It might be difficult to get your child to sit with a book when the sun’s out or friends come around. But the truth is, the wide-open days of summer present a great opportunity for your child to explore the book genres and topics they’re most interested in.
You can experiment with the best time of day to get those 20 minutes of daily reading in, and you can help your child identify the reading skills that may need improvement. (Check out these tips for how to improve your child’s reading skills over the summer.)
Making a variety of books accessible to your young reader is one great way to guide them toward that just-right book that will resonate with them. Here are five more surefire ways of getting your kids to read (and enjoy doing it!) this summer.
1. Mix up the reading material.
Reading counts even if kids are not reading books every single day, all summer long. Children love magazines, so consider bringing a stack in the car, on the plane, to the pool, or to the beach — really wherever kids might get bored and be inclined to sneak in a few pages.
Newspapers are another great source of information that gets kids thinking. Consider a summer-long or weekend subscription so your child can stay on top of local, national, and world news, as well as gain exposure about a variety of other topics that you deem age-appropriate. (It's okay if they opt for the comics, too!) Regroup later to discuss what they read.
2. Make reading a part of your everyday schedule.
It’s hard to keep a schedule in the summer, but establishing a reading routine is essential, especially if you want to encourage a habit that can result in a love of reading.
If your child heads off to camp every day, make reading your “down time” in the evening: The whole family can read together, out loud or quietly to themselves. If your child spends most of the day in sports practice, get them up a half-hour earlier and start the day reading, maybe over breakfast.
Alternatively, if your family really leans into the freedom of summer, then make reading time that critical hour after lunch, when everyone needs to recharge before the second half of the day. (Here are five expert-approved summer reading tips for supporting a steady reading routine while school’s out.)
3. Get stuck in a series.
The best way to get kids hooked on reading is to match them with a book series they love. This way, they’re itching to read more: They’ll want to know all they can about a topic, or follow their favorite characters through every adventure (a.k.a. installment) that’s been written.
If your child is a striving reader or uninterested in reading, read the first book together. Before you know it, your child may grab that book on their own to get ahead!
4. Join a reading challenge.
Summer is a popular time for reading challenges, and they do work for some children. Striving readers, especially, can benefit from that added push to pick up a book.
You can create your own family reading challenge, like reading a certain number of books before enjoying an outing at the weekend. But the goal doesn’t have to be books read. You can log the number of hours or chapters read, or magazine articles read, or series completed — whichever metric motivates your reader!
From May 9 to August 19, kids can visit Scholastic Home Base to participate in the free, fun, and safe summer reading program. As part of the program, kids can read e-books, attend author events, and keep Reading Streaks™ to help unlock a donation of 100K books from Scholastic — distributed to kids with limited or no access to books by Save the Children.
5. Discuss their books.
Talking with your child about their books lets them know you’re interested in their thoughts and feelings. It’s also a great way to gauge their reading comprehension skills.
Beyond your one-on-one, there are ways to start conversations around favorite reads. You can help your child establish a summer book club with their peers, which can select an appropriate number of titles to read while school’s out and meet regularly to discuss their progress.
Summer book swaps are another great opportunity for children to take pride in their reading progress and share the books they love with others. Book swaps can take place as events at the start or end of summer, or as an ongoing “lending library” format set up near the community pool (or wherever your neighborhood gathers).
Shop popular books for summer below! You can shop all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.
(Keep your child reading over the summer with expert tips and book recommendations with our summer reading guide, including a look at the best book sets to read during the break.)