I often hear about parents battling with their kids to read. As a credentialed teacher, I am asked how to get kids to want to read. During the summer, a lot of kids don’t have homework, summer school or any reason to want to crack a book. However, if you try to make reading fun, you might find your children reading for pleasure! Here are some tips to get your kids excited about summer reading.
Does your child like dolphins? Are they an explorer? Are they interested in learning how to surf, waterski or skateboard? You can get them a magazine or book on a topic you know they are already interested in them. For the little scientist, get a book of science experiments and, well, experiment. For the budding chef, check out a recipe book from the library and whip up some delicious culinary creations. After reading about whales, go whale watching. Your child will remember the fun activity connected to the book and, hopefully, want to read more.
Sometimes, we read books to our kids and, that’s it. However, kids are more likely to get excited about reading if they can connect to the book in some way. Readingrockets.org has what are called Reading Adventure Packs. They suggest two related books: a fiction and nonfiction selection. Then, the site has free, printable PDFs with crafts, an imaginative activity and an activity that “focuses on real world experiences.” Other ways to connect are to rent a movie or television program based on the book. In fact, I just bought my daughter a Jake and the Neverland Pirates (her current favorite cartoon) book. Let’s just say a page has already fallen out from overuse.
An Inviting Space
Sometimes, having an inviting place for a child to read will help motivate them. It can be as simple as a comfy chair with a bookshelf and cool lights. It could be a hammock chair in the backyard (I have one of these and my five-year-old loves it). Or it could be a cozy book nook in the corner of a room or even a transformed closet. You can attach a thin piece of fabric over the nook or set up a small tent in the child’s room. A colorful rug, fun lights, soft pillows and a personalized sign (think Sara’s Book Nook or Zack’s Library) will make your book nook appealing. If you are looking for some more inspiration for your child’s reading space, check out pinterest.com and search for book nook.
Fun Reading Programs
In the summer, libraries and bookstores offer fun, and usually free, programs. For instance, this summer Barnes and Noble has several events to promote language development, creativity and reading. Some of the events near me will have interactive stories, art activities and fun with NOOK. Likewise, Pottery Barn Kids has a special Curious George storytime on July 2 and the Cat in the Hat will make an appearance on July 23. It’s likely your local library has some fun events too. The one near me has a pajama storytime and also shows movies that go along with popular books.
Summer reading doesn’t have to be a drag!
More from Melissa:
Summer Boredom Busters for Kids
Fight Summer Learning Loss with These Educational Activities
How to Get Your Kids Excited About Going Back to Elementary School