With summer just around the corner, I suppose it's easy for some kids to read less during these months when they're not in school, so I thought I'd post some of my ideas to encourage summer reading ...
BOOK CLUBS -- When I was little, my mom signed me up for a book club one summer. It was one of those deals found in a magazine where you get a certain amount of books for a penny and then you pay for additional books you want later on. I don't remember the details much, but I remember getting the books. I think it was one of the first packages I got in my own name, so it was a big deal to me. There are all sorts of book clubs these days, including ones like the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club.
LIBRARIES -- I can't say enough about supporting your local libraries. They're filled with so much to choose from. Libraries not only give your children a huge variety of books, but they also teach responsibility by using library cards, taking care of books, and returning them when the time is up. Kids love having their very own library card. Library books are the best because kids can check out as many as they want, without the parents having to look at each one and fret, "How much is this?" It's unlimited reading fun, and when the time is up -- you can get more!
CHORE CHARTS -- If your kids are anything like mine, they have way too many toys. How about offering books as an incentive for their daily chores? We did this with the boys awhile back and it was a lot of fun. If they did all their chores for a certain time period, they got to pick out a book of their choice. We set the dollar amount on the book, which helped them narrow it down when they were shopping. They loved earning their own books!
YARD SALES & THRIFT STORES -- All of the books in this picture were bought for 70-cents at a thrift store. My girls went to one the other day and found these books for their little brothers. How can anyone pass up a book for a dime? We collect Berenstain Bear and Snoopy books, so this was a real treat for the boys. They also love Jurassic Park and All Dogs Go To Heaven, so the girls did well when it came to finding stuff the boys liked. Imagine how much they'd cost new! Yard sales are another great place to buy children's books. Hard cover picture books generally cost $15-20 brand new, but at a yard sale you can find them for a quarter. This is one of the best ways to add to your child's book collection without spending a fortune.
BOOK PROJECTS -- Rather than the boring old book report that kids are required to do for school, try a craft project. Pick a few books with a certain theme and then go online and find some easy crafts to go with it. If you're taking a summer vacation, look for books that relate to where you're going. Right now the boys and I are reading about butterflies, as I posted yesterday. We're doing simple crafts to go along with the stories. In addition to crafts, another fun idea is food. You can do a lot with food and have it relate to the stories your children are reading. The Internet is filled with ideas like that. If your child is younger, have them draw a picture about the story. Reading a book is wonderful, but don't let it end when you close the cover. Take it a step further -- draw pictures, paint, bake cookies!
Tomorrow I will post some of the ways I've kept track of the books my kids have read. I do this for school, but it can easily be used at home during the summer months. It's a fun way for kids to keep track of the books they've read as well as create an awesome keepsake along the way. I hope you'll come check it out -- and -- Happy Summer Reading!