What feelings come to mind when you hear the phrase “summer reading?” For those of us who have had positive summer reading experiences, the phrase “summer reading” sparks a sense of excitement and joy. Maybe the term flashes you back to reading a book sprawled out in the shade or reading a great book with your toes in the sand!
Perhaps your children love reading, but in the off chance that your children are not already avid readers, let’s look at a few simple ways you can inspire them to read. As parents and educators, our goal should be to set the scene for joyful reading experiences. Regardless of how you choose to set the scene, it is extremely important that your children read daily over the summer months. Reading gives the brain an opportunity for exercise and helps children grow in knowledge and critical thinking!
Here are a few ways you can prepare for a summer of joyful reading:
-Pay attention to authors your children especially love and start stocking up your home library with books by that author or by authors with a similar style of writing.
-Try to hook your children on a book series near the end of the school year, so they will be more likely to start the summer on a reading streak.
-Collect a stack of books that might interest your children and from time to time, advertise or preview the books by reading an exciting scene from the book, leaving off on a cliff hanger.
-Keep an eye out for garage sales and peruse your local bookshops- let your children select a few books that they are excited about reading over the summer. Heading out of town this summer? Make it a goal to pursue a bookstore while you are on vacation!
-Prepare a family read that everyone can get excited about. Think of it as a book club read and plan a few fun activities (recipes, games, music, etc.) that can be done together to bring the story to life.
-Head into the summer with a positive attitude about your own personal reading. Stock up your own pile of books and get ready to model your own summer reading!
However you choose to set the scene for summer reading, have fun with it. Let your children read books below their reading level. Encourage them to re-read their favorites. Incorporate read-alouds into your routines and read what they are reading so you can engage them in literary conversations. Read with your children to learn facts and new skills (think cooking, baking, arts& crafts).
We hope these ideas will inspire a joyful summer of reading! For more summer reading inspiration, including our new summer reading catalog and reading challenges, click here!