7 Easy Ways to Motivate Kids to Read this Summer
Summer means more screen time and extra time outdoors for your kids. While this break is essential, such freedom poses a risk of the “summer slide,” the loss of reading and writing skills over summer break. Fortunately, there are proven ways of sustaining the educational gains made during the previous school year with summer reading. Want to know how to get kids to read over the summer? Read on to find out.
1. Identify Some Interesting Reads
The first step in getting your child to read this summer is by increasing their access to books. Since the goal is to increase their love of reading, it would be wise to select reading materials geared to your kids’ interests.
Your local library is a great place to start. Libraries usually categorize children’s books according to reading level. If you aren’t sure of your children’s level, we recommend using the “five finger rule.” Pick a book and have your child read an entire page. Have them raise their finger for each word that they don’t know. If they end up raising more than five fingers, this means that the book is above their reading level.
We also recommend seeking help from librarians because they can offer valuable suggestions. Also, you’ll probably need their input if your kid is older and has developed a more specific taste or if they hate reading.
Besides letting your child choose what they enjoy, you should also encourage your child to read other genres to see if they would enjoy those books as well. Don’t restrict your kids to books alone. Children love receiving mail, so consider signing up for magazine, comic book, or club subscriptions in their name to get them excited about reading. This strategy is perfect for reluctant readers who enjoy reading creative content. Don’t stop there. Invite your kids to the kitchen and let them read the cookbook recipes for you. This approach helps to improve your kids’ reading skills in a fun environment.
2. Practice Reading Aloud
Reading aloud to your kids is instrumental in helping them develop their language skills. It also builds their vocabulary and phonemic awareness. As you may know, phonemic awareness is a critical step for children learning to read. It is a process of building reading readiness in children by helping them understand different letters and sounds within every word.
3. Create a Family Book Club
In family book clubs, members read a book independently and then gather to discuss the book’s themes. A book club is an excellent way to build strong family bonds while turning reading into an everyday routine over the summer. You can get the older siblings to read the books aloud. We also recommend selecting picture books to make the sessions more interactive. You can also include themed snacks or word games make the club “meetings” a more exciting event.
4. Combine Reading With Movies
In case you’re still wondering how to get kids to read after trying the tips mentioned above, here’s a surefire way. How about watching the movie adaptations of your child’s favorite books? Ideally, it would be best if you start by reading the books first. However, if your child is struggling, you could consider an audiobook or reading the text aloud.
You can then follow this up with movie nights. Make them as fun as possible by including your child’s favorite treats. Afterward, you can discuss the movie and book, including their similarities and differences, plus characters. Letting your children answer questions keeps them engaged and will get your children reading throughout the summer.
5. Enroll Your Child in a Summer Reading Program
Whether through the bookstore or library, joining a summer reading program is an excellent way to encourage your children to read. These programs often have completion or participation rewards, or you can add your own rewards to motivate your kid to keep read. Furthermore, experts say that such programs reduce the “summer slide” and actually improves these kids’ academic performance and reading skills.
6. Start a Family Reading Challenge
A reading challenge is yet another sure way to get kids to read over the summer. The best thing about these challenges is their simplicity. The local library is the perfect place for such challenges. For instance, you could tell your child to visit the picture books section and select all books whose authors’ names begin with a particular letter. Alternatively, you could ask the librarian to recommend a list of hidden gems. Each challenge will have its own reading goal.
7. Allocate Consistent Reading Times
Schedules are crucial regardless of whether the children are going to school or are on summer break. Finding a quiet time to read during the day and making it a routine helps develop a reading culture.
Now that you understand how to get kids to read during summer, it’s time to start finding age-appropriate books. If your child likes good, old-fashioned mystery and adventure, look no further than the Happy Hollisters mystery books for children! All 33 books in the series, written by Jerry West, are available individually, in specially themed sets, or through The Happy Hollisters Book Club—they even have their own little reading challenge to keep kids motivated with their summer reading! What are you waiting for? Let’s get kids to read more this summer!