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Easy Ways to Get Kids Reading This Summer – Part 1

That’s right! We are going to explore ideas for keeping the kids engaged with creative thinking, improving literacy skills, and best of all entertained, for the summer months. Now is a good time to start thinking about how to entice the kids with some great reads. The key to your success, is knowing how to appeal to your individual, as no two people are the same. Do they read everything in sight? Are they hesitant readers? Are they easily distracted? Are they competitive?  Once you figure out what drives their interest in something, the rest is easy. Currently your public library may be able to offer curbside service and there is also a huge collection online, free with your library membership. Now that you know where to get the books, lets chat about how to get your reader asking for books.

#1 – Make it Fun! Add challenge to your reading and chart it! Make sure the challenge is not daunting. If your reader struggles, be sure to not set the bar too high. Record their achievements and share their victories. A reward system such as a treat on grocery day, or extra time doing something they like, that is limited, is also a good incentive. What ever your challenge, ensure that it is SMART – SPECIFIC (goal is defined and optional rewards are known), MEASURABLE (a book collection or a number of items), ACHIEVABLE (books are accessible – do not forget that audio books might be an option), REALISTIC (ensure the readers is part of the decision making process – they choose the books and are excited about the challenge) and TIMELY (allow for unexpected interruptions – as we know nothing is as predictable as it used to be).

Here are some Book Challenges for you to consider:

  • 8 weeks – 8 different authors (check your pages – can you finish it in a week?)
  • an alphabet challenge where you use the authors name and book titles to mark off letters if the alphabet. For example, Ghost by Raina Telgemeier would cross off the letters G, R & T.
  • Theme challenge – 8 different themes and 8 different books (funny, adventure, mystery, something with animals, something with magic, do-it-yourself books – such as growing a garden or looking after a pet, Guinness or trivia books…so many themes to choose from. Make them all the same, or all different.)
  • How about a series challenge? Find a small collection of books like the Chronicles of Narnia, or the Roald Dahl collection, and make that your summer’s goal.
  • Read a picture book or graphic novel each week, and then make a bookmark, or draw a picture, or assemble a LEGO creation, that will remind you about the story.

Don’t forget to reach out to your librarian. They know their collections and can help find those next great reads. Many libraries also run a summer book club for kids. Ask for Reader’s Advisory lists. Check in with us next week as we talk about #2 – Change It Up!

Submitted by Paige Turner

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