Summer’s here! With the excitement and joy that summer brings, don’t forget to incorporate some learning into all those hours of freedom. We have been looking at ways to do this based on various school subjects over the last few weeks, and now we take a look at reading. Summer is a great time for kids to realize that learning is fun, and reading is one of those areas that just may need some extra motivation and enjoyment attached to it for your child!
One of the best ways you can foster the love of reading is by doing just that- reading! Let your kids read what they want to read. Self-selected instead of teacher or parent-selected books can encourage enjoyment because the topics relate to that child’s specific interests. Encourage reading for pleasure by not just limiting reading to books, but allow your child to choose from a variety of reading materials such as magazines or comic books. Although it may sound strange, your kids seeing YOU reading can be a big motivator. Don’t expect your kids to form a habit of reading unless they see you doing it and enjoying it, too.
Here are some unconventional and exciting ways to incorporate reading into the summer:
Don’t skip family meal time: It may sound strange, but you can achieve the same (if not better) vocabulary development that is achieved through reading by making sure you are eating together regularly. Even though it can be easy to get a bit lazy about having everyone sit down to the table during the summer, keeping up this practice can foster similar gains to reading in the category of overall language development. Keep those conversations flowing to help kids continue learning!
Have a family book/movie club: Your kids may not even realize that many of the movies they love were originally story books. Have the family read some of those books throughout the summer. Celebrate the completion of each book by having a family movie night to compare the book to the movie. Kids may realize how much richness can be found in reading when they see how many details are left out of the movie.
Take advantage of all that libraries have to offer: In addition to going to the library to have kids self-
select books, libraries offer many other benefits. Check into summer reading programs that offer incentives and prizes for reading hours or number of books read. Explore sections of the library you haven’t been to before such as the international section to take a stab at reading a book in another language. Rent a free movie or two or enjoy a read-aloud session while you’re there.
Encourage comprehension development through games: Younger kids may need assistance in understanding what they read. In order to be sure their reading has meaning, write general questions on a beach ball or purchase a pre-made one. These could include where the story takes place, what characters were in the story, what your favorite part of the book was, or the order of story events. Toss the ball to each other, and answer the question that your right thumb lands on.
No matter what activities you do this summer related to academics, be sure to keep them fun and interactive so that kids will want to keep doing them. We would love to hear other ideas you use to foster the learning of social studies, writing, math, science, and reading concepts at your house. Please feel free to share comments below and on the other posts in this series.
If you love this post, make sure to also check out these which are part of our Children’s Summer Learning series:
Interactive Children’s Science Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Math Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Writing Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Social Studies Activities for Summertime