Reading programs at your local library are an awesome way to get your kids to read over the summer. But not all kids are inspired to read by these programs. Some just need that extra nudge. Turning reading into an adventure works wonders for these reluctant readers. When fall rolls around, you'll be glad you put the extra thought and effort into finding creative ways to encourage reading. Here are some fun ideas to try:
- Host a neighborhood or friend book swap. I had a friend who did this and gave the kids sticky notes and ask them to write a brief note about why they liked the book they were swapping. This way the book recommendation comes from a peer, not a parent… and we all know that carries much more clout!
- Give your child a flashlight and designate it the "reading flashlight!" Reading in bed just seems more fun when you do it by flashlight. Better yet, set up a tent in your yard and let your kids read in there with the flashlight.
- I am a huge advocate for frequent trips to the library but I am also a sucker when my kids ask me to buy a book. When anyone asks for suggestions for gifts for my kids, I suggest bookstore gift cards. We have a summer tradition of an outing to the bookstore to use these gift cards. Speaking of gift cards, be sure to enter our Summer Reading List Sweepstakes on our Facebook page for a chance to win a $200 Amazon gift card. Through the sweepstakes we are building a summer reading list for kids. We hope you will add your favorite children's book for a chance to win!
- For younger kids, instead of keeping a book log, have them keep a log of all the interesting places that they read a book. Creating a interesting reading spot quest like this is a great way to inspire kids to read more. The places can range from inside the dog’s crate to the top of the Empire State building! This approach not only encourages reading, but also creativity, a sense of adventure, and writing.
- Enlist the help of your pet. Seriously! Ask your child to read to your dog, cat, hamster… Hey, it’s recommended by Susan Meddaugh, the author of the Martha Speaks series!!
- Have your kids bring their favorite books or magazines on hikes and bike rides. When it’s time to take a rest, break out the books. We started doing this with our kids when they were toddlers and I happy to say that it has become a habit (and they are now teens).