What Should Your Child Read in Summer Vacation
Created by Swapna Nair Updated on Sep 20, 2021
Ah it is summer time. Mangoes, melons and houses full of children. Mothers especially have their hands full. It is a perfect time to day dream. And what better than books to take children into lands of fantasy. Adults wish that their children took to reading like fish takes to water. Yet how many of the adults read?
Book Reading Habit –
Let us see how we can get our children to read books.
Catch them young-
Begin the habit as early as 4 months. Once your baby crosses the 3 month milestone, your baby enjoys your voice, your body warmth. Your baby will not understand the story but it will get used to hearing you. As the baby grows, keep repeating the story (you may get bored but your baby does not). Read the book aloud. Select books with large pictures and few words or a phrase or a sentence. It need not be a story. It can just be a picture book. Books by Dr. Seuss are very helpful.
Here you are getting your child into a routine of listening to you reading. When your baby is able to hold things, give the book into its hands and then read. Show the pictures. Change your tone and expression.
By the time your baby is 10 months old it will get used to the idea of books and the pictures inside. There are delightful books that have thick, hard pages, books with plastic pages which can be used during bath time, books with pop outs and books customized to your child’s name. Toddlers love books with pop outs. The Internet is teeming with such books. I know of parents who have potty trained their children using such books.
A big advantage of introducing books so young is that they learn to respect books. They are proud and possessive of ‘their’ books. Hence you will not have your child tearing books and paper.
You need to invest in a couple of books at every stage. You will always be surprised that toddler’s ear mark their favourites. They love repetition. So you don’t have to spend much. Even though it may be boring to you, use the same book and enjoy along with your toddler.
For toddlers you could buy ‘touch and feel’ books. There are such books available on farm animals, wild animals etc . Each book hardly costs much.
Some suggestions -
- The hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Corduroy by Don Freeman
- Guess how much I love you by Sam Mcbratney
- Tales of Winnie the Pooh
- We are going on a bear hunt
- Bed time stories
- Folktales (India)
- Bal Ramayan
- Bal Mahabharata
For 3 years and above you could introduce Karadi tales, comic strips and adventure based books. Enid Blyton has several books for this age group too. The Noddy series is my personal favorite. Enid Blyton, Harry Potter series, Diary of Wimpy kids, R.L Steins’ Goosebumps are now read from the age of 10 and above Teens of today prefer Sci-fi books and vampire fiction.
Familiarity is important-
Children enjoy a book if they know the story line or if the book is made into a movie or tv serial. Hence associate the books knowing your child’s interest. Asking a child to go to the library and pick up books or by just telling them to read books will not work. Enroll in a local library. Pick books for your self and for your child. Let your child see you read.
Your child initially may ask you to read because words can put off especially when they come across a new or difficult word. From the age of 3 years there are the Ladybird series of books which come in levels- level 1,2,3 4 etc. Select books according to your child’s level and not the age. Peppa pig stories are popular.
So go ahead and read out to them. Again let me warn you that they may just like one story. It is alright. As long as they are willing to listen, read the story aloud.
Make it a ritual to create a story time or reading time every day- it could be after dinner or after lunch. The most important thing is to be dramatic about this time. Create an air of excitement or suspense so that children get hooked.
Keep books strewn around- near the bed, on the coffee table. This will ensure that they are picked up easily.
Screen time vs book time-
The biggest competition books is screen time. A child of today accesses gadgets very early in life. Parents do not realize the impending danger. When toddlers get bored or cranky the parent gratifies them with the phone or tab or the TV. Gadgets hook a child so easily that books seem boring.
Hence be cautious of the screen time you offer to your child. Begin early. Keep away gadgets as much as possible. When they join school, the school may want the child to use the Internet for worksheets or projects. This can be monitored and supervised. Limit the Internet and gadgets for entertainment. Do not go beyond 15 minutes in one sitting. As they grow you can extend the time.
Never threaten them with books vs screen time. They would lose interest immediately. Rather books have to be the better option.
Story telling sessions and book launches– Nowadays all cities have story telling sessions. Book stores organize book launches. Take your children to such sessions.
Organize book reading clubs or weekends
Ask children to dress up as the characters. Or simply ask them to do a skit on the book.Create games based on the book. Older children can organize such games. Organize a food theme based on the book. Enid Blyton books are famous for scones, lemonade and sandwich; so throw a sandwich party or ‘make your own sandwich’ once they complete the book.
They are a must visit whenever the book fair comes to town.
Book based travel-
Organize a travel to the city or town or country based on one of their favourite books. A teenager would love it if you visited the famous Baker Street in London
Book based Movies-
use the vacations to watch movies based on books once the children have read the books. Most animation movies are based on books. Make it a group activity.
Enjoy reading and vanish into the land of day dreaming and fantasy along with your child. There is no other best way to beat the heat.
Did you find this blog on book reading helpful? Do you have any more ideas? Do share them with fellow parents in the comments section below; we’d love to hear from you!
| May 30, 2018
Impressive and best activities and reading described for children during summer vacation similarly I have a blog which suggests how to keep your children busy during this summer vacation http://www.drsinternational.com/blog/how-to-keep-your-child-busy-in-the-holidays/