Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tips to Create a Vacation With A Reading Purpose!

A great way to encourage reading is for your kids to earn their way to a vacation destination!  Kids love watching a movie or playing video games, and reading, unfortunately, has become the media of last resort. So, you have to find a way to turn reading or the Reading Fair into a challenge with an
award for completing the book.  This move will not only enable enthusiasm but also engage your family in planning a vacation together!

One of the most popular family vacations is the Harry Potter Experience at Universal!  This adventure appeals to the kid in all of us, and starting around age 6 or 7, reading the books can become a great experience, too!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is a tremendous introduction into the worlds of Harry Potter.  If you haven't read the book, read it with your child.  Then, as you go to Universal, you can walk the streets of Diagon Alley together and imagine Harry Potter buying his school supplies with Hagrid.  Next, ride the Hogwarts Express and watch it literally come alive from the pages of the book!  And, you can eat chocolate frogs and Bertie Botts Beans and realize why Harry and Ron loved them so much!

But, maybe your child wants to be a great Jedi!  For these padawans, an awesome reward would be going to Hollywood Studios and being trained by a real Jedi Master and touring the worlds with C3PO in Star Tours!  You could even frame the certificate from Jedi Training so that everyone can see that they were a real Jedi!

Lucky for you, there are lots of great books out now for kids who love Star Wars!  I am reading The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry; about the adventures of Luke and how he learns more about the Force.  Or, for your new reader,  What is a Wookie? by Laura Buller, a collection of tales from C3PO and all the creatures he came to know!

It could be that your family is into survival movies like The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner:  they are intrigued by the kids in these movies and how they manage to survive all of the obstacles in their way!  Then, choosing a big camping trip to a National Park or State Park would be a great reward for reading The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner or even Hatchet!

You would have lots of family time to learn how to build a fire, pitch a tent, fish or set a trap.  Don't bring the portable TV or Video Games; use this camping trip to talk and play board games, too!

Your family may be big Disney fans like mine!  Then, have your kids pick 3 countries from the World Showcase and read a book from each country:  their reward would be to visit Epcot and the countries they read about!  They would have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture, talk to people from the country itself, and buy a souvenir that reminds them of the book!

Or, have them read the Kingdom Keepers series; then, work together to plan a visit to the Magic Kingdom and recreate an adventure from one of the books! 

The options are endless!  For every destination your family wants, there is a book that can take them there first!  And if you are incorporating your adventure into a Reading Fair Display, then have your child write in a journal.  It could be simple pictures that reminds them of the day or, in their words, how they recreated the story.   Also, remember that your child may not relate to a hardcover or paperback; an eReader may give them the technology they want with the goal you need - reading!

Reading is fun, and a wonderful way to bridge the book with the real-life, family excursion! Reading a book starts the mystery and visiting the story places creates the memory to last a lifetime!
I'd love to know where will reading take your family?  If you are looking for book suggestions, let me know, I'll be glad to help find that perfect vacation/reading destination!

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