Tips to Make Summer Reading Fun

Summer Reading

I love summer. Long, lazy days, warmer weather, sun-kissed everything. Life slows down a bit for our family allowing us more time to connect.

Our kids take a break from academic learning and instead learn through play and other real-life scenarios.

We take bike rides. We catch bugs. And we read–not because the teacher said so, but entirely for fun.

Research shows reading in the summer slows down the so-called ‘summer slide’ of what kids learn throughout the school year.

Here are some of our favorite ways to keep young minds active and make reading fun this summer.

Tips to Make Summer Reading Fun

Visit the library.
The library is an oasis of possibilities. You’ll find picture books, easy readers, chapter books, comic books, books on tape, the list goes on.

We visit our local library on a regular basis. The kids love picking out their own books and discovering new ones.

Most libraries have a summer reading program. And it’s FREE! You (or your child if they are old enough) record how many minutes read. Kids love keeping track of their minutes and charting. If the goal is met, they are rewarded with a goodie bag filled with prizes. Who doesn’t love prizes?

You can even make it a competition among the siblings to see whoever can read the most minutes. If your kids are anything like mine, adding a little competition will do the trick.

Let them read what they want.
Does your child want to read that comic book about underwear they’ve already read 10 times? Or perhaps they love bugs and want to read a book about them?

Let them read what’s going to get them hooked. Before you know it, they’ll be more willing to try other types of books.

Take our youngest son, for example. He enjoys baseball and when he found the “Ballpark Mystery” series at our local library, he read every single book in the series.

Our middle son is a curious soul. When he discovered the “Who Was” series, he devoured the books as fast as possible. Let’s just say that kid knows way more about famous people than I do!

Reading what interests your child is key to making them want to keep reading.

Read aloud daily.
You can read aloud any book. I used to think we could only read pictures books together, but that changed when our kids started reading chapter books.

There are often words in all books you read together that your child won’t know or understand. Reading aloud gives you the opportunity to discuss new vocabulary. It also lets you talk about the lesson learned in the book and how the book made them feel.

And when you read together, you are making time for your child. This speaks volumes to them.

Start a family book club.
Choose a book as a family this summer and have everyone read it. If your child is too young to read chapter books, read it aloud with them.

Agree on a date the book needs to be finished by. After that date, go out for family ice cream and discuss what you liked, didn’t like, etc. about the book. Your kids will love this family activity!

Carve out time daily to read.
Since our kids were little, we’ve had some sort of quiet time each day where they read and relax. This time is necessary for me to recharge my mom batteries!

When they were little, it was a more structured time each day. Typically after lunch, they’d head up to their rooms and ‘read’. If they couldn’t yet read, they’d look at books and pretend to read.

Now that they’re older, we aren’t as structured as to when or where they read. But we do ask that they read each day. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes. What typically happens is they read much longer because they get hooked on the story.

Read in unusual places.
It’s important to change things up to make reading an exciting thing to do in the summer.

Kids can make a reading nook in a fort they’ve built, read outside on the trampoline, read with a flashlight in their closet, read in the bath, or at breakfast.

The possibilities are endless! Let them use their imagination to drum up new ideas. Or download these free summer reading calendars for more ideas.

When all else fails, incentivize!
Maybe you have a child who just doesn’t like to read, no matter where or what the book is about.

If that’s the case, try to reward them for reading. You need to choose a reward that will motivate them. As parents know, each child is motivated differently so do what works for your child.

Does your child like movies? One idea is to have them read a book that has been made into a movie. The reward for reading the book is to watch the movie.

If your kids are anything like ours, they enjoy screen time. You could say, “You can play video games after you read.” Or “You can have iPad time after you read.”

Our hope is that rewards aren’t a long-term solution to developing a love of reading. But if all else fails, it can help!

Make Reading Fun

Reading in the summer should be about joy. Kids have enough tedious reading during the school year.

If they can discover the joy of immersing themselves in the world of a story, it will not only stop the summer brain-drain, but help them build character, learn about life and develop empathy for others.

We hope these summer reading tips will keep your readers having fun!

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