Some kids can’t keep their noses out of books; for others, there may be a pull to do anything and everything but read. While the summer months are a nice break from the hectic routines found within the school year, they shouldn’t be a break from learning. Keeping kids engaged with reading over the summer is imperative to helping them grow and easily transition into the upcoming school year.
Making reading a priority at home is a perfect way to help this transition occur. Setting aside some time during the day where all members of the family are reading can be a great way to work toward bridging the gap between school sessions. When everyone is reading, kids of all ages are able to see and begin to ingrain that reading is a foundational priority. Aside from a collective time to read, these are 5 additional ways to add some motivation and/or sneak in more reading within the spoils of summer.
- How-To Texts– Summer is a perfect time to do lots of informational reading that gets kids exploring, experimenting, and creating. Build some excitement by making reading the secondary mission of the activity. Any instruction manual or set of directions is a great way to get kids reading on the sly. They can build rockets, bake brownies, make slime, etc. The hidden component of all of these activities is the need to read through a set of instructions to make them happen. Head to the library or search the web for books and links to kid-friendly science experiments, recipes, and more.
- Trip/Activity Research & Planning– If a vacation, day trip, or local activity is on the summer calendar, having kids take on the role of travel agent is a great way to get them reading and building research skills. Planning out a trip by selecting must-see landmarks or must-do activities gives kids an opportunity to read up on the variety of offerings that are available. This could involve kids making their case for a particular destination and/or the activities to be experienced upon arrival. From exploring a new city to discovering the little-known offerings and tips for visiting a local favorite, the role of in-house travel planner requires lots of reading.
- Reading Apps– There are endless apps that can impact kids’ reading skills. When children can pick up a device and navigate through a series of games and activities to build reading skills, they feel like it’s a bit of a screen-time win. For parents, it’s a win-win. While there are lots of apps with a focus on skills, there are also lots of ebooks and interactive apps that transform stories and novels in new and digitized ways.
- Family Reading Clubs– Having some time for all family members to grab their own book choices and read is an excellent part of a daily routine. Adding a single title for all family members to enjoy together is an additional boon to building a love for reading. Programs like Family Dinner Book Club offer great titles, menus, activities, and more for diving into books together. There are lots of book clubs out there for different groups, and choosing a title to create a family club is just as rewarding. There are many ideas for families with young readers and those looking to find some higher-level titles.
- Reading Incentive Programs– In a perfect world, kids would simply dive into books to satiate an intrinsic love of reading. Sometimes fostering that love requires a bit of extrinsic motivation. That’s when kids and parents can turn to a variety of reading incentive programs. Most local libraries offer summertime reading programs, and many retailers (i.e., Barnes & Noble, Half Price Books, Pizza Hut) have also designed programs to reward kids for achieving reading goals. Adding that extra bit of incentive can be just what’s needed to make help daily reading inch up on the summer priority list.
Building reading skills doesn’t need to look like a chunk of the day with a timer set. When kids see reading as a fun and interactive way to explore the world around them, it makes them more eager to build on this skill. Not all kids are eager to crack open a book over the summer months, so these helpful tips and tricks can get kids (and parents) well on their way to exploring more text.