1. Have a Family Summer Reading Plan: It is important to empower children to be part of creating the summer reading plan. Discuss fun suggestions and include children in creating the plan! They will be more invested in it if they contribute to it.
2. Take advantage of where you live: visit museums or sites and see movies related to books you read, e.g., read the story of Pompeii in the Magic Tree House series and then go see the special exhibit on Pompeii at the California Science Center! Go to the Hammer Museum for free Sundays and visit the emerging artist exhibit: guess what the art is about and then take turns reading the labels next to the art to see if you guess it correctly. Reading when out and about counts, too!
3. Make it a Family Challenge, Goal, and Reward: Create a chart of all the books your family reads this summer and set a goal. When you achieve that goal collectively, choose a family reward of a special activity together. Also, local libraries have great summer reading rewards programs. You can sign up and visit regularly for free.
4. Read Aloud: The summer time is a great time to read books together as a family. Whether it’s Hugo Cabret, Harry Potter, or The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, kids actually enjoy sitting in a park together reading aloud, or getting ready for bed early to snuggle as a family with a book you never want to end (and without homework to worry about). Children have a “listening level” generally about two years above their reading level so this is an opportunity to expose them to text they would otherwise be unable to read, expanding their imaginations and vocabulary. Children can also keep a summer vocabulary journal and write down a few new words they didn’t know when you read aloud.
5. Share What You Read: A great way to increase reading enthusiasm is for kids to share what they are reading with their peers. Kids can share their summer reading plans, and pictures of what they read on our BLUEPRINT BOARD: www.littleblueprint.com/submitblueprintlist.
Kids can also recommend and review their books on an amazing new site: www.parentsreadbest.com. This is a great site to get book recommendations from other children, too!