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How to Make Summer Reading Fun?


Is the soaring celsius making you want to curl up at home with a book and a cold beverage to sip on? Indian summers are more than about heat and discomfort. They conjure images of luscious mangoes, holidays, travel, fun and games, bringing with them a generous dose of childhood nostalgia. Despite the scorching heat, we spent the last Sunday morning of the  month discovering the critters around us, on a nature walk at Cubbon park conducted by nature education group Spiders and the Sea. The exercise to get children curious about nature ended with an interactive session with the writers of the gorgeous book, The Living Museum.

How to make summer reading fun?

There are many studies that show that children who go out of touch with reading in the  summer can lose momentum in their reading progress, which can have a cumulative long-term effect on reading speed and interest. With screens for company and schedules in disarray, reading may require a little more coaxing from the parent's side. What can be done? 

Using Summer to build background knowledge: Summer holidays are an ideal time to give children interesting experiences- through travel, summer camps and daily activities. These experiences give kids a broader framework for information they may encounter in books. When they have many experiences to draw on, there is a greater chance of them making connections with what they read and wanting to read more on a subject. If you have planned a trip to Kashmir to beat the heat, why not get the kids started on stories about Kashmir?

Make regular visits to the library: Going to the library can be made into a weekly scheduled activity/ part of the summer calendar. In the absence of a routine, scheduling such visits give children something to look forward to. Even if children are initially resistant to the library or looking at books, regular visits will ease them into the process and with familiarity and the huge collection of books available, they are bound to find something of their interest.

Create a reading challenge with interesting prompts:  Reading prompts can make reading seem like a game, and make the process of choosing books and finishing them fun. Want some prompts to set the ball rolling? Try a book narrated by a ghost, a book with a red cover or a book with a girl detective.

Get them hooked to a series: Introducing a series helps build anticipation for the next book and sets momentum. Once the first book in the series grabs their attention, children will not need to be coaxed further– reading becomes a chain reaction and thus eventually a habit!  

Make summer reading a family experience: Reading together with your child can sometimes provide much-needed motivation. You can also try reversing roles. Maybe they can read out to you at bedtime? 

A slice from History…Protest Camp Libraries

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All over the world, and over the years, people have organised protests to make their opinions heard, influence public opinion or change government policy. For instance, Occupy Wall Street in New York in 2010 was a protest against economic inequality. Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution in 2014 was for democracy. In India, Mohd Asif started the Fatima Sheikh-Savitribai Phule Library at Shaheen Bagh during the CAA/NRC protests in 2019. Libraries are started because organisers believe that people must know what they are fighting for and who they are up against. Knowledge is power and books bring knowledge. 




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