Have you heard of the “summer slide?” No, we don’t mean the one at your local water park. It’s when kids take the summer off and lose some of the year’s gains in reading. And when a child’s progress has been hard-won, just taking a couple of months off could become a real setback.
Thankfully, it’s easy to turn a potential backslide into fast-forward by making reading part of your kids’ summertime activities. Just keep reading on your radar. One way to engage kids is by making weekly treks to the library for new fun books and reading programs. And if you do some online sleuthing, you’ll find several reading contests to get kids fired up; for example, here’s a challenge from Barnes & Noble where kids can earn a free book.
How to foster a love of reading
Most of us read out loud to our kids when they’re tiny but taper off as they become capable readers themselves. Turns out, reading out loud to your kids throughout elementary school is associated with developing a love of reading and increased reading frequency. While the research can’t chalk it all up to reading aloud, if you’re in the habit of doing so, keep it up throughout grade school.
Three books to top a summer list
Need ideas? Here are three to jump-start a preschool summer reading list:
- Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti, Henry Holt, 2014, ages 4-7. Anyone can be a superhero with these ten important rules! Follow the adventures of Lava Boy and his toy, Captain Magma, as they save the day with a handful of principles, from being brave to having good manners.
- Maisy Learns to Swim by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick Press, 2013, ages 2-5. Will your kids be learning to swim this summer? Help them get their sea legs by joining Maisy the Mouse as she learns to blow bubbles and use the kickboard.
- The Night Before Summer Vacation by Natasha Wing, Grosset & Dunlap, 2002, ages 4-8. ’Twas the night before summer vacation, and all through the house, everybody was busy packing — except for the sleepy mouse? This book builds anticipation for a trip while playing on the classic Christmas poem beloved by kids, and we’re sure Ms. Wing did a better job than we did here!
Do your kids have favorite summer books you’d like to share? Please post your recommendations on our Facebook page.by