Summer is the perfect time to work on reading skills, whether your children are 2 or 12. Older, more independent readers can use the extra time away from school to prepare for the next grade level, while younger children can always benefit from reading more books. As part of our Super Summer Fun series, here are some ways to make summer reading fun at home.
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13 ways to make summer reading fun
Bring the stories to life
What to do: After reading a story, do some of the activities you read about.
What you can emphasize: New vocabulary, verbs
Suggested stories and activities:
Take the 1000 books before Kindergarten Challenge
What to do: Visit 1000 Books Before Kindergarten to download program instructions and reading log sheets.
What your child is learning: There are tons of early literacy opportunities here!
Suggested reading: Check the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten website for Books Your Child Should Hear Before Kindergarten
Stock a Summer Book Basket
What to do: Fill a basket or plastic bin with summer-related fiction and nonfiction books
What your child is learning: Seasonal vocabulary, comprehension
Suggested reading: Check out the fun titles on my list of 40+ books to read with kids this summer.
Listening to reading
What to do: Read stories out loud to your child. Children of all ages will also enjoy listening to their favorite book on their Kindle Fire for Kids, on Audible, or using your local library’s audio book program. We recently got all 3 kids their own Kindle Fire for Kids Tablets. Kids can choose the story they want to hear and I can set limits on how long the screen is on. Plus they come with a case, 1 year of Amazon Free Time, access to over 10,000 books AND a 2-year “we’ll replace it, no questions asked” warranty! Ok, I’ll stop raving now but seriously I can’t wait til their birthday in September.
What your child is learning: Children who listen to reading are learning what it sounds like when an “expert reader” reads text. Listening to reading helps to become better independent readers.
Suggested reading: Any of your child’s favorite books.
Join a reading incentive program or use a reading chart to track progress
What to do: Visit the public library and ask about their summer reading program, or use the Pizza Hut Book It Summer Reading program (or both!).
What your child is learning: Reading for a purpose, comprehension
Suggested reading: Any age-appropriate books
Bake a recipe together
What to do: Choose a recipe and make it together
What your child is learning: Reading instructions, as well as math and science and healthy eating habits!
Suggested reading: Try this complete cookbook for young chefs. For a great FREE recipe collection, check out Kids in the Kitchen online.
Read the book AND watch the movie
What to do: Read a book and watch the movie version of the story
What your child is learning: Comparing/contrasting, character traits
Suggested reading/watching: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Book and Movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas Book and Movie, Curious George Books and Movie
Plan a trip that took place in a story
What to do: Plan a trip based off of one that takes place in a story
What your child is learning: Noting details, new vocabulary, making a list
Suggested reading: Let’s Have a Picnic!, The Lost Lake
Make a book about your summer
What to do: Compile a collection of pictures with captions or stories of what you did during the summer.
What your child is learning: Summarizing, putting events in order
Suggested reading: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Make a reading nook
What to do: Set up a special place for reading with fun pillows or a beanbag chair that are just for story time.
What your child is learning: The importance of reading for fun
Suggested reading: Any age-appropriate books
Do some research
What to do: Help your child learn more about a favorite topic by reading books or online articles about it.
What your child is learning: Research skills (and yes, even kindergartners can do research with help!)
Suggested websites: Fact Monster and this list of kid-safe search sites
What to do: Make puppets of the characters in your child’s favorite story. Use felt, socks, or paper bags and any materials you have at home!
What your child is learning: Comprehension, summarizing
Suggested reading: Any of your child’s favorite books
Read through the alphabet
What to do: Using the printable below, read one book that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet.
What your child is learning: Comprehension
Suggested reading: 26 of your child’s favorite books (try Z is for Moose and maybe let X be in the middle of the word so you can enjoy The Adventures of Taxi Dog).
To download the reading log, click here. For best printing, use 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper and select “fit to page” in the printing preferences. Can also be printed in black and white.
I hope your summer is full of reading and fun. This post is part of our summer series. Click this link for more Super Summer Fun ideas!