- Lower Division
- Outside the Classroom
By Judy Rath, Lower Division Librarian
Ahh, the lazy days of summer will soon be upon us. With a shift in daily routines, summer camp activities, and family trips to enjoy, reading may not be the first thing kids have in mind! But reading can actually be an ideal summer activity. It’s fun, portable, can involve the whole family, and will help your child academically. Keep in mind the 4 Cs — Choice, Challenge, Conditions, and Connections — to help plan a summer that will keep your kids engaged in reading and ready to return to school in the fall!
Choice - Especially in summer, let your child choose the books they want to read. Kids tend to read more on their own and enjoy it more if they’re able to pick books themselves. Encourage them to find books connected to their interests or the summer activities they are involved in. Help them choose a variety of reading materials — fiction and nonfiction, graphic novels, magazines, and online reading. But above all, let them make the choices.
Challenge - A lot of kids are motivated by having an incentive or goal to work toward. There are a wide variety of summer reading programs both local and national that kids can join. Click here for a list of these programs. In Denver, the Youth One Book One Denver and Denver Public Library Summer of Reading Program are very popular. Another possibility is to create a challenge within your own family — offer an incentive like an ice cream night when all family members reach their reading goal.
Conditions - Create an environment around reading that’s fun. Make a reading tent in the living room, create a cozy spot to read outside, stay up late to read in bed with a headlamp! Bring books with you when you travel — audiobooks are great for long car rides, and ebooks for long plane rides. Check out the public library to get free and easy access to both! Share reading time with your child, either reading to them or simply being in the same room reading independently.
Connections - Add to the experience of reading a great book by following up with a fun activity. Cook a dish inspired by the book, go to a museum or take a road trip relevant to a character, tackle a science problem or design a project related to the book. Draw. Write. Paint. Create. Anything hands-on to get kids excited about the book.
Summer is a wonderful time for kids to rest and recharge from the rigors of the school year. It can also be the time to create memorable reading experiences and foster a lifelong love of books!