Believe it—summer is around the corner. Woo-hoo!
Around the corner! As in like just a few weeks away! It’s May! Pools open in May. Weather warms in May. Swim team registration starts in May. We buy bathing suits in May.
Wait. How can we even talk about ways to get your kids psyched for summer reading when school isn’t even out yet?
Many of us still have assessments to think about, big projects coming though, and a whole lot that has to happen between now and the time those kids come running through the school doors screaming, No more teachers, no more books. . .
Getting your kids totally psyched for summer reading is easy. Eeeeasy.
We’ve got be cool. We’ve got to be creative. And we’ve got to be careful.
But I’ve got the ‘how-to’ right here, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- How to Get Your Kids Psyched for Summer Reading: Five ways.
1. Start planning your Summer Reading Book Swap Party. We do this every year, and every year it’s both a great way to say ‘good-bye’ to the school year and ‘hello’ to summer!
With just a wee bit of planning, anyone can throw a rockstar Summer Reading Book Swap or a Kick-Off Summer Reading Party or a Book-Lovers Book Bash any day of the week.
Send out evites, have your kids create simple invitations using an index cards and a simple ‘Come to Our Summer Reading Book Swap’ use a sample invite below:
2. Search for inexpensive or (even better!) free books. For the next few weekends leading up to summer, go on a book search:
- visit yard sales or garage sales
- find local thrift shops
- reach out to your local groups–church groups, MOM Clubs, playgroups
- ask friends and family if they have books they’re ready to part with, and give them the ones you are ready to part with yourself.
Before you know it, you may have a whole new set of summertime books to call your own!
3. Celebrate the library. Make sure your kids all have their own library cards. If they are old enough to write their names, they’re old enough for their own cards. And you know what? They will love, love, love having their own card.
Worried that they’ll lose their cards? I get it. Make special library card holders by punching a hole through a gift card envelope and threading a long piece of yarn through it. Kids can wear them around their necks (as necklaces) or pin them to their shirts on library trip days.
4. Make book-happy Summer Fun Cards: Another early summer tradition in our house is to make Summer Fun Cards. We pow-wow after a picnic lunch and make plans for our long summer months.
This year, give your Summer Fun Cards an extra-special book-focus. Challenge each child to include at least three cards outlining new and unusual places –or ways—to read their books.
5. Get in on a summer reading challenge. Many kids need a challenge to keep them interested and engaged, and that makes sense.
Consider challenging your child to:
- Master a series: Pick a series of books, and see if through the summer, your child can read the whole thing, from start to finish. A book series exists for every single reading level, so don’t think that your child is too young or too old for this challenge!
- Finish a list: Libraries, schools, and sites like Scholastic have entire reading lists to print and keep on hand. Wouldn’t it be a riot for your child to read an entire book list from beginning to end?
- Break a record: Set a goal as a family for weekly number of books read, hours logged, or chapters read, and check in each week. Check in each week and evaluate how you’ve done in relation to your goal, and
Start scoping Summer Reading Programs. We’ll be chatting all about Summer Reading programs tomorrow, and you won’t want to miss it.
Join us for:
- we teach: Summer Reading Resource Share
- Monday, May 6: 1-2pm ET
Join the Community Managers from the we teach forum for a Summer Reading Resource SHARE!
We will cover tips, tricks, and ideas for:
-making Summer Reading exciting, memorable, and FUN;
-engaging reluctant readers;
-kicking off the season with a Summer Reading event;
-including the whole family;
-keeping the momentum going all summer long;
-finding new books, free resources, and lists for every child. . . and more!
We would love to answer any of your summer reading questions! Leave them below, or tweet any of us with the hashtag #weteach and we’ll add your question to our program. And if you can’t make it, NO problem!
The video from the live event will be embedded on our forum, and resources will be shared on a Summer Reading Resource page.
- Scholastic Summer Reading Facebook Chat
- Monday, May 6: 9-10pm ET
Join the folks from Scholastic, and the writers of Scholastic Parent’s Raise a Reader blog, Allie McDonald of No Time for Flashcards and me (yay!) for an event to kick-off Scholastic’s Summer Challenge!
We will be focusing on keeping kids reading–and enjoying it!– all summer long!
We’ll also talk about Scholastic’s Summer Challenge, why you want to try it, and how it can help your children maintain momentum throughout those long summer months. Wondering about how to use digital books for your kids? We’ll chat about them as well!
Big prizes for the night? Personalized book packs for your family!
Please leave questions or concerns you have about summer reading on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, and we’ll cover them during the event!
Here’s to a reading-happy summer, my friends! Looking forward to lots of great ideas and some serious resource sharing!
Please leave any of your Summer Reading questions, concerns, or super-awesome ideas below!