• Go to the library or bookstore and pick out a cookbook or two that are kid-friendly. Have your child pick out some recipes to try and read the ingredients to you. Shop together, then supervise (if needed) as they create new delicacies for you to try.
• Come up with your own summer theme, and look for books that relate. For example, water themes are fun for summer, and can encompass sea life, water activities, games, and more. But if your child is into Greek Mythology, go with that.
• Create a family reading time each day or evening, where everyone is reading together. This can be a read-aloud time, or a time when everyone has their own book, a glass of lemonade, and a few minutes of quiet.
• Summer Reading programs are sponsored by most local libraries. Often the programs are theme-based, run throughout the months children are not in school, and offer incentives to students to read all summer long. Check what’s going on at your local library this summer.
• Don’t be too picky about what your child reads. Find what is interesting to them and what is at their current reading level. Experts say the best way for children to grow in their reading ability is to read things that are relatively easy for them to read—not to challenge them too much, unless they enjoy that.
• Practice reading as you do your summer activities—in the park, at the pool, at the beach, road signs as you drive, in the store, wherever you are. Help your child recognize that reading is a part of every day life.
• Model reading yourself. Pick up a book, newspaper or magazine instead of turning on the TV or sitting down in front of the computer.
• Give your child supplies to create their own books. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation for this summer project—let them have fun expressing themselves.
Most of all, have fun. Find ways to make reading enjoyable for the whole family and to celebrate all the reading you do.
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