When kids hear the word “summer,” they immediately think, “No school!” Days are filled with outdoor adventures, relaxing vacations, and no homework. But just because kids aren’t in school doesn’t mean they should stop learning. Here are a few fun ways to keep kids reading and writing all summer long!
Start a book club. Organize a group of friends to read the same book and then meet up to discuss it. Or, pick a book for the family to read and then arrange a time to talk. Either way, kids will love having the chance to share their thoughts and ideas. Bonding over books is a great way to build relationships. Book-themed snacks add to the fun.
Explore their interests. Kids are naturally curious and usually full of questions, so use their interests as a starting point. Keep a running list of their questions—What’s the difference between a frog and a toad? How do clouds make rain?—and then head to the library to check out books that hold the answers.
Play a game. Go on a reading scavenger hunt or play reading B-I-N-G-O. There are loads of free printables that promote creative reading. From reading under the stars to reading to stuffed animals, the ideas are usually simple and zero cost. Add in an exciting prize for finishing the scavenger hunt or getting B-I-N-G-O, and you may find you have to limit how many tasks can be completed in one day!
Take a field trip. Bring a book to life by hitting the road. Read a book about baseball? Head out to a Columbia Fireflies game. Read a book about sharks? Check out the huge shark at the South Carolina State Museum. Read a book about a specific culture? Visit a restaurant that specializes in that culture’s cuisine. The possibilities are endless.
Find a pen pal. Recruit a friend or family member to serve as your child’s pen pal. This is a great way to get grandparents involved, especially if they live far away. Once you find a pal, take turns writing back and forth to each other, asking questions and describing day to day life. Kids will be excited to check the mail all summer long.
Create a summer fun journal. Throughout the summer, take pictures of your family’s activities. The pictures can include anything from losing a tooth to baking a cake to building a cool Lego castle. Every week or so, print off the pictures and glue or tape them into a notebook or journal. Then, give your child the chance to write a 1-2 sentence caption about the picture. For younger children, have them dictate their sentences to you. By the end of the summer, you will have the perfect family keepsake of summer memories.
Write a book. Did your family take a fun trip? Does your child love the zoo? Give them the right art supplies and then watch their imaginations run wild as they create books about their favorite topics. Kids will take pride in becoming authors and illustrators. They can even use an app like FaceTime to read their books to family and friends.
Do a puzzle. Crossword puzzles and word searches are enjoyable ways for younger kids to practice letter recognition and spelling, and they help older kids build their vocabularies. They are perfect for long car rides and for when kids need a quiet activity. Buy a book of puzzles or print free ones online, and you’re all set.