The long hot Summer is fast approaching. It is a wonderful time for children to enjoy themselves and spend time with family and friends. However, six weeks can mean they forget some of the skills they have learnt. It is a brilliant time to develop a love of reading and also to practice on some of those key skills, in a fun way. I think the best thing is that children can choose what they want to read. You have the opportunity to pick books they are interested in. Here are some easy ways to make reading a fun part of an unforgettable Summer.
Create a Reading Nook
Reading should be a fun enjoyable experience. If children have somewhere relaxing they will want to spend time there. It is easy to create a reading nook for you children. It is lovely to while away an afternoon sitting in the sunshine. All you need is a pretty teepee in the garden like this lovely Flower and Butterfly Teepee, a stack of books and some cuddly toys. You may not see them for the rest of the day! On a rainy day you can set up the teepee inside and they can pretend they are camping.
Read to them
It’s easy to imagine that learning to read is simply about children reading and learning letters. The truth is, children learn to read on the laps of their parents. Listening to a story is a lovely way to spend time together, but they are also picking up so much information listening to you. They hear how you pause at full stops and how you put on silly voices for the characters. They learn to pick out letters and relate them to sounds. They learn how to talk about their favourite characters and how they are feeling and why they are behaving the way they do. Of course, children don’t know this, they are just having a lovely time cuddled up listening to their favourite person in the world. Older children also benefit from listening to stories. You can choose something with a reading age a few years above them and this will give you something really meaty to discuss.
Libraries host a challenge over the Summer. This usually means visiting several times and collecting stickers each time you’ve read a couple of books. At the end of the Summer, the librarians visit the local schools and give out a small prize to children who have completed the challenge. If you are not near a library, then you can challenge your children and set your own prize for completing it.
It’s a good idea to take a book wherever you go. You might be stuck in a queue or at a restaurant and a book will keep you occupied. It also means reading all the environmental print. There have been several generations of children who all learned to read the word “Mcdonalds” as their first word. Wherever you look there are street signs, leaflets and notices to read. Also, lots of children would rather read non-fiction and love to look at manuals.
Read What They Want
Children are so lucky today. There are a wealth of different reading materials to suit every interest type. You can get levelled readers to suit their interests, whether they love superheroes, star wars, fairies or Barbie. These books look fun and exciting and are much more motivating for reluctant readers. Also, it doesn’t always have to be a book. Most children have access to computers, tablets or iPod. You can load these with books they will enjoy. For a lot of children reading on the computer doesn’t feel like reading.
Magazines can be expensive to buy all the time but are a wonderful holiday treat. They are brilliant for taking on long journeys and again feel like fun not work. You can buy a magazine to suit different ages and interests. If you can’t think of a present then a magazine subscription is a great idea.
The key to holiday learning is to make it fun and to let the children lead. At the end of the Summe they will have a passion for reading and without realising it, will have picked up lots of skills along the way.