4 Ways to Encourage Summer Reading
A few weeks ago we all heard a collective ‘thud’ as kids’ backpacks were flung to the floor on the last day of school. The backpacks will likely be forgotten until they’re needed again in the fall. However, the same shouldn’t be said for the reading skills acquired over the previous school year.
It can be challenging to encourage children to read during the summer, especially when most kids would rather take the summer off from academics. Taking a break from learning can cause a regression, but with a little creative thinking you can help your child stay on track for when classes pick back up in the fall. Read below for some helpful tips to encourage your child to enjoy reading all summer long!
For some kids, summer vacation means endless hours reading in the sun, soaking up the latest adventures from their favorite authors. For other kids, summer means moving their bodies as much as possible. If your child is a mover during the summer, reading doesn’t come naturally, or they just plain “don’t wanna,” it can feel like getting your child to read is an uphill battle. Luckily there are many ways to make reading fun:
Even adults love a little reward now and then, and kids are no different! Here are some ways to reward your kids for reading:
Movies — Intentionally introduce books that have been made into movies. When your child has finished the book, rent the movie and enjoy a family movie night! Don’t forget the popcorn!
Themed Adventures — Base a family outing on the book your child is currently reading. For instance, if she’s reading Charlotte’s Web, you can go outside and learn about spiders.
Share a Sweet Treat — Finishing a book is a big accomplishment. Celebrate with an ice cream party or with your child’s favorite candy!
2. Read Together
Kids are naturally interested in what their parents are doing, and those activities stick with kids when parents engage their children. Reading can become a lifelong activity when good memories are created around it. Here’s how:
Schedule a Time — Kids are more apt to agree to read if the time is carved out in their day rather than sprung upon them. Encourage wind down time by scheduling reading time right before bed.
Read Aloud — This habit creates a bonding activity your child will look forward to every day. You can either read aloud or have them read to you. This will give you a chance to encourage them and help them build their reading confidence.
Go To the Library — Each week, schedule a special time to go to the library together. Keep a log of the books you’ve read together and celebrate with a special child/parent date at the end of the summer.
3. Social Reading
Some kids are social and miss seeing their classmates during summer break. Here are some ways reading can bring friends together:
Book Club — Books for any age can be discussed with fellow readers! It’s a great way to hear how someone else may interpret the same story.
Read a Cliffhanger — If meeting for a book club doesn’t work, you can still keep your child engaged with friends by reading a chapter book together. They will have fun speculating about what might happen next!
Write Letters — Kids love getting mail! Have your children send letters to their friends. Encourage them to ask questions which require a response so your kids get letters back!
4. Think Outside the Box
Creative thinking about when and where your child reads can make it more fun. Here are some ways to adjust your child’s thinking about reading from feeling like work to feeling like fun:
Change Up the Place — Write down some fun places to read on several pieces of paper: in a tent, in mom and dad’s bed, on your lap, in a hammock, etc. Have your child draw a piece of paper from a jar making the reading place a surprise each time!
Subscribe To a Magazine — Remember how kids like getting mail? There are many educational magazines you can subscribe to, like Zoobooks, National Geographic Kids, or Highlights, that will create excitement around reading and learning.
Make a Game Of it — While you’re on your summer road trip, make up car games surrounding reading. Point out objects for your children to spell, play Mad Libs, or take turns reading a chapter book aloud to pass the time.
While there can still be plenty of time for free play this summer, it’s important to keep your child’s reading skills sharp. With consistent reading, encouragement, and rewards, your child will gain confidence and create fond memories around books.
To ensure your child is growing in reading and other cognitive skills, schedule a brain skills assessment by contacting us today. LearningRx has several programs to keep your child on track for a strong start to the school year ahead!