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Kids reading

  • Stop the summer reading slump

    Schools out – and kids can’t get their uniforms off quick enough. With the summer holidays here they’ve got six whole weeks to relax and have fun, so doing anything remotely school-related will be the last thing on their mind now. Trouble is, when kids go back in September they’ve often forgotten some of the things they learned in class. It’s what teachers call the summer reading slump.

    One brilliant initiative to keep kids reading through the holiday is the Summer Reading Challenge run by the charity The Reading Agency. Once they’ve signed up at their local library, kids can take out six books to read over the summer and there are competitions, games and rewards to collect to keep them motivated, and stop the summer reading slump.

    You can help your kids with the challenge by letting them choose their own books. According to Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading report  9 out of 10 kids are more likely to finish a book that they’ve picked themselves. And as they’re allowed six books for their summer reading challenge, this is a good time for your kids to be free with their book choices – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books or whatever else takes their fancy.

    The Tidy Books Box puts books within easy reach of kids to help stop the summer reading slump The Tidy Books Box puts books in easy reach

    It’s all about making reading enjoyable for the kids while they’re away from school and not turning it into a task. But of course the books need to be accessible so kids don’t forget they’re there. You could put them in our Portable Book Box , which makes a handy mini-library that can be moved around the house. It can go with them into the garden or over to their grandparents’ house – even in the car to take on holiday.

    The box’s front-facing design means books can easily be identified by their covers, so kids won’t get impatient trying to find the one they want! It holds up to 40 books – plenty of room for all your kids’ books – and also comes with a play clock so they can have fun learning to tell the time as well.

    Kids deserve the summer off but reading doesn’t need to feel like homework. All they need is a little inspiration and they’ll soon see that reading a book at any time is fun!

    Happy summer reading everyone!


  • Welcome to Book Bingo. The school book group

    Our school book group had their first meeting this week and got settled in, nice and comfy.  Read on to see what happened next....

    6 and 7 year olds making their way through graded reading books can lose their love for stories. We've teamed up with Esher Church School who are helping to build children's love for stories with a book group: Book Bingo.


    Melanie Copus of Esher Church School writes:

    Welcome to Book Bingo. Take off your shoes, relax, and enjoy the books...

    I am a big fan of injecting fun and games into learning and school-related activities, that, plus the fact that it was a Friday afternoon, meant we really should have some play time! We began by talking about what we love to read, and where we love to read: under the sunshine, in the garden, on a big cosy chair, in bed... etc.. We then drew pictures of ourselves reading, put these in the magic hat, and picked them out one-by-one to guess who's drawing it was and what they were depicting about their love for reading.
    Following this, I spoke to the group to explain the rules:
    They are given their own Book Bingo notebook to write weekly reviews and ratings in. They may borrow books from the Book Bingo library (thanks to Tidy-Books, we have a wonderful little portable library for our Club!), the school library, or take books from their own local library. Basically, wherever they like, as long as it's a book they have chosen themselves!
    When they come back each week we will chat about the books they have read and check their reviews; before choosing a new book. We will also have some fun and games around reading: story-telling and group story-writing are already on the cards! The children own the club, are invited to come up with the ideas, and we are there to ignite and facilitate their enjoyment in reading!
    I can't wait to hear their first reviews. Watch this space!"


    We've teamed up with Esher Church School for their Book Bingo book group and the children will share their reviews on the blog over the next few weeks.  Watch out for some interesting books for kids recommendations!

    The book group's selection will be stored in a Tidy Books Box, giving the book group a special place for their choices.


  • If you're 6, read these books. Kids review books for kids

    6 is a dangerous age for reading.  6 and 7 year olds making their way through graded reading books can lose their love for stories.

    One school is tackling these tricky times with a children's book group.  Children share their best books with other children and together they help each other develop their reading tastes.

    We've teamed up with Esher Church School for their Book Bingo book group and the children will share their reviews on the blog over the next few weeks.  Watch out for some interesting books for kids recommendations!

    The book group's selection will be stored in a Tidy Books Box, giving the book group a special place for their choices.

    Melanie Copus of Esher Church School introduces the Book Bingo Project:

    " I noticed that children in year two are very excited about their reading, but in the stress and haste to move up reading levels, this excitement becomes tainted and can wither as the year goes on. Their energy is spent in fulfilling the literacy objectives, over finding enjoyment from reading a good story.

    This is where local libraries and book enthusiasts can help! I wanted to start a club at the school, particularly targeting this age group, in order to ignite and engrain this excitement. 

    This term we have begun 'Book Bingo'. I run the club once a week with 11 children, of different reading levels. The club gives children the opportunity to share what they love about reading: From where they like to read, discussing how reading makes them feel, through what sort of content they prefer.

    Children take one book to focus on, and discuss this when they attend the club each Friday. Once they have reviewed the book, they strike off the category on the Bingo grid. Categories include: fantasy, legend, myth, war, religion, and even cartoons - it's really about finding the different ways to enjoy what all types of book can offer!

    I am particularly partial to a good story - from the Brothers Grimm, to those with deeper meaning from the likes of Paulo Coelho!

    Over the next weeks I will share some of the children's exciting reviews with you, so watch this space!" 



    What do you think helps keep your child's love of reading alive?
  • How Beanstalk helps kids who are behind with their reading

    We're delighted to host Beanstalk, national literacy charity as our guest blogger.  Beccy from Beanstalk explains why Beanstalk's work is so important.

    Reading is both a gift and a right. But shockingly, last year a quarter of all children left primary school in the UK without reading well, rising to 2 out of 5 poorer children. This has terrible knock on effects for these children’s future prospects. Not reading well can mean a life sentence of poverty The UK has a strong link between low pay, unemployment and poor reading skills. For example:

    -  70% of pupils permanently excluded from school have difficulties in basic literacy skills 

    -  60% of the prison population is reported to have difficulties in basic literacy skills 

    -  A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ranks the UK 22nd out of 24 developed nations for literacy.

    -  8 million adults in the UK have no useful literacy- they could not look up a plumber in the yellow pages, fill in a job application or even use the internet

    For over 40 years Beanstalk has been working to rewrite this story. Beanstalk is a national charity which saves children’s futures by training volunteers to provide life-changing reading support. Our vision is a nation of confident children who can read and grow up to lead successful lives. Our work is mainly located in urban areas which see the highest levels of deprivation and lowest literacy levels, ensuring that our support is delivered to children who need us most


    . Tidy Books blog post


    In this coming year we will support over 10,500 children each week in almost 1,400 primary schools across the country through almost 3,500 reading helpers but there is much more we can do. To help more children we need more reading helpers. To recruit, vet, train and support more reading helpers we need more funds. Beanstalk is delighted to be working in partnership with Tidy Books this year to help get more children reading. Their contributions will make a significant impact on our vital work, helping provide the essential funding needed to recruit, train and place reading helpers who provide life-changing reading support.




    To find out more about Beanstalk’s work check out our video or visit our website to see how you can lend your support through volunteering or donating. To find out more about how Tidy Books is supporting Beanstalk, visit our website.   

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