Tips to help keep kids reading this summer
Summertime is great for outdoor activities, camps and play. It can also be a perfect time for you or the kids to enjoy a nice book. But often times it can be a challenge to keep children reading throughout the summer. Reading can help maintain and improve literacy skills, creativity and an adventurous spirit.
Here are a few ways to help keep kids reading during the summer or any time of year:
- Bring literacy into your everyday activities – Sing silly songs in the car and make up the lyrics as you go to develop your child’s vocabulary and ability to think on-the-spot. When reading together, make it even more enjoyable by challenging each reader to use a funny voice. Before turning over a new page, try to guess what the next sentence will be. Read half a story and have each member of your family write their own ending. Act out your favourite scene from a book. These take no extra supplies and can be done almost anywhere.
- Join a summer reading club – Studies suggest summer reading clubs are effective tools for keeping learning loss at bay and improving children’s reading performance. Some evidence suggests that children who participate in summer reading programs, like the TD Summer Reading Club, maintain or improve their reading regardless of age, gender or socio-economic status.
- Host a book swap - The secret to success is in sharing your knowledge. Get together with friends and family members with children and share reading materials through a book swap. This is a great way to try new genres, spend time with family and acts as an endless resource of free reading materials.
- Encourage children to develop a growth mindset - Read about characters that stick to projects and go beyond expectations – these characters can help kids gain confidence and persevere. This attitude could make the difference between a child saying, “I’m not good at math” (fixed mindset) versus “I just need more practice” (growth mindset.)
- Promote the joy of reading through digital apps - While setting limits on screen time for kids is important, apps can be useful tools to support your child’s learning because they’re fun and can be customized to individual needs. Focus on apps that can bring the family together while building storytelling, spelling, reading, writing and other literacy skills through fun games and creative play.
Giving kids new opportunities to make reading fun, meaningful and memorable is key to building a lifelong love of reading!
Lisa Heggum is the Manager of Youth Services & Special Projects at the Toronto Public Library and advocate of the TD Summer Reading Club, Canada’s biggest, bilingual summer reading program for kids of all ages, interests and abilities. Learn more at tdsummerreadingclub.ca.