Summer’s in full swing, and many students are out of school, with caregivers looking for meaningful activities to keep their kids engaged through those long summer days. Reading is a great way to do this–as ongoing reading and learning opportunities help stymie the summer slide phenomenon kids experience annually1. Why not engage in this activity as a family or better yet as a community? Read on for some ways you can make reading clubs fun and excite the whole family.
Charity starts at home. As caregivers, you are the best rolemodels for what active reading looks, sounds, and feels like. If you are in love with reading and make it a daily practice, then your kids will generally follow suit. Whether the family’s reading the same book or everyone’s doing their own thing, be sure to set some time aside each week or even each day to talk about what’s being read. Variations on this can be picking different books by the same author, books within certain genres, or books on related subjects (e.g. books on friendship or outer space). Grab some snacks or dessert after a meal and get kids talking about what they read or saw in the story. It’s a great way to connect and wind down at the end of the day or a way to focus before heading off to other summer activities.
The library is your friend. Really, it is a great place to find popular books on many topics of interests, and they can borrow from other libraries if one has that perfect book your family has to have. Plus, they have loads of reading-themed programs to switch it up on days when the kiddos want a change of pace. With many libraries allowing you to check out up to 99 books at a time per card holder, you can have that home library going in no time without spending one dime!
Make it a destination…or a play date! Invite a few friends with kids over and have them talk about the books they’re reading, do a literature-related craft, and play after eating snacks (bonus if it’s related to the story, i.e. green “eggs” and ham)! Read books about places near or far that you want to go or will visit this summer. Get out of the house and go to the park, beach, restaurant, or even your own back yard. You can even read while on the way to your favorite vacation spot.
The challenge is on! Make it a friendly contest where kids obtain rewards for reaching and exceeding certain goals (e.g. reading 10 chapter books). Some schools and libraries have programs to help track the number of books read, making it easier for you to manage. If that’s not available to you, have kids earn a sticker or stamp on a homemade chart to track how many books they read this summer. Throw a party or another celebration at the end of the summer to close out the summer reading successes for your family.
Which one of these activities are you willing to try? Share below!