5 Surprisingly Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Reading This Summer

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Photo: Katee Gra

Even though it’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of summer activities, it’s important to keep your child’s reading game strong amidst all of the distractions. Research supports that reading daily with your child outside of a bedtime ritual will help children become lifelong readers.

When you’re reading together, have your child pick the books and take time to “slow down” the reading. For example, ask questions about the characters or plot, point out details in the pictures, and let her turn the pages. You might also want to get creative with how you project your voice such as speaking with an accent, enhancing sound effects such as loud bangs, or mimicking animal sounds.

Here are a few summer reading ideas that will surely those reading skill in tip top shape!

1. Create a Cozy Book Nook
Little ones love snuggling and reading is always a magical way to spend quality time together. Create a cozy book nook (get inspired with these incredible book nooks) filled with soft pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and most importantly a basket of books that you frequently rotate with the covers facing forward. Young children are attracted to the bright illustrations on book covers and will definitely become excited about reading if they spot a new book in their basket.

2. Beach Bag of Books
Before heading to the beach or pool, visit the library or bookstore and find a few new books to add to your beach bag. Find a quiet moment such as lunchtime to read your new books together. For an exciting way to make sure you’re adding different types of books to your beach bag each week, create a “Book Bingo Summer Reading Challenge”. Have each square pictorially represent books your child might read this summer such as farm animals, sea-life, trucks, etc. At the end of the summer, your child can pick out a new book once their Bingo board is filled.

RELATED: 105 Best Books to Read Before They Turn 12

3. Listen to Books on Tape
If you’re in a city with lots of traffic, skip Raffi and start listening to books on tape. It’s is a great multi-sensory experience and a way to get the whole family discussing different books. When children listen to books on tape, words on a page become alive, fluent reading is modeled, and listening skills improve. Narrators use silly voices, fun music, and sound effects to make it an engaging experience. Since we’re all saps for a good podcast, find one geared towards children that will spark animated discussions about an array of real-life topics that even adults will enjoy.

4. Write a Book
Grab your camera and take pictures of your child reading in different places throughout the summer such as the car, beach, stroller, grocery store, etc. Make sure to include pictures of mommy, daddy, and other relatives reading, too. Title your book “Places We Read Summer 2021” and add to it each week. At the end of summer, you will have a brand new book to read that will serve as a reminder that reading can happen anywhere that your child will read over and over again. 

5. Host a Book Swap Pool Party
Gather a few mamas, kiddos and 2-3 books to swap. Fill up an inflatable pool, dump the books in, and have the kiddos dive in to get “new” ones. Donate any leftover books to a local charity.

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Shanna is a part-time elementary teacher, stay at home mommy to a toddler and a blogger. She blogs about a range of topics that help make juggling parenthood with a toddler a little easier. She loves to learn from her daughter and most of all laugh.

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