If you’ve been wondering how to keep your kids reading throughout the holidays, then I’d love to share these simple ideas with you
Well it’s that time of year again. I can hardly believe that another teaching year has gone by – it seems like weeks (not months) since I waved goodbye to my youngest as he started his school career in reception. And now here we are, 39 weeks later: a whole set of phonics have been memorised; a number of high-frequency irregular words have been learnt and I’m pretty sure that my five year old now thinks there’s nothing more he can learn when it comes to reading! And when I announce tomorrow morning that we have to read a book, I’m fairly sure he will look at me in confusion and say “No! It’s the holidays.”
To which I will reply: “Exactly!”
What’s the big deal?
As I have said before, whilst the holidays may seem like an ideal time to ease off with the reading schedule, this time is in fact vital for consolidation and to ensure they don’t forget all they have learned. And let’s face it, the more they practise, the easier reading will become and that’s when they start to enjoy themselves.
Easier said than done?
Life is busy and if your family is anything like mine then it doesn’t get easier in the holidays. So how do you manage to encourage your children to keep reading and fit it all in? Here’s my plan:
- Have a stock of books available at home. Ideally these will be a mix of books your child can easily read and perhaps some with a bit more challenge. Keep a couple in the car; in the loo; on their bedside tables and in any travel bags you might take with you when you are out and about.
- Get to the library and sign your child(ren) up for this summer’s reading challenge: Mischief Makers. I love these challenges because the prizes along the way are a great incentive for a lot of children and many of the tasks can help to demystify the library.
- As much as you can, stick to a reading routine. This may or may not be different to your term time arrangement, but the important thing is that maintaining a schedule of some sort teaches children that reading is not just something we do for school.
- Keep pens and paper readily available to allow your child to write or draw as they feel like it. You might also like to download my FREE Summer activity booklet– this has a variety of activities for curious minds (please leave a comment if you liked this resource and share with others who might benefit).
- Play games that involve age appropriate reading: the names in Guess Who or the chance card in Monopoly – most games involve a level of reading that will help your child to practise blending their sounds.
- As I wrote in my previous post How cooking with your child can be a fun reading opportunity If you have a chance to do some cooking with the children, this also provides a good opportunity for reading a different style of writing.
- Finally, if your child is still of an age where s/he enjoys dressing up, then help them put on a holiday show. It might be that they have some lines to learn or that they are simply using their imagination a bit more spontaneously.
Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you found this helpful.
Enjoy your summer!
Other posts you might enjoy: 5 simple and effective ways to encourage a young child to read.