Reading: Five Ways to Incorporate Reading Into Vacation


Many families are looking to take a last minute vacation before the new school year starts. Going on a family vacation not only gives families the opportunity to spend quality time together, but it also provides excellent learning opportunities for children, including the chance to build stronger reading skills.


Study skills erode when children are away from the classroom and not participating in any type of literacy program. But continuing to build reading skills can be part of your vacation plans.

“From making children a part of the initial planning to practicing writing skills with postcards and travel journals, building reading skills can be a part of your family vacation plans,” said Deme Clainos, a spokesman for StudyDog, an interactive reading program geared toward elementary students.

5 Ways to Incorporate Reading Into Your Family Vacation

Here are a few ideas for including summer reading as a part of your family vacation.

1. Research your Vacation Destination Together

Before your trip, spend time together reading about and researching the places you will be visiting. There is often a host of travel reading material available including guides, convention and visitors bureau brochures and information from the Internet about the places you will visit.

2. Read Books Based in Your Vacation Spot

Read books that are set in the places you will visit to help build anticipation for your trip. For example, Miroslav Sasek has a series of books based in cities like London, New York, Paris, Rome and San Francisco. Plan to visit some of the places highlighted in the books you are reading.

Your trip might also be your child’s first introduction to airplanes, trains or other modes of transportation. You can read books to help prepare them for the trip. “Amelia’s Fantastic Flight” by Rose Bursik is a fun story that incorporates both airplanes and geography. Be sure to bring plenty of books along in case your vacation offers some quiet time on the beach or during an
evening in the hotel.

3. Download Audio Books for the Ride

If your trip will include lots of time in the car, riding on an airplane or traveling by train or bus, bring some audio books along. Libraries often have audio books on CD that you can check out, or purchase audio books from a bookstore or download them online from a website like Audible. Although listening to audio books isn’t technically reading, it can be a great way to build listening skills, develop vocabulary and hear a talented storyteller. Listening to audio books together as a family can be a great opportunity to have a discussion about the story and characters.

4. Write Letters to Family & Friends

Travel also provides a great opportunity for children to practice their writing skills. Buy them a travel journal that they can use to record memories from their trip. Writing postcards to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends is another fun way to practice their writing skills and share their experiences with people they care about.

5. Encourage Curiosity

Being in a new environment and enjoying new experiences could also help bring out curiosity for new subjects. For example, if you visit a natural history museum your child might develop an interest in dinosaurs. Purchase books on subjects that interest them to help foster a greater interest in the subject and build reading skills. Gift shops are often stocked with children’s books that make nice souvenirs.

What are some of your tips for incorporating reading into vacation plans?

Kellie Englehardt is a Salt Lake City based blogger that blogs on behalf of StudyDog. Kellie graduated from the University of Utah in Mass Communications. In her free time she enjoys traveling, skiing, doing art projects and exploring Utah.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.

StudyDog is offering an exclusive discount to Mom It Forward readers. Visit and input the promo code SDL2H0 for a 20 percent off a one year subscription. The code is valid through the end of August.


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