Teachers believe that a child's skills and learning can decline by up to a month over the long holidays. One way to avoid this "summer slide" is to encourage your child to keep reading over the summer. Here's some top tips to help keep reading fun – and avoid losing those hard-won new skills.
- Set aside 20 minutes each day for reading time. It can be a chapter book, a comic or even a much loved picture book.
- Use these few minutes to read your own book or magazine, too. Seeing you enjoy reading will help your child realise that reading is not just something she or he has to do for school.
- Make a reading nook or den where your child can snuggle up with some cushions.
- Visit the library and encourage your child to choose books that he or she likes.
- Listen to audio books too, at home or on a car journey. Concentration and listening are also important skills to nurture.
- Keep reading aloud to your child. If she or he is not yet a fluent reader, reading to themselves can be hard work and they’ll enjoy sharing a book with you.
- Talk to your child about the book they’re reading, what happens in the story and their favourite character. They might like to draw a picture based on the story, or even write a short review.
Let your child choose their own books and don't worry if you think they choose something too easy for them, or a book they have read before. As their skills improve, they will choose more demanding stories. Some children prefer non-fiction to stories and of course, that's fine too.
Billy and the Mini Monsters by Zanna Davidson was specially written for new or less confident readers and was chosen for the Summer Reading Challenge in both 2019 and 2018. There are eight stories to collect, and downloadable colouring sheets and mini monster finger puppets to make too!