Let’s face it, keeping kids engaged in learning can often be challenging during the summer months! Whether busy with camps or friends, summertime reading can often fall by the wayside. However, with less scheduling and more time (hopefully!), it’s also the perfect opportunity to encourage kids to expand their knowledge through reading. There is an entire week, the National Summer Learning Week, created to celebrate the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer and ensuring they return to school ready to succeed!
Here are six easy ways to keep kids reading and learning all summer:
1. Be flexible. Summer is about letting kids be kids and not beholden to a schedule. Instead of requiring a set amount of daily reading minutes, suggest a total number of minutes to be met by the end of the week or even the month.
2. Change it up. The options for reading materials are endless these days. Look into ebooks, e-comics, magazines, poetry, audiobooks, graphic novels, and more. Giving your child the freedom to choose the reading material and platform will increase their reading enjoyment.
3. Provide a change of scenery. Take the reading outside, under a favorite tree, or in a backyard tent. Make it even more enjoyable by creating a unique summer book nook.
If your child is learning a new language and you are lucky enough to live in an area home to many different ethnic groups, take a field trip. Visit a restaurant and have your child read the menu in the language they are learning. Better yet, have your child use their new language skills and converse with someone who is a native speaker. In addition, you can also pair bilingual books with language learning apps to help with language learning.
4. Stack a summer reading bag. Whether on a family road trip or waiting in line, it helps to have some reading material on hand to pass the time. (Downloading a reading app on your phone or bringing an electronic reading device counts too!)
5. Join your local library reading program. Younger children love to cross things off on their summer reading log and receive prizes for their efforts. Check out our recent post on bilingual book recommendations.
6. Read as a family. If children see their parents or caregivers reading, they will often want to do the same. Set aside time to read together. You can read aloud or individually. Create opportunities to talk about what everyone is reading.
Visit this blog post by PBS Kids for some additional ideas!