But kids' reading skills don't have to grow cold once school's out. Here are some ways to make reading a natural part of their summer fun:
Explore your library. Visit your local library to check out books and magazines that your kids haven't seen before. Many libraries have summer reading programs, book clubs, and reading contests for even the youngest borrowers. With a new library card, a child will feel extra grown-up checking out books.
Read on the road. Going on a long car trip? Make sure the back seat is stocked with favorite reads. When you're not at the wheel, read the books aloud. Get some audiobooks (many libraries have large selections) and listen to them together during drive time.
Make your own books. Pick one of your family's favorite parts of summer — whether it's baseball, ice cream, or the pool — and have your child draw pictures of it or cut out pictures from magazines and catalogs. Paste the pictures onto paper to make a booklet and write text for it. When you're done, read the book together. Reread it whenever you need to fend off the cold-weather blahs!
Keep in touch. Kids don't have to go away to write about summer vacation. Even if your family stays home, they can send postcards to tell friends and relatives about their adventures. Ask a relative to be your child's pen pal and encourage them to write each week.
Keep up the reading rituals. Even if everything else changes during the summer, keep up the reading routines around your house. Read with your kids every day — whether it's just before bedtime or under a shady tree on a lazy afternoon. And don't forget to take a book to the beach! Just brush the sand off the pages — it's no sweat!
Reviewed by: Laura L. Bailet, PhD
Date reviewed: February 2010
|Reading Is Fundamental Founded in 1966, RIF is the oldest and largest children's and family nonprofit literacy organization in the United States.|
|Association for Library Service to Children This organization works in cooperation with the American Library Association. The site has a list of links for parents about safe Internet surfing as well as information about finding available resources in print, nonprint, and emerging formats.|
|Learning Beyond the Classroom Summer reading activities for kids and teens ages 4-18 from the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.|
|Reading Resources Regardless of your child's age or reading level, almost every community has programs and resources that are helpful.|
|Creating a Reader-Friendly Home A home filled with reading material is a good way to help kids become enthusiastic readers. Here are some ideas.|
|Everyday Reading Opportunities Finding time to read is important to developing literacy skills. And there are many easy and convenient ways to make reading a part of every day.|
|Finding the Right Read Books make great gifts for kids, but it's not always easy to find the right read that fits a child's interests, maturity, or reading level. Here are some guidelines.|
|Helping Reluctant Readers For many kids, reading just doesn't come easily. But being at ease with letters, their sounds, and words is an important foundation for learning throughout life.|
|Reading Milestones This general outline describes the milestones on the road to reading and the ages at which most kids reach them.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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