Date : December 7, 2018
Get your kids excited about reading these summer holidays with May Gibbs and the Gumnut Babies!
As any parent knows, prying your kids away from their brand new toys and addictive screens over the Christmas and summer holiday period can feel almost impossible – but keeping up those valuable reading skills they’ve spent so much time cultivating over the past year is vital! Want to inspire summer holiday reading? May Gibbs stories offer magical worlds to get lost in. Now is the time to introduce your child to this magic – and hopefully inspire a great love for reading!
Reading is an essential life skill that every child needs to develop. While each child will read at a different level, all children should have basic literacy skills, and it’s important to cultivate those skills even during their holiday periods from school. After all, a child with the ability to read is a happy, confident child, and this will filter throughout all their schooling life.
The act of reading between a child and an adult is transactional, meaning that both you and your child gain positive rewards. Reading stories opens up worlds for your child, and acts as a bonding activity for the parent. The child learns new words, new ways of using those words and different aspects of storytelling, all while participating in an enjoyable activity. The adult enjoys their child’s appreciation of the story, as well as the inquisitive questions, humour and sparks of personality that arise as a result. It’s a lovely and meaningful way to spend time with your child.
It’s all about the motivation!
If you have a reluctant reader, it can be even harder to convince them to read during the summer holidays. All they want to do is stare at a screen – the TV, their iPad or a gaming console. So how do you convince them that they actually WANT to read? Here are a few tips you can try!
1. Let them choose what they want to read. Kids love to have the freedom to choose, and they’ll be more motivated if what they’re reading is actually interesting to them. May Gibbs books are perfect for this, as there are stories written for varying age levels and at varying degrees of difficulty, but with the same characters they know and love.
2. Carve out a time of the day that will be specifically for reading. Whether it’s just before bed, after a meal or after a bath, having a specific reading time means it becomes routine.
3. Show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. Children learn a lot by imitating their parents, and if they see that you enjoy reading yourself, they’ll want to get in on the fun, too. You can also offer to buy them a book as a reward or borrow one from your local public library. Make reading exciting!
4. Show interest. Ask them about the book they’re reading and encourage them to share what they think will happen in the story. You can ask them to draw their favourite characters or even to write about what they think would happen if the characters were in different situations.
5. Set reading challenges. This is made easier by the upcoming Summer Reading Program, which is run by public libraries all over the country. It’s easier to stay motivated if you’re getting cool prizes and stickers for reading a book, right?
Where do you read?
Reading in beautiful spaces is the ultimate way of encouraging your child to read during the summer holidays. While summer in Australia can be unrelenting, you can definitely make the most of beautiful public reading spaces, such as fantastic local libraries, museums and even the parks and gardens that surround them. Take a book with you to the beach and read while you enjoy an ice cream. Books like those written by May Gibbs inspire children to explore the wonders of nature and the magic of the Australian landscape, so why not encourage your children to get out and about in the great outdoors! It’s a clever way to bring the stories of May Gibbs to life!