Simple Ways to Celebrate Roald Dahl Day 2021 and Get the Kids Involved Too!

Simple Ways to Celebrate Roald Dahl Day 2021 and Get the Kids Involved Too!

Roald Dahl is considered to be one of the best children’s authors of all time, well-known for authoring a plethora of whimsical, wonderful, and highly imaginative books. His magical tales were brought to life by Quentin Blake’s illustrations throughout 18 of the iconic books.

31 years after Dahl’s death in 1990, his stories live on, and some have been re-adapted into box office hits such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Esio Trot, The BFG and Fantastic Mr Fox.

When is Roald Dahl Day

Dahl’s stories are treasured by children and adults alike – Roald Dahl Day is celebrated every year on his birthday, September the 13th. 

Why Roald Dahl Day matters

Whilst Dahl’s stories might seem like pure child-like imagination on the surface, there are far more to them, which makes them an extremely useful tool in your child’s development. 

Firstly, they are written from the point of view of a child in a classic villain/victim scenario, and the child often emerges victorious and triumphant. This method of writing allows your kids to easily resonate and relate to the characters, which suggests they’re even more likely to stick with the book. 

It also shows your kids that with a little imagination they have the power to achieve their dreams. Dahl’s enchanting writing style enables the imagination to flow, improving creative thinking, and sparking an interest in further learning.

How to get involved

Looking for something fun yet educational to do this summer? Why not make an entire week out of Roald Dahl day. It will allow your child to fully immerse themselves in the fascinating tales and moral learnings so cleverly woven into the books.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Read one of the books and then watch the film adaptation to spot the differences. Which one did they engage with better, and what did they learn from the characters in each? 
  • Dress up as you and your kids’ favourite characters from the books (or films) and re-enact some of their favourite parts of the book.
  • Make your own Marvellous Medicine and get your kids to explain how they made it, who for and what it does.
  • Create your own Willy Wonka treats, fit for The Chocolate Factory with a tasting session afterwards!
  • Get creative and draw some of your favourite characters. Experiment with watercolours and pens just like Quentin Blake!

Roald Dahl Day also presents an ideal opportunity to combat the dreaded summer learning loss and can help encourage more reluctant readers. 

What is Summer Learning Loss?

As your kids return to school for the Autumn Term, there is a theory called Summer Learning Loss that suggests children return slightly less capable than they were before the summer holidays. 

Also known as the Summer Slide or Summer Setback, it’s worth remembering it’s perfectly normal. Despite not being that well known among the general public, it has existed as a theory as far back as 1906 and has been well documented and studied since then.

The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to prevent it and help the transition between holiday and back to school.

A mutually enjoyable way is to take your child on an educational trip to somewhere rich in culture and nature. This could mean a trip abroad or somewhere closer with significant natural beauty or historical interest. 

Most attractions have deals for school children during the summer holidays, so why not head to a dinosaur museum, a nature reserve or go camping?

The easiest option is to set up a reading schedule for your child with carefully chosen books that cover multiple aspects of development. This will help maintain their literacy levels and inspire them to continue reading and learning.

Why are some children reluctant readers?

It isn’t always easy to get kids reading as some are nervous or reluctant. From general lack of interest in learning, difficulty understanding or concentration struggles, many things might worry a child surrounding reading during the holidays.

This is perfectly normal, and there are a few easy ways to combat it:

  • Choose books surrounding topics your child already enjoys
  • If your child is a visual reader, try comics or books with lots of pictures
  • Sit and read to them to ease them into new books and let them read the rest
  • Choose books with main characters like your child 
  • Choose books with moral learnings to boost learning benefits
  • Encourage reading at home at all times and have a good variety of books for your kids to pick from

How Roald Dahl can help Summer Learning Loss and reluctant readers

As Dahl’s books are so popular, they are widely available from local libraries and learning centres. Some schools even offer teacher-guided reading sessions

Given the wide variety of topics covered, inspiring educational characters, and compelling illustrations, Roald Dahl’s books tick all the boxes when it comes to engaging books. 

And we all know, the more interesting the book is, the more likely your child will get lost in it and maintain their literacy levels without them even being aware! 

There are loads of ways to get involved with Roald Dahl Day this year, and it’s a great way to conquer Summer Learning Loss. So, test out what works best for your child, and they’ll have all the tools and confidence they need to return to school!