Summer reading adventures

Summer is almost here, the days are getting longer, and soon school will be over for another year. Children’s thoughts turn to swimming, skateboards, baseball and bike riding. For some children, reading is a favorite summer activity, but this is not the case for many others. Keeping children reading during the summer is a must! When they don’t read over the summer, their reading level is almost always lower when they return to school in the fall.

It’s not hard to help children keep their interest in reading and learning. Children learn through a variety of activities and almost everything presents an opportunity to read. Here are some ways to make reading a fun and enjoyable activity — not a chore — for kids during the summer.

• Make reading fun! Find places for children to read — a tent outside, a fort, on the playground, at a nearby park, etc.

• Provide a variety of reading materials — the latest books, comics, and magazines are more likely to engage their interest.

• On family trips, have children read other things — signs, information about the destination, billboards, and so on. Fun reading games while traveling are the typical word ABC hunts. Words can be found on billboards, cars, and signs for every letter of the alphabet.

• Help children get their own library cards. Libraries are great resources for summer! They also have summer reading incentive programs and mobile book libraries.

• Set up a book club! Reading with friends is more fun.

• Encourage a child to keep a summer journal — reading and writing go hand in hand.

• Read with the children. Pick a suitable book with chapters and set time aside each day to read a chapter together.

• Have kids try buddy reading. Invite older kids to read to younger ones. This could be viewed as their “job.”

• Start a summer scrapbook. Include souvenirs from any trips you take, photos, ticket stubs, and projects worked on during the summer.

• Take a walk. Write about the things you see.

• When you are eating breakfast, read the cereal box. If you are in a restaurant, read the menu.

• Read the newspaper with your children and discuss what is happening in the world.

• Celebrate the completion of reading a book as a family!

• Encourage a child to read and use “to do” books. Kids love to do “stuff. Reading can be used as a starting place for arts and crafts activities, sports, cooking, science experiments, etc.

Family reading time – one night a week turn off the screens, and have every one pick up a good book or magazine for 15 – 20 minutes. Not only does this create good reading practice time for kids, but it shows them that parents enjoy reading too, and encourages them to read. Modeling is always more powerful than telling.