5 Tips to Keep Kids Reading Over the Summer
School’s out for the summer and we are guessing your kids couldn’t be happier. As teachers, we (Jill & Cathy of The Curriculum Corner) understand the feeling! Summer is a great time for students (and teachers) to regroup and relax. While we know parents are looking forward to making special memories over the summer, we understand that families are also concerned about that Summer Slide (or the idea that children SLIDE backwards over the summer.) To help keep your kids’ minds active over the summer, we have pulled together some tips for you to use at home.
5 Tips to Keep Kids Reading
Over the Summer
1. Location, Location, Location!
It’s all about creating a cozy spot for reading. Build a fort, pitch a tent, find a treehouse or make a special reading nook in a box. What kid doesn’t get excited about making a fort using pillows, blankets or even umbrellas? Drape a sheet over a table or put a few chairs together and add a blanket. What about using this Adorable Thrifty Fort? You might even create a camping themed day complete with a super cute camping themed dessert (check out these campfire cookies) and a few activities from this Classroom Camping Unit. You will be amazed how designing a cool spot to read can be a big motivator for young readers.
2. Summer Reading Goals
Help your children learn to work towards reaching a goal with some cute printables and easy tips found in these Summer Reading Goals. Begin by having your child complete a reading pledge certificate. Children can track what they read using the included, colorful reading logs. There is even a fun reading BINGO board to encourage your children to read different genres. Or, use this Printable Reading Chart. When a goal is reached, reward your child with the rainbow certificate and a small prize (maybe a trip to a favorite ice cream store or a nearby park!)
3. Fun Summer Reading Snacks
The right snack can be a motivator for reluctant readers. Yes, we know, you don’t want your children to equate doing something good with sweet treats. Because of this, we recommend saving this idea for special occasions. Give your kids a bowl of gummy worms – “bookworms!” Or put a little chocolate pudding and Oreo crumbles in a small cup. Then add a few gummies peeking out of the dirt. (If you love the bookworm idea but want to avoid the sugar, try making these Wacky Wiggly Worms as bookworms.) Have kids dig in to reading to find the bookworms. Have your kids had enough sugar this summer but you like the idea of a snack? Popcorn is always a fun snack that is even healthy! (As long as you skip the extra butter!)
4. High Frequency Words
For beginning readers, mastering common words is a key to reading. There are two popular word lists known as Dolch Words and Fry Words (sometimes called sight words.) Many teachers spend time helping students learn one list or the other (there are many overlaps.) To give your child a good reading base, work on these words at home. Students entering kindergarten or first grade may enjoy using Princess Themed Fry Word Cards or Galactic Themed Fry Word Cards. Or, turn reading into a game with these Flip Flop Fry Word Games.
5. Free Online Books
Books can get expensive and it’s not always easy to squeeze in that trip to the local library when you are busy with your summer activities. Take advantage of FREE on-line books when you can’t find the time to get to the library. One of our favorite sites is www.wegivebooks.org. You can also find free books on iTunes and amazon.com.
We know it’s tempting to allow your children to sit and play video games in between trips to the pool. After all, they have worked hard over the school year and deserve a break. However, emphasizing the importance of continuing to read over the summer will make the transition back to school easier in the fall.
What are some things you do to keep your kiddos reading over the summer?
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