School’s almost out for summer, and teachers and parents everywhere are already talking about how to prevent children from experiencing the dreaded “summer slide.” Here are some fun ways to keep your child’s reading levels up during the summer months.
1. Join a summer reading program
A summer reading program is a fantastic way to keep kids excited about reading over the summer. Poudre River Libraries’ 2013 program, “Dig Into Reading,” starts on June 1 and ends on August 4, and is open to all ages – even babies. Everyone is challenged to read for 10 hours, and after those hours are logged and you keep reading, Poudre River Libraries will donate $1 to Wildlands Restoration Volunteers for each additional hour read. Participants who log 10 reading hours will also be entered into weekly drawings for prizes, and there are fun events for each age group happening throughout the summer. In 2012, Poudre River Libraries’ Summer Reading Program had over 11,000 participants, and the odds are looking good for another great summer of reading! For schedules and more information, visit www.poudrelibraries.org.
2. Start a kids’ book club
Starting your own kids’ book club can be a perfect opportunity to make reading fun: kids can invite their friends, meet once a month, and talk about the book they just read. Poudre River Libraries makes it easy to start a book club, with pre-made kits for many popular children’s and young adult books. The kits include 10 books in a container with questions, book reviews, author information, and a sign-out sheet. Click here to see which books are available as book club kits.
3. Read a book as a family, and then see the movie
A great way to get kids interested in reading is for them to read a book (or comic) that has been adapted into a movie. The whole family can read the book—such as Harry Potter, Where the Wild Things Are, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, etc.—and then rent the movie and have a family movie night to celebrate.
4. Make a fun reading chart and post it on the wall
Setting a goal early on, and keeping track of the progress toward that goal, can be a wonderful motivation tool to keep kids reading. First, come up with a list of books that your child would like to read. (Poudre River Libraries has a helpful tool for this that suggests books based on what books your child already likes. Click here to check it out.) When you have your list, draw and decorate a fun chart together. Then put up on the wall and list the books on it. There can be small prizes for completing each book, or a big prize at the end of the list—you decide! Check out the Libraries Pinterest Board for more craft ideas.
5. Make sure that reading is a daily activity
It’s important to remember that any kind of reading is good reading. Encourage your kids to read something every day: in the morning, hand them the comics section of the newspaper. In the daytime, find an activity that includes reading, such as writing down recipes from a cooking show and making them together. In the evening, have your child read you a few pages of the book that he or she is currently reading. And don’t forget to model being a reader yourself… even adults can join the Summer Reading Program and win prizes!