Five Ways Keep Kids Reading All Summer Long...And Summer Reading Lists for Every Age

Enthusiasm for reading can wane during the summer months. Desire to play with friends from traditional school, more free time to play video games, and just general busyness with summer camps and other activities can make the kids- and me- let reading time slide. But I don’t want to neglect reading out loud to the kids through the summer, and I don’t want them to stop reading independently either.

So I have to stay diligent to make sure that we keep reading a priority. Over the years I’ve learned a few ways to keep us reading throughout the summer. At the end of this post, you can pick up a free summer reading packet that will help encourage the kids to read all summer long.

Summer reading for kids

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Do some school all summer long.

Because we do some homeschooling all summer, we have reason to keep several books going. Summer is a great time for unit studies, so I can pick a book to base a unit study off of or we can do a science or history based study with lots of good books to read. (Have you ever considered whether or not to homeschool through the summer? Here’s why it worked well for us.)

Read at a set time.

We typically read at lunch time during the school year, so I try to keep that going over the summer. If most or all of the kids aren’t home at lunch time due to camps or other activities, we won’t read. But if there is any way to keep reading at lunch time we will. I also try to read to the younger girls at night- even through the summer. When we have set reading times, everyone expects it and is ready.

Go to the library.

Most libraries have summer reading programs. Ours offers regular weekly programs as well as incentives for reading. When we are regularly at the library we’re more likely to pick good books and keep reading. And the incentive programs keep the kids reading so that they can mark off time. Reading out loud or listening to audio books counts as well, so they can mark time when we read together. This site can help you find a public library near you.

Library books are only good if kids read them. Use a book basket to keep library books- and other books- handy so that kids are more likely to see them and read them.

Sign up for reading programs from other places.

Often some businesses will support kids’ summer reading. Here are five that are current as of 2019:

Try a little bribery incentive.

Most of my kids love screen time. But in our house, we have a limited amount of time. To earn additional time, kids can either have activity time or read. When it’s rather warm out, they’d rather read to earn their time. So, sometimes even my more reluctant readers can be caught with book in hand, reading to earn more electronics time.

Summer reading for kids

Summer Reading Lists

When some of your kids aren’t avid readers, it might be hard to keep reading going all summer long. With some of these tricks ideas, it might work.

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