Festive Ideas to Boost Your Reading Culture

Pile of books

As the weather gets colder and we creep closer to the Christmas holidays, it’s the perfect time to settle down with a great book. We’ve seen some fantastic, creative ideas from groups across Scotland to boost your reading culture this winter – here are some of our favourites.

Reading Tree Book Christmas Tree

As you decorate your classroom, library or group meeting space this year, you might be wondering how to incorporate books. Try making a book Christmas tree – simply stack up your books in an attractive way in the shape of a tree and you’re sorted (with extra points if you use green books like John Paul Academy).

You can also think about decorating a traditional tree with book recommendations like Perth Grammar or with poems like Elgin Academy.

Sharing a festive story together

Making time for reading for pleasure is important in every reading culture, but during the festive season you can make it even more special. Why not gather for your story time beside the Christmas tree like Gargunnock Primary, or turn down the lights and display a roaring fire on your active board? You could even enjoy some hot chocolate as a special treat!

Reading Challenges of Christmas 

Reaching December doesn’t mean that your Reading Challenge efforts have to slow down. In fact, you can use this as an excuse to give your pupils some fun new challenges. We love this reading advent calendar from Dunblane High School, which includes activity ideas such as creating a bookmark to give as a gift. Elgin Academy have an exciting Book Bingo challenge, where pupils post photos of themselves taking part in reading challenges to try and win a prize!

Deck the hallsRenfrew High trees

We wouldn’t usually be in favour of cutting up books, but if you have old or unloved books to hand you could get crafty and make some great Christmas decorations. This is a great relaxing activity to get pupils involved in during lunchtime. Renfrew High and Prestwick Academy have made these great folded Christmas trees, but you could also try making snowflakes and paper chains.

Reading Advent calendar

Book-based advent calendars are quite popular this year, with many schools unwrapping a different picture book each day to share together. Primary 3 at St Matthew's Primary School have been enjoying new books delivered by their elf Jingles! If you’re looking for an alternative that won’t take up quite so much wrapping time, why not try sharing a poem or short story each day? You could use a book with a poem for each day, like I am the Seed that Grew the Tree, or find a variety of poems online.

However your group are enjoying reading this December, we would love to hear about it. We will be sharing more ideas and some great book recommendations on Twitter #FMRCYuleRead and we would love it if you could take part too! Share your festive reading photos and ideas #FMRCYuleRead for your chance to win a bundle of books from us.

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