The Librarian Mom’s Summer Reading Challenge (and Printable!)

Summer break is here, and the question on every mom’s mind is: How am I going to keep the kids entertained without letting them be on electronics all day long? I’m a firm believer that a little boredom is a good thing. I’m also pretty relaxed about electronics, as long as other things are happening throughout the day such as physical activity, chores, and reading.

Girl Reading
Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

There are so many fun ways to encourage reading in the summer, and the benefits are fantastic. Reading helps prevent the “summer slide” teachers are so concerned about, and it gives kids a break from the screen. Reading engages the brain, activates the imagination, and is fun! 

We are blessed with a fantastic library system here in Tarrant County. If you haven’t been to the main Fort Worth Central Library, you simply must visit! There is an amazing collection, and the building itself is fun to wander around. The children’s collection is outstanding, and they offer some pretty awesome children’s programming. No matter what age your kiddos are, the public library has something for everyone including mom! Don’t have a library card? It’s so easy to get one. Visit any branch or fill out the electronic request form

In addition to the Central Library, the public library system has more than 20 locations around the metroplex that patrons can use. You can also download e-books and audio books to read or listen to without ever leaving home! 

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There’s an App for That

Do you have Amazon Prime? Did you know that Prime members can take advantage of Prime Reading? Titles range from children’s books to young adult fiction, and from adult fiction to nonfiction. Prime Reading works similarly to a library.

You can check out e-books for an unlimited amount of time, but you are limited to the number of titles you can have checked out at one time. Once you reach your limit of free titles, you’ll have to finish one and “return” it in order to check out another one. I just checked out Divergent for my 15 year old because it was always checked out at his school library. One of my favorite things about parenting teens is that we read the same books! 

With a public library card, you can use the Overdrive app. Sign in on your phone or tablet using your library card number and account password. Overdrive works similarly to the Barnes and Noble Nook app or the Amazon Kindle app, but works directly with your library card. It’s a fairly intuitive app and offers read-aloud capabilities, which might be appealing to some kids. 

Are you asking yourself how to get your child more interested in reading? My best advice? Let him or her choose. Let kids read what they want to read. If you have a child that only likes Captain Underpants books or will only read graphic novels, indulge him. Let kids read what they are into. If you are concerned about content, you can reference Common Sense Media to see if a book is right for your child, but for the most part it should be up to him or her.

Summer Reading Challenge Printable

If your child is in a rut and you want to issue a challenge to help her discover different types of books, you can use my summer reading challenge to encourage trying new things. There’s a challenge for early readers and middle grade readers. It counts if you read it to your kid, so consider the challenge even if you have pre-readers! 

You can even offer incentives like trading reading time for screen time, or three books in a row for a snow cone or an activity your kid can pick. It’s not necessary to offer an incentive. Reading is a reward all its own. It’s up to you, mama.

Wanna know another secret to get your kids to read? Show them what a reader looks like. That’s right. Pick up a book and read with them, and let them see you reading books all for you. If you model that reading is important, they’ll be more willing to read themselves.

Kristy was born and raised in Texas and has lived here all her life except for a brief period of time when she lived it up in Los Angeles, California. She is the proud mom of three boys and is the girliest boy mom you've ever met. In addition to her mom job, she is also a school librarian and author of professional books for librarians and teachers. She is a writing trainer and loves to share her passion for writing with others. Her favorite things in the whole wide world, after her family, are quiet mornings spent nurturing her coffee addiction, books, snow days, and her two crazy dogs. When left to her own devices, she can be found wearing yoga pants and binge watching Netflix, all while chasing after three wild boys and spinning plates on all 20 of her fingers and toes. Kristy is the new PR & Marketing Coordinator for the Fort Worth Moms Blog. Her role is to connect local businesses and moms with the extensive resources FWMB provides.


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