10 Ways to Encourage Your Kids To Read More This Summer
Summer brings about new routines and rhythms. It brings lazy mornings and long evenings. Summer brings children who are excited to have a break from school and all the hard work that goes along with being a student.
My children will be out of school in a few weeks. We know that our children are usually asked to and/or often required to read throughout the summer. It’s a good and important request as we understand the many benefits of reading, but getting kids to read in the summer can be a struggle.
How can we encourage our children to read during their summer break?
I have 10 ideas that might just help our reluctant readers keep their noses in the books this summer.
1) Head to your local library.
My children are usually very happy to go to the library, and even on a grumpy day with a reluctant child, things somehow get better when we walk into the library. “I don’t like books!” quickly becomes, “Mom, check out this book!!” This summer my children and I are attempting to visit a different library each week checking out the various children’s rooms and books available in the different locations.
2) Listen to audio books.
While you’re at the library, check out a few audio books. We love listening to audio books while we’re in the car. We also love audio books on a rainy (summer) day. We have found that a narrator can really make or break the experience of listening, so doing a quick preview or reading reviews beforehand can be helpful. Audio books are a great way to “read” even more this summer.
3) Sign up for reading programs.
Your local library most likely has a reading program as do numerous book stores, restaurants, banks, and various organizations. Do a Google search for “summer reading programs”, and see what turns up!
4) Read to them.
Read to your kids. If your children aren’t readers, read to them. If your children are readers, read to them. Some of the most special moments with my children have happened as we shared a story together.
5) Read with them.
Grab a book and sit down next to your child while they read. Throw a bunch of pillows on the floor and cuddle up together with a stack of books. You will get some reading done, and so will your children. Telling your kids to read is a good idea, but showing them that you, too, are a reader is inspiring.
6) Introduce a new genre.
Children often gravitate to the same genres. This summer introduce them to something new. Are they fiction-lovers? Find them some intriguing non-fiction. Are they sports’ fans who eat up all the non-fiction football books? Find some page-turning sports’ themed fiction. Bring home poetry, biographies, mysteries, and historical fiction. Give them the opportunity to explore and reach for something new!
7) Take your books outside.
Warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to take your books outside. Grab a large blanket, some pillows, or beach chairs, and head out to your yard or park. My kids love to read in their tree house. There's just something about digging into a good book while outside that encourages even more reading.
8) Create an incentive.
Reading programs have various incentives, so create your own family incentive. Make a chart, set a goal, and celebrate when your children have attained it. Simple celebratory options could include: ice cream sundaes, a camp-out in the backyard, or dinner at your favorite restaurant.
9) Throw a book party.
Looking for a reason to throw a party? Consider throwing a book party. Have your child invite friends over and celebrate reading. Choose one book and use that book as the theme or just celebrate books, in general. Have a simple snack table, throw down a blanket, a stack of books, and let the kids read together or to one another. You could also have a dress up station or an art table. The ideas and fun are endless!
10) Have a screen free week.
When screens aren’t an option, books and other entertainment suddenly seem more enjoyable. Choose one week this summer to go screen free, and take an extra trip to the library or bookstore. Inspire an environment of reading by eliminating screens. We plan on doing our week in August!
For many children reading might not be number 1 on their summer bucket list. Hopefully, with a little encouragement from you, you may find them reaching for a book just a little more often.
Charissa was born and raised on Cape Cod. After 9 years away from the Cape, she and her husband returned home to start their family. A former 5th grade teacher, Charissa has spent the last 12 years at home with her 3 children while working various part-time jobs. Just about a year and a half ago she decided to pursue something she had been thinking about for many years; she started a blog! She loves sharing her passion for living a full life without all the busy over at http://www.thenotsobusymom.com/. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@thenotsobusymom) to learn more.
With the Cape Cod Parent Resource Fair rapidly approaching we will be sharing blog posts on our participating sponsors, vendors and nonprofits. You will find out more about these amazing businesses and what they offer to our community. They will be sharing their services, advice, what challenges face our community as well as upcoming events they will be having. Make sure to check out our virtual program and resource guide ahead of the event so you can plan for what you want to see! We hope to see you at the Resource Fair!
1.) Tell us about your business/non profit and how it benefits local families?
Usborne Books & More is an award-winning publisher of the most exciting, engaging, and educational books on the market today! They are high-quality, innovative, lavishly-illustrated, and best of all, they are the books kids love to read! Usborne Books & More provides books that can compete with the vast media that attracts children today. From activity books, to fantastic fiction stories and wonderful multicultural picture book stories and more, Usborne Books & More is broadening the world and imaginations of children of all ages, while promoting literacy.
