7 Summer Reading Tips

Four children reading together on a green lawn

It’s common for kids to experience the “summer reading slide” if they go for several months without picking up a book to read. But never fear, we have plenty of tips on how to keep kids engaged with reading over the summer holiday! Check out SMART’s favorite ideas below: 

Take advantage of your local library

School is out of session, but your local library is open! Not only can you check out new books from the library all summer long, but your library likely has storytimes and activities for kids planned. They may also have a summer reading challenge with prizes for kids who reach their reading goals. Look up your local library today and see what they’ve got going on! 

Set summer reading goals 

You can also create a personalized summer reading challenge for your child, either a certain number of minutes reading a week/month or a certain number of books finished. This method lets you create a schedule that best meets your child’s needs, as well as rewards you know will be particularly motivating for them. 

Plan a reading adventure

If your family is going on vacation or visiting anywhere new, find a book about the place or written by an author from where you’ll be traveling. Ask questions about the stories like “What do you remember learning about this place?” or “Do you recognize that food or landmark?” 

If you’re not planning any travel, you can also make reading an adventure by reading in a new place or in a new way, like in a park, in a tent, or in the dark with a flashlight. 

Make sure to read for fun

Summer is a great time to try out new books without the pressure of finishing them. Encourage kids to check out different kinds of books from the library and stop reading if they find out the story isn’t for them. Summer is too short to force a book you aren’t enjoying!

Also, reading is reading! Whether it’s a graphic novel, comic book, cookbook, or joke book—it all counts and helps build valuable reading skills.

Set a good example

Kids learn by example! If they see you reading every day, even for a short time, they’ll likely want to copy you and pull out a book of their own. Encourage family reading time when everyone reads a book together or independently. 

Take reading on the go 

Have a few spare minutes when your kids are between activities or waiting for appointments? Keep books in the car or a travel tote bag to fill those minutes with reading! 

Traveling to the next activity is also a great time to ask kids about what they’re reading. When you’re in the car, on the bus, or walking somewhere, ask your child what types of books and topics they’re enjoying the most and what they like about them. 

Don’t forget to write!

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand—encourage fun summer writing projects like sending letters or postcards to friends and family (even if they live in the same neighborhood!), keeping a journal, or writing their own book or poem!