A reading buddy can help kids get excited about reading. You can use this idea in the classroom, in Sunday school, or at home.
I grabbed this stuffed turtle at Kohl’s for $5 back in 2011. You could use any stuffed animal. We had a goal in children’s Sunday school (we call it Primary) to have each child read the scriptures (Bible) at home with their families during the year. Each week a family would be selected to take “Scripture Turtle” home with them.
He has a little back pack filled with scripture cards. They told a short synopsis of a story and the scripture reference on one side and pictures on the other side. You could add cards for whatever you are focusing on with instructions to let parents know the plan. Ask the kids to sit and read to their reading buddy each day while they are visiting. They got them for a week then returned them at church to go home with another child.
Each child could add a souvenir to the buddy when they took him home. Look how he started with just the backpack. Now he has a Justin Bieber button, Dr. Seuss button, 3-D glasses, a tie, silly band, handmade friendship bracelet, sweat band, arrowhead necklace, pinwheel, missionary tag, and the red sweater above (he has lost a few things along the way). My favorite was the knit pumpkin hat. A mom knit it right onto the head of the turtle and stuffed it.
I got the traveling reading buddy idea from my mother-in-law who did this when she taught first grade. Look at her Booker Bunny and Booker Bear below. Aren’t they so cute? And very well loved and read to. I borrowed her backpack for our turtle.
I just found these mini backpacks for $3.23 at usimprints.com. (I’m not getting paid to share this, just thought you might want to know a place you could get one.)
Our family got to take ‘Scripture Turtle’ camping. He smelled like campfire for a while after that. We loved reading with him around the campfire.
HOME READING BUDDY
You can make your own designated reading buddy to keep at home. Have your child read to them. Let them take their buddy in the car around town and on longer road trips during the summer and add souvenirs to them. Encourage kids to read in the car (if it doesn’t make them sick). Let them know their buddy likes to be read to every day.
Have fun reading this summer!