This post includes five summer reading tips to help facilitate successful summer reading for children. It includes a free summer reading booklet to help guide and encourage a fun approach to summer reading.
WHY read over summer
Research indicates that children who do not read over the summer can lose up to 22% of their reading level. That translates to losing up to 3 months of valuable skills they learned during the school year. This makes it harder for children to catch up once school starts again.
It is vital that children read EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! As educators and parents, it is our job to help facilitate summer reading for all children.
Making summer reading FUN and different from the ordinary can help set things up for success. Below are five simple tips that can be easily implemented to promote successful summer reading.
5 summer reading tips for success
tip 1: Choose the right books
Choosing the right books is important for creating interest. Allow children to express their likes and seek out books that suit their interests. Keeping interest up is important for ensuring success in the summer.
Parents can help guide children to choose books that are at their “just right” reading level. A variety of books on different genres, themes, and topics will help keep interest up. Having lots of different options for sources and types of books is important.
tip 2: finding the right books
The library is my favourite source for books for children. It puts books into the hands of children, you can come as often as you like, and it is completely free. Most locations in North America have libraries with tons of current and well-known literature for children. Librarians are an excellent source for knowledge and can help guide families to choosing the best books for their children. Most libraries offer events for children in the summer, such as weekly story time. They may also offer their own free summer reading programs that encourage children to read and keep track for different incentives and prizes.
There are also tons of great online ebook websites and apps for children that provide books for free or for a small cost. I highly recommend Epic! as an online source with a large library of books for children under age 12. It is free for educators and schools, and has a minimal monthly cost for families. With access to so many books, this is a great option for those who have limited mobility or who would rather not acquire more books.
For those wanting to purchase books, Scholastic provides affordable books through school book fairs and classroom book orders. I also recommend visiting your local second hand store and seeking out swap meets to grab lots of gently used books for great prices. Amazon is an excellent source for books at reasonable prices with quick, free shipping options. You can find books from most authors, on just about any topic or theme. Below is a list of my personal favourites for summer reading.
- Summer is Here by Heidi Gray
- The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers
- The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- My Book About Me by Dr. Seuss & Roy McKie
- The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
- Should I Share my Ice Cream? (Elephant & Piggies) by Mo Willems
- Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses by James Dean
- The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
- Bugs A to Z by Caroline Lawton
- Beach Day by Karen Roosa
- How I Spent my Summer Vacation by Mark Teague
tip 3: set a goal for summer reading
Just like anything you want to accomplish, it is beneficial to set a goal before hand. Goals help us stay on task and think of a plan to accomplish our goal. Encourage children to set a goal for summer reading. It could be how many books they read each day, for how long they read, or perhaps to read a certain number of books by the end of summer vacation. Maybe the goal is more about reading different types of books, learning new things, or improving reading ability. The summer reading booklet below includes an area to record a goal. Children are also encouraged to complete different tasks, read in different locations, and read a total of 100 books.
I recommend making a plan as a family to have a set time or length of time each day for quiet reading, perhaps for the entire family. Locations can change to keep it interesting and fun.
tip 4: make reading fun
Making reading FUN is so important for success. If children are enjoying themselves, they will see reading as less of a school task to complete and more as something they LOVE to do.
Create FUN with locations that are new and different than the ordinary spots. Allow children to read in places that you wouldn’t normally agree to. Let them go outside and read in the grass. Let them build forts and read under a blanket with a flashlight. Let them bring books along or have ebooks on a tablet during a trip.
Create FUN with reading games and activities to go with stories. Let them invite friends over and have a reading party with popcorn and music. Let them watch a movie version of a book after they have finished reading it.
Create FUN with reading incentives. Encourage and challenge children to complete the activities (tasks and bucket list) and keep track of how many books they read in their reading booklet. Let them decorate their booklet with stickers and markers. When they complete a certain number, offer them a special treat or a new book of their choice from the book store.
tip 5: let kids keep track
Let kids keep track of their own reading. Give children responsibility and ownership of their reading with the free summer reading booklet. Check in with them to see how they are doing and provide encouragement and reminders as necessary as summer goes on.
FREE summer reading resource
To help and guide our children and students to stay on track with their reading this summer, I created a FREE Surfing Through Summer Reading resource booklet. I suggest teachers print and assemble these booklets for their students to take during summer break. Encourage students to complete it over the summer and bring it back to school for an incentive.
It includes two variations of the cover page and three more additional pages. I suggest printing the pages back to back and folding along the middle to create mini booklets. When the booklet is assembled, it includes 6 pages full of fun tasks and information for families.
The booklet includes a summer reading bucket list with tons of fun ideas for different places to read, such as AT THE BEACH. Children are encouraged to make a summer reading goal at the beginning of the summer.
The booklet also includes summer reading tasks to complete, such as READ 100 BOOKS. Children are encouraged to record the names of the summer stories they loved in a list.
Parents will find the question page useful in guiding and building their child’s comprehension. There is also a page of ideas of ways to make reading fun and different throughout the summer. Children are encouraged to read 100 books with this booklet and color a square to keep track of how many they have read.
Creating a summer booklet for each child not only makes reading fun but keeps them organized and on track for success. Kids love a challenge and this booklet gives them just that!
This booklet includes a few different variations and an option to print in color or in black & white. I suggest printing it in color on white or printing the cover page on colored cardstock for durability.