5 Ways to Enjoy Books with Little Ones this Summer
Many Bookbug Sessions will be running throughout the holidays, but if you're looking for other ways to keep reading alive over the next few weeks, here are some other fun ideas:
Bookbug Library Challenge
Children aged 4 and over are able to sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge at their local library. Families are encouraged to read 6 books over the course of the summer, with great rewards to collect along the way. Don't worry if you have children who are too young - our Bookbug Library Challenge is open to little ones from birth and runs throughout the whole year. Families are encouraged to sign children up to the library and collect stamps every time they borrow books. When your card is full, you can swap it for one of our lovely new certificates for your child's bedroom wall!
If you're heading away in the summer holidays, audio books are a great way to keep little ones entertained on the journey. Whether it's a short trip to grandpa's house in the car, or a long flight or train ride, there are some great collections for kids. Look out for family favourites like A Basketful of Kipper or the Hairy Maclary Story Collection for fun-filled short stories, or My Completely Best Story Collection (Charlie and Lola) by Children's Laureate, Lauren Child, for slightly older children. Libraries are a great place to borrow audio books for free - just ask at your local library for more details.
Take books outdoors
Children love to be outdoors, particularly when the sun is shining! If you're planning a bug hunt in the garden, or a trip to the local park this summer, why not start the day by reading a book from our Baby Books about Bugs list or 9 Books about Going to the Park? Take the time to talk about what you miight discover on the way or what you might see when you get there. You can also use the outdoors as a tool for enhancing and extending the story that your little ones love. Books like The Gruffalo are perfect for taking outdoors (particularly if you're walking in the forest!) and books like Who's That? by Rod Campbell are great for a bit of animal spotting when you're out and about.
Stories don't always have to stay on the pages of the book! Look for ways to bring favourite characters or books to life with craft activities, or even some baking. There are loads of ideas for sandwiches and snacks inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Gingerbread Man is a brilliant story to share after a morning of baking gingerbread biscuits together. Try mixing things up a bit too - why not a gingerbread dog, or a gingerbread tractor instead of a gingerbread man? Let little ones take the lead and use their imaginations. If you're looking for an indoor activity, try turning your favourite book charatcers into spoon puppets and get little ones to tell the story with their puppets.
Involve bigger children
Whether it's your own children off school for the summer, or nieces, nephews, or friends visiting, the holidays are the perfect time to get bigger kids involved in reading to little ones. Everyone has a little more time to spend reading for pleasure, without the added pressure of homework. Older children will enjoy sharing their reading skills with younger members of the family and little ones will enjoy hearing their stories read to them in different ways with different voices. It's also great for older children to engage with picture books again (you're never too old for a picture book!). Finding a quiet time to read is a great way for families to relax and unwind through the holidays.
So however you're planning to spend the last few weeks of the holidays, remember there are plenty of ways to keep reading alive for young children. And don't forget to look out for something to read yourself - whether it's the latest beach read or a classic that reminds you of summer days before children. Happy reading!
(Main image: Amber Faust)