You know you put it somewhere — that summer reading list that most children get at the end of the school year. While it can be hard to get into reading during a sunny, splashy summer, studies show that children who continue to read actually gain skills that they otherwise may have lost. Reading during the summer is an excellent way to enrich the brain and keep it active and ready for September.
The best ways to make reading part of summer fun
Here are some tips for encouraging your kids to embrace reading, while still having fun in the sun.
- Read aloud with your child every day.
- Go over the school’s reading list with your child and help her choose three or more books that seem interesting to her.
- Bring a book when you go to the pool, to the beach or to the park.
- Set a good example by turning off the television and reading your own summer book.
- Read the same book your child is reading and discuss it with him. You could even start a family book club and meet once a week at dinner to talk about it.
- Let kids choose what they want to read (unless the material is inappropriate for children), because if you try to push the “classics” over popular fiction, you may end up discouraging the reading habit.
- Take your children to the library regularly. Visits to bookstores are just as fun, and many kids’ sections have tables and chairs where you can sit and enjoy the books on the shelves.
- Subscribe to popular kids’ magazines, such as Highlights, National Geographic Worldor Sports Illustrated for Kids. Sit together and go through the magazines — many have fun or kooky stories to laugh about together.
- Take advantage of “waiting time” (such as doctor’s appointments) to share books. Have a book on hand in case your child forgets hers.
- Encourage your kids to become pen pals with friends they may not see much during the summer. Have your child write to his friends at sleepover camp, for example.
- Keep a summer scrapbook with captions and written memories. Work on it with your child.
Sustaining and enhancing your child’s reading skills is an opportunity for relaxation and togetherness for all of you. Keep it enjoyable and it’ll only add to the summer fun.