Chapter 47: Reading Fun in the Sun

A well-deserved break

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By the time the school year ends, most kids are a little bit burned out. They’ve worked hard at learning all year long and are looking forward to a well-deserved break. This is especially true for the child who is struggling with reading. After all, she’s had to work even harder than the other kids in her class. So, once classes are over and summer has started, let your child have a break from books, schoolwork and study. Set up the wading pool. Plan a sleepover with some of her friends. Get out the soap-bubble wands!

Fun family reading ideas

Once your child has rested and recuperated a little, it will be time to ease some reading back into her days. And, to make sure that she doesn’t suffer from summer-learning burn out, make sure that summer reading activities are like all summer activities – fun!

  • Campfires, marshmallows and ghost stories – If your family goes camping during the summer, take along some ghost stories to read at the end of the day around the campfire. Choose books that fit your child’s reading level, but make it a family affair by letting everyone take turns reading a page in their best scary voice. Not going camping? With a little imagination, you can still have the campfire experience. Set up some lawn chairs around a patio-sized fireplace, a hibachi or even a lantern!
  • Books at the beach – Books and the beach go hand-in-hand. Most adults throw a paperback thriller or love story in with their swimsuit and towel when heading to the beach. Encourage your child to do the same. When you’re getting ready for your trip, simply say, “I’m taking this book to read after I swim. Which one are you taking?”
  • Library summer programs – Librarians are familiar with the summer reading loss, and to help combat it, most libraries have summer reading programs. The programs are designed to be really fun. Think of them like a literary summer camp. Depending on the library, they can include games, costumes, snacks, contests and even field trips.
  • Summer-themed books – With all that goes on during the summer, finding some books based on summer activities is a great way to keep your child reading. Look for non-fiction books about summer things like camping, kite building, natural crafts and even gardening. Fiction books can have summer themes, as well. Some great summer-themed kids’ books include Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! by April Sayre, How to Hide an Octopus by Ruth Heller and Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt.
  • Book-movie match ups – Whether they’re showing at the theater, or on the DVR at home, kids love movies. Why not pair up some books with the movies they inspired? Once your child has read the book, go see the movie! Some great kid-appropriate book-movie match ups include Alice in Wonderland by Louis Carrol, Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh and J.K. Rowling’s whole Harry Potter series.