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resources for parents

We know many parents worry about continuing to support their child’s reading progress during the holidays.

Holiday time can be a constant juggling act. We understand that you have to spin a lot of plates, as well as encourage your child to read the books they have brought home from school. As well as this, you have to keep their motivation and enjoyment of reading up as much as possible.


So … here are some top tips to get your child(ren) reading this holiday.

Reading in the holidays for 5-7 year olds

1. Internet fun
Visit Epic!  which has lots of free eBooks to read, quizzes to play and  videos to watch. Your child’s class teacher should have provided your child with a class password.

2. Signs out and about
When you are out and about in the car, on the bus or out for a walk, see how many signs you can spot. Road signs, street signs, shop signs and timetables… Read them together with your child.

3. Den reading
Build a den or hideout with your child out of dark blankets or sheets. Ask your child to choose some of their books to take into the den to read. Don’t forget the torch – it’s exciting to read a book by torch light!

4 .Reading to other members of the family
Children love to share reading skills with family members so if you are visiting family then take reading books with you so someone different can say how proud they are hearing your child read. It’s a good chance to show off!

5. Postcards and cards
At special times of the year or celebrations, enjoy opening the post together to read cards, or letters from family and friends. Ask family and friends to write your child postcards if you cannot be with them this holiday. Children love to read a postcard addressed to them. Don’t forget to send return post too – whether it’s snail mail or via technology.

6. Holiday scrapbook
During holiday time, collect items of interest and stick them all in a scrapbook or write a simple holiday diary. As you stick these items in, chat about your child’s choices and favourite things to do. You will have created a book full of happy memories that your child can read again and again. Your child’s teacher would also love to share this book with the class when term begins.

7. Cooking your favourite dish
Does your child enjoy cooking? Find a recipe, read the list of ingredients together, visit the shops and read the food labels, and then support your child to read the instructions as you make your favourite recipe.

Reading in the holidays for 7-11 year olds

Here are some top tips for keeping up with reading in the holidays for older children.

1. Internet fun
Visit Epic!  which has lots of free eBooks to read, quizzes to play and  videos to watch. Your child’s class teacher should have provided your child with a class password.

2.Out and about
When travelling, encourage your child to help when reading directions, looking out for road signs and talking about how long they have to travel or how far they have left. Reading timetables is also a great skill for them to develop - bus, train and tube - and will encourage their independence as well. 

If your child likes to cook, encourage them to read the instructions in recipes and plan for what is needed. Some fun ones include Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes (Puffin), The Silver Spoon for Children, Jamie Oliver and school dinner lady Nora Sands' Nora's Kitchen (Collins), or Grow it, Eat it (RHS and Dorling Kindersley). But if you don't know these, any will do.

4. Shopping
When doing your weekly shop, encourage your child to help with the shopping by writing and reading the list as well as finding products in store or online. If they need new school shoes or new school uniform, get them to do some research online first to make the trip to the shops more efficient. 

6. In the news
Encourage your child to read newspapers and find out what is going on in the world. Try CBBC Newsround online , as a change from television. You may want to be around if stories are of a sensitive nature, but talk to your child about what they have read. Use local papers to read about local events.

7. Holiday online scrapbook
Suggest making an up-to-date scrapbook online, using a blog that enables your child to upload pictures of their holiday and write about their experiences which can then be shared with family and friends and even the wider world. You may want to check the site your child is using for safety.

If your child is reading a chapter book, consider reading the same book at the same time – this gives you the chance to compare your impressions of the book and talk about the plot. Ask your child questions, e.g. Which character they liked best, who would they like to be? Ask them to write you a short quiz about the book to check you've read it properly!

9. Relaxing
Help your child create a 'reading and dreaming' place in your home. This could be a window seat with comfy cushions, an indoor pop-up tent with a cosy blanket, or even a corner in a garden shed with a seat. Let the rest of the family know that if your child is in her/his special place they should try not to disturb them. You may even get some peace then too!


This new website Words for Life gives you an idea of what communication milestones your baby and child might reach as they grow. There are ideas for fun activities you can do together to help your children develop their skills.

A guide to reading with children