The sun is out and your child is either out of school for the summer or will be in just a couple of weeks. Whether your excited to spend more time with your little or you’re growing anxious because you don’t know what you’re going to do with all their spare time, let me throw a summer activity idea out there for you – read.
Why not go on a grand adventure with some pirates or dance in the forest with fairies? Travel around the world or learn a new skill. Open the treasure chest of books and see what comes out! 😀
But in a world that promotes sitting in front of the TV all day, I know it can be hard to motivate your little humans (and sometimes yourself) to pick up a good story. So here are some tips on how to encourage your little reader:
Tip #1 – find the right books
I’m a firm believer that unless you’re reading a story that interests you, reading is going to suck. So how can you find the right book for your kiddo? Find stories / books geared towards your child’s interests! You want reading to be enjoyable to them, and if they’re reading books that bore them, you’re not going to have much success.
It is also crucial that you do not pick up a book that is beyond their reading level. If you’re unsure what your child’s reading level is, a good trick is the “Five Finger Test.” Open a book to a page and have your child begin reading. Hold up a finger for each word he/she doesn’t know. If you have 4 or 5 fingers up at the end of the page, the text may be too difficult for your child to read independently. Make sure you encourage them so they don’t feel dumb – we want our children to feel intelligent 😊
Tip #2 – read at least 30 minutes a day
This may be a quiet time activity. Another great idea is a reading incentive program like Usborne’s “Reach for the Stars” read-a-thon.
“Reach for the Stars” is a generous pledge-based reading incentive program where 100% of the pledges are returned in the form of books to the participants. The goal is for the participants to read (or be read to) for a 14 day period. Students will be encouraged to collect pledges from friends and family members who will support their reading. This is a great way to help children discover the joy of reading and give them the opportunity to choose their very own brand-new books to keep! <– if you want more information on this, let me know! This is phenomenal for homeschool groups, schools, daycares, libraries, etc.
Tip #3 – make it fun
Cooking with your children is a great way to make reading fun (and yummy 😉 ). This is one of the best ways to integrate math, reading and following directions. Let your child design the menu too!
Another fun activity is to have your kiddo put together their favorite recipes in a cookbook or plant a garden. Your child will gain responsibility and pride as they watch their plants grow and thrive.
Tip #4 – audio books
This is my jam right now! I actually was inspired to sign up for a library card as an adult just so I could rent audio books. So far, I’ve listened to 16 books in 5 months! 😀 It’s great to have one playing as you tidy the house, go on a road trip or are laying on the beach.
Tip #5 – add it to an activity
Take your reading outdoors – go on nature hunts, scavenger hunts, walks, and hikes + bring that book they’ve been reading about bugs and flowers along and see what they can find in person! If you’re going to the zoo or a museum, bring a book that pertains to that activity. For example, if you go to a zoo, have them bring a book about animals and see how many they can see in person.
Another really fun activity you can do it make a craft! Read the story and then make a craft that fits the book. This keeps reading fun! Below are a few ideas:
I hope you can use at least one of these tips this summer with your kiddos ( and maybe yourself too 😉 )!
I know it can be hard to set aside time to read, but I promise it will be well worth it. Reading has been proven to help with writing, word usage, and imagination. Encourage your children to pick up a book this summer and just see where it takes them!