School's Out, Books Are In – Making Holiday Reading Fun

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With many schools about to close for the summer, maintaining reading and literacy skills is essential. It can be challenging for reluctant readers to settle into their next school term, especially if they feel their reading and literacy skills have slipped.

The impact on reluctant readers can be significant, including:

  • Reduced Exposure to Books

  • A decline in reading and literacy skills

  • Impact on vocabulary and comprehension

  • A decline in concentration skills

  • A decline in confidence

‘It can also be difficult for parents and carers to encourage reluctant readers to engage with books during holidays. Children can become defiant, their behaviour may decline and reading becomes impossible.’

Pauline Tait

Looking for an activity that will engage and entertain the whole family? Check-out Popcorn Brainstorm! Jokes & Trivia for Kids, the chart-topping Kids & Family podcast from Netflix. Featuring trivia, games and jokes from your kids’ favorite Netflix films and series, Popcorn Brainstorm explores and quizzes listeners on Leo, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, The Dragon Prince, and many others!

There are, however, playful ways to mitigate this issue, including fun activities that your reluctant reader can enjoy alone, with their peers, or with adults.

  • Mystery Book Boxes: Create a mystery book box filled with themed items relating to a specific book.  It would include clues or symbolic objects relating to the story. Your reluctant reader would then use these objects and clues to predict elements of the story or guess the character. Sparking curiosity and enhancing comprehension.

  • Book-Based Art and Craft Projects: Integrate arts and crafts by having your reluctant reader create models, character masks, or storyboards based on books they have read or that you have read together. This hands-on approach encourages visual learners to engage with literature in a meaningful way.

  • Literature-Inspired Cooking or Baking: Together, you and your reluctant reader could prepare dishes mentioned in books or related to characters' cultures or settings. This multisensory approach connects reading with real-world experiences and fosters cultural appreciation as well as literacy and cooking skills.

  • Literary Role-Playing Games (RPGs): Many children love to dress up. Develop RPG scenarios based on books your reluctant reader has read or had read to them. They could take on the role of their favourite character, make decisions, and navigate challenges that mirror events in the story. If you feel your reluctant reader would comply, they could read segments of the story during role play. This makes reading an interactive and collaborative experience.

  • Creating Their Own Stories: This can be done through writing, drawing, sticking, painting, using magnetic letters, or writing in sand. Writing their own story helps reluctant readers build confidence and creativity. It allows them to express themselves freely and engages them more deeply with language and storytelling, fostering a stronger connection to reading and books.

Call to Action

This week’s call to action is all about planning ahead for the school holidays.

Looking at my suggestions above, which would engage your reluctant reader the most? Spend time preparing activities that best suit your reluctant reader and their environment. My suggestions may even inspire new ideas that better suit your reluctant reader. But no matter what you choose to do, ensuring your reluctant reader continues to work on their reading and linguistic development throughout the holidays is far more valuable than many realise.

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