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Solid tips on how to use summer to give your kids a love of reading - from the nonprofit organization Raising a Reader

Tips for Making Reading a Part of Your Summer

Image Credit: © Julie Falk | 04.23.05 | CC by 2.0 (text added)

When we published our free B.O.R.E.D. printable last week I told you we’d be following up with some posts on how to help your kids carry out the different tasks. Today we’re addressing R – read a book with the help of the non-profit Raising a Reader.

They’re hooking us up with some really solid ideas on how to keep kids reading this summer and how to use the time to instill a love of reading that will last a lifetime.  According to Gabrielle Miller, Ed.D., national executive director of Raising A Reader:

“It is important to instill a love of books in children at an early age and introduce reading as a pleasurable experience. One way to do this is to establish a regular home-based literacy program that is independent of school, and the summer is a perfect time to start.”

Sounds like some sage advice to me – let’s raise us some readers, shall we? Here’s how…

Put it on the Schedule

  • Reading often gets lost in the shuffle of summer activities such as camp, sports and vacation travel. Schedule a regular time to share books with your child and establish a regular routine to ensure reading doesn’t become a low priority and has the same importance as other activities.

 Read the Book, Watch the Movie

  • If your child wants to see a summer blockbuster movie that is based on a book, read the book with your child first and then let them see the movie as a reward. This also works well with popular movies on DVD. Engage your child in discussions about differences or similarities between the book and the movie.

 Take it Outside

  • Create an outdoor reading area so the while family can enjoy the summer weather and not feel stuck inside. Children generally read indoors, so being outdoors will create a new environment for enjoying a book and boost a child’s enthusiasm for reading.

 Bring it to Life

  • Find books that are centered on summer activities he or she enjoys. If your child likes to go horseback riding, for example, find books about horses or stories with horses as an integral part of the plot. This will give a child a welcome change from the types of books read during the school year and better complement their summer.

 Research Your Adventures

  • If you are taking a trip, read books about your destination with your child before you leave. Do some “research” with them on the location and find things in the area they want to do while visiting.

 Take “Reading Breaks”

  • If you are taking your kids somewhere for the day, such as a pool, the beach, a picnic or the zoo, pack a book to share and have a reading break or two during day. After an hour or so in the water, your child may enjoy 30 minutes of reading on a comfortable chair or even floating on a raft.

 Create a Summer Reading Challenge

  • We’re going to have another awesome MPMK printable for you very soon to help with this one! The whole family can use it and participate in earning rewards together. When a book is through, be sure to engage your child in a discussion about the book, talk about what they liked and ask thought-provoking questions such as coming up with a different ending or a new character.

Thanks so much to Raising A Reader for the help and for ideas on which books to read this summer, be sure to check out all of our in-house children’s librarian’s picks over on the book nook.

Raising A Reader is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to helping families develop, practice and maintain literacy habits for children ages 0-8 that are critical for a child’s success in school and in life. The Raising A Reader program is implemented through a network of community partners that comprise more than 2,500 locations across the country.

Partners include public school systems, libraries, afterschool programs, community agencies and other organizations both public and private. Headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., Raising A Reader was founded in 1999 and has served more than 1.25 million families nationwide. More information is available at www.RaisingAReader.org.

For even more help keeping the kids busy this summer, don’t forget…

Camp mom activities eBook

Our Camp Mom activities eBook is once again available for sale for a limited time only.

It’s an 84 page PDF from my all-time favorite play bloggers, and myself, stuffed with activities, reading lists, and advice for kicking back and connecting with your kids this summer.

Learn more and get your copy here.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Krista June 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm

These are great ideas. Mine aren’t big readers so we’re trying to encourage it however we can this summer! I’m going to try a couple of these!


A-Plus IS June 17, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Thank you for sharing these helpful ideas in encouraging our kids to read even on summer. I am a preschool teacher and a proud mom of two kids already and I make it habit that I sit with them at night time before going to sleep and read books with them. In this way, they also develop their reading comprehension and getting used to reading books of their interest. I would be very much interested to try out your ideas.


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