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.
Cape Cod Moms