- Tips and expert advice
Top tips to keep your child reading over the summer
Article updated July 2021.
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.
Readers in the UK may like to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge which takes place in the summer holidays every year. Children sign up at their local library, then read six library books of their choice to complete the challenge – collecting rewards along the way! In 2021 Usborne have 5 books on the Reading Challenge recommended list, including Billy and the Mini Monsters and Anisha, Accidental Detective. See all the Usborne books on the Summer Reading Challenge,
Featured in this article
About the Author
Lisa Watts worked as an editor at Usborne in the 1970s and '80s. She wrote and edited many of the Usborne Computer Books, which were the very first full-colour books about computers, coding and computer games for children. After moving to live in the Middle East and the USA with her young family, she continued to work for Usborne, researching and writing the first Usborne science and nature encyclopedias. In the 1990s, Lisa worked on Usborne CD-ROMs - cutting-edge technology at the time - and, with the advent of the internet, set up the very first Usborne website in 1999. Shortly afterwards, in 2001, she was instrumental in launching Usborne Quicklinks, a huge library of links to kid-centric websites, carefully curated to support and enhance Usborne books. As Director of Digital Development, Lisa continues to keep Usborne ahead of exciting digital opportunities.