2. Where is it located?
Usborne Books and More is based in the UK, with divisions in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
3. What is your favorite part about our community?
Sandwich has been my home for the last 6 years, and I have enjoyed the small-town feel of this community. When my family first moved here, we came home to brownies on our doorstep from our neighbor! I didn’t think, before moving here, that people did things like this in real life! Since then, we have been helped in multiple ways in this community, and we have tried to do our share to help out too. I love seeing how this community comes together to support each other!
4. How else do you get involved with the community?
I have been attending a vendor show monthly in Falmouth, in which I can share my love for these amazing books and also support other moms and their passion for their companies!
5. What are the biggest challenges facing parents in our community?
Not only in our community, but in every community really, I think one of the biggest challenges parents face today is the overabundance of media available to our children. There is no way to shut it out from our children’s lives completely, but I think it is important to try and set aside some non-electronic time for our children every day, whether that’s reading a book, playing outside, playing a board game, or all of the above.
6. What is your favorite memory or story over the years involving you and your business?
I have only been involved with Usoborne Books & More for about 7 months now, but I am encouraged every time I receive a message from a parent, saying that their child loves their new book! On one occasion, I had sent a message, to a women who placed an order with me, that her books should be arriving to her that day. She emailed me back saying that she had been having a bad day, and that receiving my message had made her day. That in turn made my day! I love sharing these books and seeing how happy they make parents and their children!
7. What advice would you give parents and care givers in our community?
To parents and caregivers, I would say to spend great quality time with your children! Make that time count. Reading, playing, crafting, talking, listening all serve to create a strong bond between parent and child, which in turn, will give that child confidence and allow for better social/emotional development.
8. Do you have any specials, events, or anything else taking place this upcoming year that our parents should know?
I have a VIP group on Facebook that can be found at facebook.com/groups/capedbooks , where I post the latest info, specials, sales, new releases, etc. There is also a link to order books at any time! If you are interested in learning more about these amazing books, I encourage you to join!
Dr. Seuss Museum
This past Sunday my family and I had the opportunity to head out to Springfield, MA for a complimentary visit in return for an unbiased review of the museum. The Dr. Seuss Museum is part of the Springfield Museums which are open Tuesday–Saturday: 10–5 Sunday: 11–5 Monday: Closed and are located at 21 Edwards Street Springfield, MA 01103. There is a small free parking lot by the entrance to the visitors center. Admission is as follows Adults: $25, Seniors (60+): $16.50, Youth 3–17: $13, Children Under 3: Free and Students: $16.50 which gets you into all the Springfield Museums.
We arrived at the museum at 10:30 so the kids could play in the sculpture garden before the museums opened. They had a great time running around the Horton Court sculpture and looking at the Grinch and Lorax sculptures. At 11am we entered the Dr. Suess Museum where we spent 90 minutes. We started in the Fairfield Street room (where Seuss grew up) where the kids liked ringing the bell to hear the zoo animals and checking out the Howard Street Armory. In Young Ted in Springfield you can play in a bakery like Ted did in his grandparent's bakery as a child. You can also create your own virtual fish, and build your own zoo out of Duplos. In Readingville you can build a turtle tower, play ABC games of a computer, do Green Eggs and Ham word play, and make your own story with story blocks. On really neat feature that can be found in the Oh the Places You Will Go is you can write down a goal, desire or what you want to be when you grow up and place it in the Things You Can Wish wishing boxes. The last room on the first floor is the pet shop where you can watch old animated Dr. Seuss stories and play with lots of stuffed animals in the pet bed, cat climbing structure, animal carriers and put hats of them.
In the basement you can enjoy reading all different Dr. Seuss books, do crafts, and play games. The basement is setup much the way a preschool classroom might be with an easel that has a sign that tells what the three activities are that day. On Sunday the actives were an apple craft, Fall tangram puzzles, and apple matching game. My seven year old's favorite part was the apple craft and she would have spent lots of time making lots of different apples if we had stayed at the craft room for an hour.
The second floor is less interesting for young children as it is mostly history and artifacts from/about Ted Geisel’s life plus information about the making of the sculpture garden. I didn’t really get an opportunity to look at because the kids were done with being in the museum and wanted lunch. But my husband said there were lots of interesting information and artifacts to look at.
You could definitely make a day at the museums. I would recommend going to the Luxe Burger Bar that is 6/10s of a mile from the museum and has something for everyone from vegan to carnivore.
Have you been to the Springfield Museums? What was your favorite exhibit?
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge 2017
Cape Cod Moms