot of fun creating the ultimate secret hideout designed specifically for reading. The special space can be as simple or elaborate as you like, fashioned with sheets and cushions, cardboard boxes or even placed outside in the garden if the weather is nice. Fill the fort with books, torches and snacks and watch as your child becomes addicted to their own personal library.
What are your top tips for encouraging your kids to read? Let me know in the comments.