Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible.
Reading is magical and gives children the opportunity to develop in so many areas including emotionally, culturally, academically and socially.
When reading, children are transported to many different worlds helping to stimulate their imagination, creativity and allowing them to learn about different places, cultures and events. Through being immersed in books, children expand their vocabulary and develop important skills, such as empathy, by reading about the experiences of others.
As reading is so valuable to so many areas of learning and development, we really need to encourage children to read as much as possible. We need to make reading engaging and exciting and help children develop a love of reading from a really young age. Research suggests that reading for pleasure can have a hugely positive impact on academic achievement as well as supporting good mental health.
Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered as a precious gift.
So, with the summer holidays being a time for children to have fun and unwind, we thought what better opportunity is there to get them engaged, motivated and, most importantly, having fun with reading!
We have collated 5 ideas for ways you can support and inspire your pupils to have fun, unwind and read for pleasure over the summer break!
1. Summer of Reading Booklet
Download and share our FREE My Summer of Reading booklet.
This is packed full of exciting activities children can do that are linked to reading, books and reading for pleasure. The booklet is not a list of homework tasks or comprehension questions, but instead will encourage children to share books, talk about them and read LOTS!
There are also two certificates available to download, which you could use to celebrate children completing some (or all) of the activities over their summer.
2. What to read?
We know some children don’t have a selection of books available to read at home.
Think creatively about ways you can try and make sure that children have access to different things to read over the summer. You could send home book packs, run a book swap (COVID safe of course) or share links to websites where children can read e-books.
Remind children and families that not all reading has to be from a book too. They could read magazines, comics, recipes, instructions, etc. All reading is valuable, so maybe set children a challenge to read lots of different types of texts!
3. Local Library
A lot of libraries run their own reading challenges over the summer holiday, so contact your local library, ask if they have anything planned and send home information to your families.
Before the holidays, encourage and support families to sign up to the library so that they can visit and borrow books if they wish. You could send home information, host a school assembly with someone from the library or ask the library if they can support you to get children signed up.
4. Reading A to Z
Set children an A to Z reading challenge over the summer. Their mission is to read something with a title beginning with each letter of the alphabet. You could either keep this to book titles or open it up to include any type of text, such as recipes, comics, online articles, etc.
Can you read something beginning with every letter of the alphabet or are some letters just too tricky?
Audiobooks are a great way to immerse children in language and vocabulary. They can sit back and simply listen to the book or read along if they have the hard copy. Sharing books in this way becomes a multi-sensory experience and can really help to motivate children. It can also allow them to access more challenging texts that they may not have otherwise been able to read independently.
There are some great websites that allow you to listen to audiobooks for free online. Share the links with parents for them to use over the summer.
Our new robotic learning companion, Kitt, is a perfect way to send children home with a range of audiobooks! By simply plugging Kitt into a computer, you can easily upload audio recordings that can be listened to on Kitt without needing any internet connection or additional device.
Before the summer, download audiobooks from online or record a selection yourself, put them onto Kitt and then send Kitt home with a child so they can read along or listen as many times as they like!