Summer officially started yesterday. The best way to keep your kids engaged with books over the next few months is to have a plan. Be prepared to make it fun, meaningful, and to include the entire family. Here’s how:
- Make it fun
There are a number of ways to make reading fun this summer.
- How about having your child track their reading with a BINGO board? Here’s a fun printable to explore and download.
- Another way of making reading adventurous is to go on a scavenger hunt at your local library. Last summer, we checked off one of these items each week we went to the library and couldn’t wait to continue on our search for unique titles. My first grader loved it!
- Make it a family event
Include the entire family in on reading this summer by hosting a few family dinner book nights. You read a book, make a craft, cook a themed dinner, and discuss the book over a meal with the entire family. There are also suggestions to extend the activity with a service project (hooray for incorporating kindness into your summer activities). My friend Jodi from Growing Book by Book has hosted these book clubs monthly for the last two years. Here are a list of ideas you can adapt for your own family fun.
- Make it meaningful
If you’re going to give children access to books this summer — whether they are books from the library, garage sales, thrift stores, bookstores, or Amazon — choose books carefully.
The first rule of thumb is to include some books with strong moral messages. My friend Laura, who is an elementary school teacher, created a movement called #TakingCareThursday. It asks families and teachers to be intentional in reading at least one book a week (it doesn’t have to be on Thursdays) that teaches children about character traits such as kindness, empathy and compassion.
The second thing to keep in mind when bringing books into your home this summer is to choose books that are of interest to your child. Do they love trucks, animals or cooking? Search for these books to get into their hands as well. Here is a list of book suggestions for #TakingCareThursday.
The most important take-away from today’s blog post is to be sure your children have access to books this summer. If they have books but don’t want to read them, add in books with topics they are interested in and the element of fun. You are sure to get them reading then!
– Maria Dismondy is a mother of three, reading specialist, fitness instructor and bestselling children’s author living in Southeast Michigan.