Summer reading isn’t just a form of fun and learning—it can inspire kids of all ages to explore new ideas, new adventures, and new worlds no matter where they’re spending their summer. Whether the goal is to read one book a week, or as many books as possible, summer reading is a free activity that can spur kids to try all kinds of new things.
Longer days mean more time to read, or to be read to, even after busy days filled with family outings, camps, swimming, classes, picnics, barbecues and any other kind of summer activity you choose. My summer goal growing up was to read every book I could borrow from the children’s section of the local library. That wouldn’t be possible today! But the huge selection now of both fiction and nonfiction for kids means any reader can find SOMETHING they like. With libraries across the country offering summer reading incentives like free museum passes and pizza, kids can rise to the challenge and celebrate their reading accomplishments, whether they read their books in bound versions or on an e-reading device.
Here are two weeks of ways to make summer reading fresh, fun and inspiring at home, on vacation, or anywhere!
1. Dive into a favorite series of novels and read them ALL.
2. Read an adventure book and see a summer blockbuster movie based on the story.
3. Read a book or magazine about science, and visit a science museum or try hands-on experiments at home.
4. Read a book about where you’re traveling on vacation, or where you’d like to travel someday.
5. Pretend you can go back in time, and read a history book about a time in the past you wish you could visit.
6. Pretend you can go forward in time, and read a science fiction book about a time in the future you wish you could visit.
7. Read a cookbook and whip up a new recipe—you can even set up a book-themed summer bake sale or picnic.
8. Read a book of songs and learn to sing some of them.
9. Read a book of poems and learn to recite some of them.
10. Read a book about an animal species, then visit that kind of animal at a zoo, aquarium, wildlife center, farm or even a pet store.
11. Read a book to your own pet or your neighbor’s pet!
12. Read a book about a new sport and take a swing at it.
13. Read a book of jokes or riddles and try them out on your family and friends.
14. Write your own book!
Deborah Lee Rose is the internationally published, award-winning author of children’s books, including Jimmy the Joey, Someone’s Sleepy (also a downloadable song by Tom Chapin), Ocean Babies and All the Seasons of the Year. Visit her at deborahleerose.com. Her favorite summer book growing up was E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web, because the story takes place in the summer and is about a spider who is a writer.