Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Sneaky Summer Reading Strategies

My kids love books and reading (which isn’t surprising since they have a librarian for a mom), but they have so many thing competing for their attention in summer that reading can slip to the back burner. Here are some kid-tested tricks to sneak reading into your summer:

  • Bath-time books – We did this a lot when my boys were small. Both of my sons went through phases when they had a hard time sitting still for stories. It occurred to me that bath time could be a great opportunity since the kids weren’t going anywhere while they were happily playing in the tub. Bath, beach and water themed books make it even more fun.
  • Backseat buddies – I keep books in the backseat of the car for the kids. This gives them a way to entertain themselves while being chauffeured around. Sometimes my oldest reads me a story while I’m driving.
  • If you can’t beat them, join them – If your kids would rather watch TV or a video, roll with it. Turn on the closed captions so they can read along. Hearing the words spoken while they’re reading helps to reinforce learning. And if they enjoy playing on the computer or a mobile device, try interactive e-books and reading apps like Tumble Books, Reading Rainbow and Disney Story Central. And don’t stop there – Find library books about the movies and characters they love to enhance the experience.
  • Campfire stories – Sometimes we camp out, and sometimes we just pretend to camp out in the living room. The boys like eating marshmallows whether we’re actually roasting them or just sticking them on drinking straws and holding them next to the camp lantern. This is another great opportunity – no electronic distractions, and reading spooky stories by flashlight is just so much more exciting.
  • Have fun with it! -- The important thing to remember is that reading should be a treat not a chore.

Ellen Griffin Shade
Avondale Regional Branch Library

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