Make summer reading a FUN priority

siblings readingWith your children home for the summer, you are probably trying to find ways to keep them busy, and engaged.  Why not try to make reading both a priority, and fun?

Did you know that during the summer, your children could experience was is called “summer learning loss”  if they are not involved in activities that use their math and reading skills?  It is true. This “loss” means that your kids could forget up to two months of math and reading learning.

Tools for keeping literacy alive this summer:

One great thing that parents and older siblings can do to keep the young ones interested in reading is simply lead by example. If your children see older children and adults reading, they will want to emulate you.

Always have a book on hand, for you, and for your children. Rainy afternoon?  Pull out the books! If you have to run errands or go to the doctor, dentist or eye doctor and find yourself sitting around a waiting room, pull out your books.  Leading by example really makes your children see just how great reading can be.

Another fun way to get your kids involved in reading is to make it a game.  Hang a chart in your kitchen or other high traffic area. Put everyone’s name on it, and then track progress. Give out gold stars for finishing a book, and set goals. First person to five books gets to choose dinner (or dessert!), first person to ten books picks where you go on Saturday afternoon, etc.  Having goals, and prizes, is a great way to instill a desire to read!

Finally, do not limit your young readers to ‘just’ books.  If your kids love comic books, encourage them to read on!  Every piece of ‘literature’ has value, even if they are just reading the back of their cereal boxes in the morning.  Magazines geared towards kids, comics, the newspaper, whatever they want to read, encourage them.

There are even a number of free e-books online as well as free children’s magazine subscriptions.  Find those and increase your kids’ libraries.  Speaking of library, this is the perfect summer afternoon outing!  Pack up the family and head over. Typically summertime at the library includes fun activities for kids, so grab a schedule or call your local library today!

Preschoolers

Have preschoolers at home?  Making reading fun for preschoolers is actually very easy and will keep parents (and siblings) entertained, too.  At the preschool age, reading too your kids is key.  Enlist the entire family.  Maybe take turns reading to your preschooler (brother or sister takes one night, you take a night, and offer incentives to the older siblings for helping out), find fun new books they will love, or take them to story time at the library.

The key here is fun.  If you make reading fun at an early age, they will never forget it!

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