Engaging children in summer reading not only inspires them to continue their growth in literacy throughout the summer but is also a great way to beat the heat on those extra hot days that make you want to stay inside. Here are five creative ways you can help make summer reading more fun while helping young children build confidence in their abilities.
Take your child on regular trips to the library.
Taking a trip to the local library is a great, fun, reading-centered activity that children love. Allow your child to spend as much or as little time as they want picking out books to take home. Ask them questions about why they chose a book — was it because they liked the cover? Maybe they thought the title was silly. Their answers may surprise you!
BONUS! Many libraries offer free, engaging activities for children and families in the summer. Reach out to your local library to find a schedule of summer activities as another way to generate excitement about reading and continuous learning. Plus, the library is a great place to cool off on a hot day!
Create a reading nook in your home.
Add cozy blankets, a lamp, and big comfortable pillows that will invite your child to settle in and relax with a good book. You can use a quiet spot inside a closet, under a canopy, or in the corner of a room. You can even let your child help you create the space with their own additions or ideas.
Read to your child (no matter how old they are)
Audiobooks are proof that we're never too old to listen to a good story. This is also a great way to help young children read books they may not be ready to read themselves. Pick out books together to help build excitement for the story to come.
Team up with animals
Reading to your family pet is a great way for shy readers to practice. It's also a great way to add another layer of excitement to reading time! If your child is too young to read themselves, have them sit with you while you read to the family pet together. And if your children don’t have a fur sibling, keep in mind that many animal shelters welcome kids to come read to the animals (the pets benefit from the socialization just as much as the children benefit from the reading practice).
Set a goal and work together to achieve it
Set a goal for the number of books you'd like to read during the summer and work together to check them off as you go! You can create a summer reading chart or tracking list where you write books you'd like to read (or are reading) and add a star or sticker as you finish each one. Turn the act of checking off each book into a big celebration!