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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tips To Help Kids Embrace Summer Reading

I love summer and almost everything about it! Here in the midwest we wait a LONG time for nice weather and we take advantage of it when it comes. Our family spends a lot of our free time outside in the summer. This summer two of our goals for our son are to teach him to ride a two wheel bike and to continue to teach him how to swim. I also have to remember that it is important to continue teaching him to read. Summer is a crucial learning time because we want to discourage "brain drain" or loss of learned knowledge.

Here are my tips to encourage summer reading!

1. Go to the local library. Often libraries have free summer reading programs for kids. I still remember going to "brown bag lunch" library programs where we would listen to stories and eat our bag lunches. It is one of my favorite summer memories. Take advantage of the library programs in your area and of course borrow lots of books to read.

2. Lead by example. When my son sees me playing around on the computer all he wants to do is play video games. When he sees me reading a book he is always curious about what I am reading and asks me a bunch of questions about the book. I believe that kids learn a lot by watching their parents so set a good example and read more yourself.

3. Join a book reading club. Many places including Barnes and Noble and Half Price Books have children's reading clubs. The child reads a certain amount of book and is rewarded with a book or gift card.

4. Host or attend a book swap. This is one of my favorite things to do. Kid's donate books they no longer want or use and in exchange can take the same number of books home. The books they receive are not new, but they are new to them! Make sure to establish that books should be in good condition so it is fair for all participants. My son's school has a book swap every year and it is always a huge success.

5. Make it fun! Find ways to make reading fun for your child. This may vary from some kind of reward system to a fancy new book reader. I have seen on several blogs I read that VTech has a new book reader for kids that looks really neat.
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Summer is a time for lot of fun but also a chance to encourage kids to continue to read and learn. Hope you are having a great summer so far!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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