Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tips for Getting Your Children to Embrace Reading This Summer!

Summertime is designed to help kids recharge their batteries after a long school year. However, it’s still important that children continue to read so they don’t forget all they’ve learned in class. But the last thing your child usually wants to hear on a sunny day is “Read a book!” So, how can you get your kids to incorporate some reading time into their summer activities? Here are some tried-and-true tricks:

Motivate them with rewards. Many libraries and bookstores have summer reading programs that encourage kids to read books in exchange for prizes. Or you can design your own incentive program to help your child earn a desired toy, snack or book.

Let them read what they want. If your child is intimidated by reading a full book, let him read a comic book, a coloring book (with words, of course), or a children’s magazine.

Pursue their passions. If your child loves trains, seek out fun books about them. If she’s into ballet, search for stories about ballerinas. Kids will read more when they’re interested in the subject.

Keep reading time short and sweet. Don’t expect your child to spend all afternoon reading when the great outdoors is beckoning. Schedule reading time for shorter periods of fifteen or twenty minutes each.

Read anywhere. Why not let the kids read on the beach or on a hammock in the yard? Let them read on the park bench before they head for the monkey bars.

Read together. My kids and I often alternate pages. I read one page and my “helper” will read the next one. This makes it a shared activity and qualifies as great “quality time” between parent and child.

Provide material that’s age-appropriate. If your beginning reader is getting frustrated, he may be trying to read a book that’s too difficult for him. One way to find books that are at your child’s reading level is through the HarperCollins “I Can Read!” book series. This series, which debuted in 1957, began with the release of a book about Little Bear (one of my all-time favorite characters) and now features more than 200 titles with many beloved characters, such as Biscuit, Little Critter, and Fancy Nancy. The books are classified into five reading levels for shared reading, beginning reading, reading with help, reading alone, and advanced reading. You can find a complete list of I Can Read! books and activities at www.icanread.com.

Have your child read a little bit every day so it becomes a habit. And make sure that your kids see you reading, too! When they see you enjoying a good book, they learn that reading can be fun.


I Can Read! Books: www.icanread.com
HarperCollins Children’s Books: www.harpercollinschildrens.com
TwitterMoms’ I Can Read! Discussion Page:

I Can Read! BooksBecome an I Can Read! Member

DISCLOSURE: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an “I Can Read!” book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


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