The doors flew open, the kids ran out, books and papers went flying everywhere! School’s out for the summer. Remember that saying when you were a kid, “no more reading, no more books, …” While summer is a time to relax and have fun, summer is also a time to keep learning. Reading is a simple and fun way to enjoy summer learning. Here is an easy no fuss summer reading challenge for kids.
Summer reading allows kids to maintain the skills they developed all school year and helps reduce regression when it’s time to go back to school. Summer reading can help develop a love of reading since we can choose fun books and topics we enjoy for reading.
How to start a no-fuss summer reading challenge for kids
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Get a reading challenge tracker
To start your challenge, you need a summer reading challenge tracker. You can create your own tracker or you can use this fun summer reading tracker that includes a page for summer reading bucket list (books you would like to read) and books I read this summer (to show progress and success) and monthly pages to track the books you are reading or time spent reading. The monthly pages would be great for setting a daily goal to read for 20 minutes or 30 minutes and tracking your child’s progress.
Decide the goal of your reading challenge
What is the purpose of your reading challenge? Do you want your kids to read a set number of books or do you want them to read a set number of minutes every day?
You can set the goal for the reading challenge. It can be read one book a week or 8 books for the summer. Set a challenge that will work for your child. But don’t make it too easy either. If you know they can easily read 1 book a week, challenge them to read 2 books a week.
Make summer reading fun
During the school year, many times kids have to read the books assigned to them. They might like the books, but they might not like the books. During the summer reading challenge, you want to encourage a love of reading. For summer reading, allow your child to choose books that interest them. These books can be fiction or non-fiction, classics or new.
Try to visit the library every week or two to select new books. Encourage kids to choose new books, new authors, new genres. By trying new books they will find what they like and don’t like. One reason they don’t read more could be they haven’t found a style of book or author they enjoy reading. When I find an author I enjoy reading, I love to read every book that author wrote. When I was growing up I remember Beverly Cleary was my favorite author, I think I read all of her books.
Here are a few favorite authors and book collections for kids of all ages love:
- Beverly Cleary
- Hardy Boys
- Nancy Drew books
- Harry Potter collection
- Judy Bloom books for kids
- Llama, Llama books for younger kids
Have a set reading time every day
If you really want your kids to read this summer, you will need to make it a priority. Set a time every day for reading. Set rules that before you can play on electronics or video games you need to read for 15-30 minutes (varies by age).
Reading is a discipline. We have to make time for reading. If we want our kids to read every day, we need to set a daily reading time.
Set a good example and read every day
As moms, we should also set a good example by reading books ourselves every day. Our kids learn by example. If they don’t see us reading and enjoying books, they will not take the time to read books either.
If possible, take time to read at the same time your kids read. So, they see you reading, too.
Have a book club and discuss books you are reading
Every night after dinner you can sit down with your kids and have a book club discussion. Each family member can share about the book they are reading and why they like/don’t like it.
During your book club, you can also read a family book aloud together. Choose a book everyone would like to read and read a few pages or one or two chapters a night. Reading a book together is an amazing shared experience. If you find a book everyone likes, you will probably share memories of reading the book together for many years to come.
To encourage reading, you can set rewards for reaching goals. These can be simple rewards or treats like a trip to the ice cream shop. If your child really enjoys reading you can allow them to purchase a new book.
You can also reward reading with summer reading program from retailers.
- Lifeway Christian Stores summer reading program with Bibleman encourages 1st-6th graders to read 6 books and memorize 6 bible verses to earn a free book. Download a reading journal and activity book here.
- Download a summer reading journal from Barnes & Noble. Kids in 1st-6th grades that read 8 books earn a free book.
- For younger kids, Chuck E. Cheese offers 10 tokens to kids that read every day for two weeks.
Enjoy your summer reading and let me know what books you will be reading first.