Even kids who excel at reading don't necessarily want to read during the summer. As parents, we know it's not about us trying to force them to do work on their summer break. It's that we don't want them to slip down the summer slide and lose the hard-earned reading skills of the previous school year.
Awesome things always have huge kickoffs: movies have premieres, stores have grand openings, and your summer reading should have a great kickoff, too! Here are five fun ideas to start your summer reading and keep the excitement going all summer long.
You can find these crates, baskets, or even pails at the dollar store and embellish them to suit your child's personality. Fill them with some books your child will love (bought or from your local library) and a few fun trinkets. I have included a notebook for summer book reviews. Writing really strengthens reading skills, so working on both all summer long is great. Have this basket waiting for her at home on the last day of school and start your summer off with books.
Get Your Child a Library Card
Before you make a big deal about your child getting his own library card, make sure he's eligible for one. Some allow children of any age while some require children to be 5 or 6 before having their own. Once you know for sure that your child is eligible, make this an event! Get dressed up, go to the library, pick out special books to break the card in, and have a serious talk about the responsibility that goes along with the card. Nothing made me feel like a big kid like getting my library card.
Get a beach blanket and a pile of books, pack some lunch, and hit the park. Eat, read, and share what you are reading. Surprise the kids with "bookworms" (aka gummy worms) after lunch. Choose a different park every week to keep the excitement of reading going all summer long!
Read S'more and S'more Camp Out
Who doesn't like to camp out? You don't need to go far to have fun reading in a tent. To kick off summer, put up the tent on the last day of school and celebrate the start of summer with some s'mores and great books. This was our absolute favorite way to unplug last summer. Our tent was in our backyard and so was a huge pile of books. Snuggle, stretch, and listen to the sounds of your neighborhood while diving into books.
Challenge Within a Challenge
Scholastic Summer Challenge is the best of the best as far as summer reading programs go, and every single family should participate. To make it even more fun, challenge your family members to a challenge within the challenge. Give out simple prizes (stay up late reading, get out of chores for a day, a second helping of dessert) to whoever reads the most each day, week, or month. This will keep the momentum going all summer long.
The reality is that kids need to spend time reading during the summer, but who said it had to be boring? How have you made summer reading an event for your kids? Tell us on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page or tweet Allison McDonald at @noflashcards.