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It’s summertime. While we are enjoying no homework or week-long projects that involve dressing up, I still like to keep my kids learning over the summer. As an avid reader myself, I love to have reading time with my girls to keep their minds active.
Easier said than done, though, right?
It can be a struggle to get the kids reading when it’s not required for school, but it’s a great way to keep their imaginations working and help them learn a new skill.
Here are some fun ideas for keeping the kids engaged in reading — that they might just enjoy!
Books to the Big Screen
Encourage your kids to read a book that has been adapted to the big screen. I have the kids read the book first, and then the reward is getting to see it come alive on the screen. We get the popcorn and candy. It’s fun to see how the characters in the movie match their own visions of the characters. We discuss the differences in the movie versus the book. Some great ones are The One and Only Ivan, The Tale of Despereaux, and Matilda. Check out a full list of children’s books that are adapted to a movie.
Reading together is a great way to get in your book time while sharing the experience as a family. We love to find a book that we can read together throughout the summer. These books are typically longer books with chapters, and we read a chapter a day. We can learn the characters together. We talk about each chapter when we are done, such as our favorite part or guess what will happen next. This is a great activity for any age because you can read in short time periods. If you have younger kiddos that aren’t reading yet, the older kids (or you) can do the reading. Our summer favorites have been Summer of the Monkeys and Sideways Stories from Wayside School.
Learn Something New
Another way to get the kids reading is finding topics that interest them. One summer we visited Florida. My kids fell in love with manatees. So, in order to learn more about what they eat and how they live, we researched it in books! Their new interest in learning about an ocean creature totally distracted them from the fact they were reading. We love to find new topics when we are on vacation or even just watching television. Some ideas to get you and your kids thinking might be a favorite animal (pick an animal next time you are at the zoo or aquarium), places you have visited or want to visit, or past or present figures in time. We love the Who Was book series for learning about a variety if historical figures.
Participate in Local Reading Challenges
Who doesn’t love a little incentive for reading? Several of our local library systems have some great summer reading challenges for kids to participate and earn prizes for free books. Here are some places offering reading challenges:
- Arlington Summer Reading Challenge
- Fort Worth Mayor’s Reading Challenge
- Hurst Summer Reading Club
- Mansfield Summer Reading Club
- Southlake Summer Reading
Also, keep in mind these local story times for kids!
Browse the Cover Art
Sometimes just seeing all the amazing books that are out there becomes reason enough to pick up a book. We love to browse the library or the bookstore and just look at the covers or read a few pages of a book to pique our interest. It’s fun to pull up a chair and sit and read right there among the sea of books.
Whatever method you find that works for your family. Happy reading!