Guest post: Encouraging your children to read over the summer holidays

Encouraging your children to read over the summer holidays - Ever-changing Life of a MumHello summer holidays!

I love this time of year and the much needed break from routine – something my family was craving as we limped towards the finishing line of the last school term. It’s time for the kids to put the text books away, relax and have some fun.

But that doesn’t mean they should pack away books entirely because the holidays provide the perfect opportunity to spend time reading some books of their own choice and delve into a world of imagination.

I myself was sitting on the couch for much of the afternoon yesterday and, while at this time of year it’s often interrupted by my children needing me to help them with an activity or wanting a snack, it wasn’t long before I was joined by one of my daughters after asking me to help her pick a book to read from her bookshelf.

Today I have Dymocks Literacy Expert, Ryan Spencer on the blog to help parents discover some fun ways to encourage their children to read over summer holidays.

There are also some book recommendations to suit various age groups – I’ll also be reviewing a few of these books in a later post on the blog.

Ryan offers some great tips in this post that hopefully kick starts a summer full of reading fun.

{Guest post} Encouraging your children to read over the summer holidays – Top tips from a literacy expert

By Ryan Spencer, Dymocks Literacy Expert

The summer holidays are here and for parents that means one thing – the kids are home for six solid weeks. To avoid your kids lounging around on the couch or glued to the TV, why not use this break as an opportunity to help them fall in love with reading? It may seem like you’re up against some stiff competition – from iPads to PlayStations and everything in between – but with some creative tactics, you can turn your reluctant reader into a motivated and resourceful reader!

Using these tips, getting your little one to read for pleasure is easy, and will end up being an enjoyable time for you too!

Read with your child every day

It may sound simple, but daily reading with your child will make a big impact! A recent study by Scholastic found that the majority of kids say they loved being read books aloud at home because it is a special time with parents. Bonding and books go hand in hand and kids always enjoy the experience, when it’s a relaxing and fun time. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, during the middle of the day or a book before bedtime, partnering up and turning pages together will help forge a genuine love of reading.

Kick start a book club

When you’re a child, one of the best parts of the school holidays is hanging out with your friends. So why not combine the best of both worlds and help your kids make their own book club?! Send invites around to their closest pals, get their parents to bake up some yummy treats and turn recreation reading into a party. You can all read together, acting out different books as you go. The Scholastic report also reveals that a good predictor of whether children will become frequent readers is if they read for fun. What’s more fun than a book club with your best friends?

Bookstore bandits

Sometimes getting kids excited about something new requires a little change in their routine. Typically, they’re probably used to getting books from either school or the library. Mix it up by taking them to the bookstore, a magical place full of fun books for all ages! Let them roam the aisles, get lost in the world of words and pick out a book that piques their interest. Studies have shown that nearly three quarters of kids, aged between 6-17, would read more if they could find books they liked. So, it’s time to broaden their horizons and give them the chances to find a style that suits them.

From page to screen

These days it’s only a matter of time before a successful book finds a home from the big screen. But rather than letting your child watch the movie version of their favourite book, use the relationship as an opportunity to help them grow. Encourage them to read the book first, then take them to see the movie. Compares notes on the two end products – how were they different or similar, was the book or the movie better? It’s a smart way to get them excited and engaged with reading, but still includes a trip to the movies!

Gift that keeps on giving

It’s perhaps the worst kept secret of the parenting world that all kids love presents! But this year, whether it’s Christmas pressies or birthday gifts, tell your friends and family to buy books for your little one. Our top tip, make it a funny book! Research has shown that most kids (aged 6-17) want books that will make them laugh. Also, don’t be bound by tradition and remember that reading comes in lots of different forms. Celebrate book diversity and encourage your kids to experiment, whether it’s picture books, fiction novels, comics or casual literature like magazines and newspapers.

Summer reading book list – Top picks from Dymocks

Age 3+

 Age 4-6+

 Age 7+

 Age 8+

 Age 9+

For more, choose from a wide selection of children’s books online from Dymocks.

How do you encourage your children to read over summer break? Any tips you would add?

*This is not a sponsored post, I simply want to share my love of books and reading with others. However, I am being gifted three books from Dymocks – Hello Little Babies by Alison Lester ($19.99), Mega Weird (Weirdo Book 7) by Anh Do ($11.99) and The Song From Somewhere Else by AF Harrold ($24.99) – for the purpose of a future book review on the blog.

16 thoughts on “Guest post: Encouraging your children to read over the summer holidays

  1. I really loved the idea of starting up a kid’s book club. Our summer holidays are July-Sept but I might see if there are some parents interested in doing this a couple of weekends per month.
    Great blog post!

  2. When we were little we lived in Malta for a year, where everything shuts down for two hours at lunch time. Mum and Dad would have a siesta like everyone else and we’d be told to stay in our rooms, so my brothers and I would go through heaps of books. It was great!

  3. I made up a reading challenge for my 7 yo. I modified it for myself too so we’re doing it “together”. There is a bribe for him to finish but he doesn’t seem to care for the prizes as much as I thought he would… lol

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