Tips to Motivating Your Kids to Read During Summer Break


Someone once said that "Boys are meant for kisses and hugs,/For watching rainbows and catching bugs,/For sharing all of your favorite things,/For books to read and songs to sing." Kids are meant to enjoy summer, to play, to explore. On the other hand, so many experts say that their studies should continue throughout the summer, to prevent academic "slide." A recent Dominican University study, for example, confirmed what many librarians have long suspected: students who take part in their local library’s summer reading program [not only maintain, but] significantly improve their reading skills.  How does one reconcile these two perhaps idyllic or idealistic perspectives? How does a mother channel her children's summer energies and help them develop their brains as well?

Girl reading in the grass with blue skies

If the vibe of MomItForward's #gno (Twitter girls' night out) is any indication, the secret is to make reading a part of that summer exploration and incorporate it into your daily or weekly routine, whatever that may be, in creative ways. While that may make sense in general, specific ideas and apps as to how to do that can be hard to come by. In a recent #gno Twitter party with panelists from PBS Kids, ideas were plentiful, though. Here are some suggestions for summer reading:

Ideas for Encouraging Summer Reading

@theaumsmama: "Love lazy summer reading. We participate in our libraries smr reading pgrm. Kids earn $20 to spend locally. Also, I have recorded myself reading books for the car esp. road trips."

@PBSParents: "School may be out in the summer, but reading is always in. 🙂 Keeping books in the car is key."

@momonashoe: "I offer a reading incentives and we make a graph that goes up to the ceiling."

@realmomsluv2eat: "My kids are self motivated by the idea that we get to go buy new books, or trade them w/ friends."

@heatherd13: "One hour of reading a day, period. It's not that hard to do and they pick the books."

@7onashoestring: "My girls like to do puppet shows and use books for their scripts."

Helpful Sites and Apps

@appsforipads: " There is an iPad app called StoryPatch that will allow your child to make their OWN storybooks!"

@iVillage:  ""

@spanglishbaby: "I wrote a post linking to all the 2011 Kid’s Summer Reading Challenges"

@iambrimful: "Book blogs like @SevenImp and @FuseEight great new book resources. And Starfall is wonderful. And of course PBSkids."

@coolmomtech: " Love Brain Pop Jr."

@mrspstorytime: "My free reading challenge game rewards reading with a pot of gold!"

Mom It Forward community member, @ThinkMaya, recently developed an app called MemeTales, which is perfect for encouraging kids to read at home or on the go this summer! Their website even offers a way for parents and kids alike to write and publish their own books.

And, of course, PBS Parents offers a wealth of ideas. These are just a few of so many awesome tips offered, and so many resources available for some good summer reading!

What tips do you have for encouraging your kids to read during the summer break?




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