Last year a friend told me how she had set up a reading advent for her daughter to encourage her reading because she was falling behind and becoming a reluctant reader. With Year 2 SAT's later in the year, Michelle was worried.

My friend, Michelle, had parceled up 24 picture books which she and her daughter would open and share. The books covered a range of reading levels and although her daughter groaned, ‘not another book’, she soon got into the excitement and loved the experience. At the end I asked how her daughter got on and she was pleased to say, not only was she now an enthusiastic reader, but that her reading level had improved considerably. Most of that is also due to Michelle taking the time to sit and read with her daughter and they both gained from the experience.

It made me wonder if the idea could be used for a reading and writing challenge. As the summer holidays loomed, I looked into a few of my own ideas. Bus related of course to compliment my own books but I am sure the idea could be adapted for other books too.

(Ages 4 -8)

Jay-Jay's 30-day Summer Holiday challenge:

  1. Visit a stationery outlet and buy a notebook to keep a diary record throughout the summer holiday. Write down key things along the summer holiday road. (Buy your pens and pencils etc. too.)
  2. Jay-Jay the Supersonic bus.’ (Choose a book to start the adventure.) Read and talk about the illustrations and the story.
  3. Is there a Playbus nearby? Investigate and visit if you can.
  4. Visit a local library to check out a range of books, choose different genre and factual (bus) books too. (Our  local library allows children to take out 20 book at a time)
  5. Re-read the book and draw a story map of where Jay-Jay went. What did he see? What did he pass?Journey Map
  6. Design a bright and colourful Playbus.
  7. Design and colour a blank notelet and write a message to a relative or a friend to post. (Everyone loves to receive a card!)
  8. Read ‘Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure’. Have you ever been to an island on a ferry? What did the children dress as? Dressing up day.
  9. With a bus template colour a Playbus making it bright and colourful with designs using a summery theme. What would you name your bus?
  10. Jay-Jay word-search. ( One; Two; Three)Wordsearch
  11. Take a real bus ride to town or to a given destination. Will you be able to travel on the top deck? What can you see?
  12. Jay-Jay and the Carnival.
  13. Create a bus poster. Advertise a summer fun event
  14. Bus maze. Take Jay-Jay to the toy shop. What route will you take? What did you pass? Talk about it. Can you take another route?Bus Maze
  15. Visit a bus Museum and look at old buses. Buy a few bus postcards.
  16. Write a bus postcard for friends or family to post.
  17. Make a collage of buses. Using bus pictures or bus words.
  18. Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme bus.
  19. Using a journey route choose where you might go on your next bus journey.
  20. Create a board game. What rewards and consequences would you add to your bus summer journey? Use ideas from each of the books so far.
  21. Write the rules for your game.
  22. Make a spinner and game pieces to play the game.
  23. Bus colouring cards and pictures.
  24. A Spooky Tale. Where is the bus? Who is on the bus?
  25. Journey route choose who might join your bus. Draw the characters or add them to a bus.
  26. 3D bus plan. Colour in Jay-Jay or Daisy.
  27. Make your 3D Jay-Jay or Daisy.
  28. Using your own plan, design your own 3D bus. What would you call it? What number plate would you add? (3 letters 3 numbers)
  29. Daisy Daydream Bus Rhymes and Jokes. Review one of the books. Which one was your favorite?
  30. With a ticket template write a few jokes of your own.

The above suggestions could be done in any order and adapted to a book of your choice.

I chose a picture book as it is visual and quicker to read.

I am sure you could come up with more ideas.

Let me know how you get on. I would love to know.

30 ways to encourage a love of reading

3D Space Bus

Where to get my books

Books are available from the following:   My Books     Waterstones    

Barnes&Noble    Foyles (amongst others)

Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!

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