The Great Outdoors may be calling, but that doesn’t mean your young reader has to leave the books at home. Longer days and more free time mean your child can enjoy what they want to read, at their own pace. It’s the perfect time to read for fun and experiment with different book genres and formats, like graphic novels. The pressure’s off!
“Summer is a wonderful time for leisurely, independent reading, and for children to consolidate what they’ve learned throughout the school year and make it their own,” Karen Baicker, Executive Director of the Yale Child Study Center–Scholastic Collaborative for Child & Family Resilience and Publisher for Family and Community Engagement (FACE) at Scholastic Education Solutions, told Scholastic Parents previously.
Whether your child prefers reading by sunlight or moonlight, here are five ideas for getting those pages in, outside.
1. Move your child’s reading nook outdoors.
Create a comfy reading nook outside wherever you are, whether it’s at the park, the beach, or in your own back yard. Yoga mats add a bit of cushioning and protection if the grass is wet. Add pillows, towels, or blankets to really make it cozy. Bring out a camping tent or even a toy tent to protect everyone from the sun and make it a special reading hideout. (Here are more tips for creating the perfect summer reading environment.)
2. Have an “outdoor bag” ready for on-the-go fun.
You never know when the urge to explore will hit, so make sure you have a designated “outdoor bag” with all the essentials packed for a few hours of fresh-air fun. Load your outdoor bag with snacks, sunscreen, and sunglasses and hats, in addition to a stack of your kids’ favorite books, magazines, or graphic novels.
3. Engage in outdoor activities inspired by books. Reluctant readers may need to find the right subject to inspire them. With the goal of spending time outside, find books that highlight flowers, produce, or farming, and put into practice what your kids learn by helping them start their own garden.
Summertime brings with it plenty of bugs, so why not find a book that identifies the types of bugs around you, and how they live and survive in the environment? See how many you can find in the wild. (Here are the best summer books for striving readers.)
4. Get the neighborhood kids in on the reading fun.
Invite the neighborhood kids to form a book club! Organize a time for your child and their friends to meet weekly or a few times a week — outside — to discuss books from a pre-selected reading list.
Have the kids take turns reading their favorite sections, and encourage them to ask questions about what they’ve read. Discussion of books supports reading comprehension and keeps skills fresh over the summer.
From May 9 to August 19, kids can also visit Scholastic Home Base to participate in a free, fun, and safe summer reading program. As part of the program, kids 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.
Shop books for reading outdoors below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.