In homes across the UAE, backpacks have been pushed into the corner, homework books eagerly tidied away and Chip and Kipper are taking a welcome break. But, although it’s lovely to enjoy some summer downtime, teachers often notice a dip in pupils’ literacy skills when they return in the autumn. But just because they are out of school, it doesn’t mean children’s reading and writing skills can’t be maintained. There are lots of simple ways to stimulate literacy improvement, while at the same time enjoying a well-earned break from classroom-style learning.
Set some time aside each day to enjoy performing a story together. Turn favourite tales into a play, complete with funny voices and costumes, and watch their books come to life. Plan a family outing to the library (it’s far more fun than it sounds, trust us) and let them choose their own book to read aloud at a family reading night.
Create a book nook
Have kids search the house and garden (for those in cooler climes) to find the perfect place to curl up in and read. Turn off the iPads and tablets, hide the fidget spinners and allocate some quiet time each day for them to get lost in a tome or two.
Reading doesn’t all have to be about books. Words are everywhere, from cookbooks to game instructions, so, when you sit down to play a new board game or try a new recipe, encourage your child to read them with you. Airports, supermarkets, restaurants and even the petrol station can give little ones the opportunity to put their phonics to the test as they sound out words on signs, packets and menus.
Write their memoirs
Reading and writing go hand in hand, so encourage children to write letters or postcards to friends and family at home as a way of strengthening their writing skills while still enjoying the excitement of their summer break. Buy a brightly coloured notebook and let them jot down their daily activities or even recount what they do each day. Who knows, if they really let their creative juices flow they might become the next J.K. Rowling.
Complete a challenge
Dubai’s book rental service, bookish.ae has devised a book reading challenge to encourage kids to enjoy literature throughout the holidays. Sign up online to read 12 books over the break. Or try Browzly’s 2017 Summer Reading Challenge. With prizes to be won for both, this is a surefire way to inspire little bookworms.
Sign up for the summer reading challenge at www.bookish.ae, download Browzly from the App Store