10 Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading in the Summer

Don’t let your children’s reading skills wither and die over summer break. Keep their creative mind alive and blooming by performing CPR (Continually Promoting Reading).

Our kids deserve some vegging out when summer hits, but it can be easy to allow them to fall into a routine that does not involve any books. Hot spots like the swimming pool or playground reel you in. Saying yes to things like the television or video games becomes your saving grace when Mommy needs to work on that endless to-do list. We must pick our battles; I get it. However, there are plenty of ways that you can keep your kids interested in reading, even when other warm-weather habits tempt them to ditch the lit. Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, the CPR you perform now will shape your child’s future.


10 Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading in the Summer

1.) Goodreads.com

I use this free tool for myself, my high school students, and even have an account for my five-year-old son (I created it when he was just two). You can keep track of books you have read, want to read, and are currently reading. It will recommend books for you based on how you rate your previously-read books. You can connect with friends to see what they are reading as well. I like the scanner option to easily scan the barcodes of books my son checks out at the library. It is also pretty snazzy to scan a barcode on a book you are considering in order to read a review or description of the plot. You even can sign up to win free books! Under the “browse” tab, find “giveaways.” I have won quite a few keepers. There have been days where I find several pre-released books waiting outside my door. Score!

2.) BiblioNasium.com

This online tool is very similar to Goodreads, but is meant for readers ages 6-12. In addition to maintaining a virtual bookshelf, kids can compete in book challenges and earn virtual trophies. Teachers can set up groups for their classes.

The Marion Library
The Marion Library

3.) Library

This one is a no-brainer. Free books at your fingertips, and all kinds of programs and activities for kids. Starting June 1st you can sign up for the summer reading program (infant through adult) at one of our libraries or online. Attend story time with your little one and connect with other moms. Take advantage of the online book reservation option. This is usually the only way I can find time to get books for myself, leaving more time for my kids to explore the bookshelves. Also, I can search for books I know my son will be able to read, as well as his favorites. What’s that? Your child is requesting a book about dragons eating tacos? Boom! Done. Anything else he finds while we are there is just an added bonus.

4.) Reading Challenges

Bring out your child’s competitive edge with a summer book challenge. There are many options out there. One option is a checklist that your child must complete, consisting of various types of characters, genres, or plots (go to Pinterest for some great ideas). Offer up a reward once the list is complete. Let your children pick out a new book at the store once they meet their goal in order to keep them on the path to loving literacy.


5.) Barnes and Noble

This local book store offers its own Summer Reading Triathlon. Click on this link and print the PDF. Children in grades 1-6 can complete the reading journal and receive a free book!

6.) ABCmouse.com

If I can spend $8 a month on my Netflix subscription, why not spend just $8 a month on a tool to help my child improve his reading skills? This tool, targeted for 2-7 year-olds, can be used on your PC, iPad, or smart phone. We just subscribe during summer months and cancel once school starts up again. My son has so much fun earning tickets, he doesn’t even realize it is my way of making up for the loss of classroom time.

7.) Keep it Pinteresting

By printing off fun worksheets or activities, you can play the role of the teacher with little preparation. Bob Books were the best way to teach my son how to read, and you can find supplemental sheets here.

Who needs Google?
Who needs Google?

8.) Not Your Average Book

Remember, reading is still reading, even if it is not in the form of your typical page-turner. Attract your kids towards graphic novels, Guinness World Record-type books, joke books, even a car manual.  As long as it involves some type of reading, you are fulfilling your CPR duty.

9.) Model!

Strike a pose with your favorite prose. Our children do as they see. Just like the time I had a cheese stick (which was really a tampon in the wrapper) and suddenly my son wanted a “cheese stick.”  Aim to read screen-free. Read a newspaper, magazine, grocery list, or your darn bills–any genre will do. Make time to enjoy one of the simple pleasures in life. Once you channel your inner book worm, you can often find your inner peace as well.


10.) Book Basket

This should be a staple in every living room. Maintain their interest by swapping out books on a monthly basis. Consider a theme. Select books based on an upcoming holiday or simply a topic of their interest.

Enjoy exploring any of these options with your kids during our warm-weather months! I have a serious problem saying no to books, so you may see me at the library with my kids and a rolling suitcase (no joke) in tow.

I now declare you competent to perform CPR. Save our readers and send them back to school in the fall with a new or improved love of literature!

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