Confession time, have your kids been reading this summer? Or have they been playing a few video games and watching TV a little more than you’d like to admit? I’ll be honest, my kids are pretty balanced this summer. While I’ve been a little more relaxed on screen time and bedtime, they have been spotted with books in their hands at least once a day. I’m blessed to have little bookworms and I know that for many children summer reading can be a chore. I’m going to share some of my secrets with you and some tips for how to encourage your little ones to pick up a book instead of a remote.
1. Visit your library! My kids BEG me to go to the library. Not just for the books but for the summer activities, interaction with other kids, playing with puzzles and dolls, and just to get out of the house. Many libraries have summer programs for kids of all ages so be sure to plan your trip accordingly. Bonus: Your kids can check out a few books to have around the house for FREE!
2. Read along as a family! Pick a series or a long book and read along as a family each day. My son actually loves it when I read the same book as him so we have something to talk about. My daughter is just now starting to read (she’s 5) and likes to be read to every night before bed. Why not pick a book the whole family can enjoy and read it before or after dinner?
3. Read outdoors! Have your kids pack a few of their favorite books and visit your local park, beach, lake, or treehouse and read outdoors. Pack a picnic lunch and make an afternoon of fun while everyone relaxes with their favorite book. Pitch a tent and camp out under the stars with flashlights and stay up really late reading while eating smores by the campfire.
4. Hold a community book swap! Invite your children’s friends over for a book swap. I’m sure your kids are bored with some of the books on their bookshelf and a book swap can be a fun way to find out what their friends are reading. For added fun, ask each child to come dressed as their favorite character or bring a food dish inspired by their favorite book.
5. Start a summer reading challenge! There are summer reading challenges that reward kids for their reading with free books, prizes, and even baseball tickets. Find a program locally or participate in a challenge online. The Rays have paired up with the local libraries for Reading with the Rays; if your child reads for 24 hours they get a free Rays ticket! Read any 8 books and Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program will reward your child with a free book. Once your child reads 5 books they can be entered to win prizes from the Pizza Hut Summer Book It Challenge. Kids who read 8 books from a recommended book list by July 31st will receive a free book from Pottery Barn Kids summer reading challenge. Your kids can enter weekly contests and win prizes in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and may be able to help their school win a new Scholastic library!
How are your kids doing with their summer reading? Do you have any tips to share? Just comment below, we’d love to hear from you.