We asked our Teacher Cabinet members for some fun ideas to get kids reading over the summer and avoid the “summer slide.” See below for some great tips from Klavish Faraj, teacher at Paragon Mills Elementary, and Kristen Sawl, teacher at Fall-Hamilton Elementary.
- Learn while having fun!
Kahoot is a website with lots of fun learning activities for you to do with your children. You can create a free account on Kahoot.com, where you can find plenty of games already created and ready to play. Players then log into Kahoot.it and follow the directions from there!
- Write to a pen pal!
Find a friend or family members and have your child write to them as a pen pal. Mail the letters together and watch their faces glow once they receive mail with their name in the corner!
- Talk about what you see on a daily basis.
Point out and discuss words and phrases you see while out driving or shopping with your child. Encourage kids to “read” words like McDonald’s, Target, Cheerios, etc.
- Just read!
Read together. Read independently. Read outside. Read inside. Read at the pool. Read at bedtime. Just read and enjoy books together! While it’s important to set aside time every day to read, never make reading a chore or punishment. It’s always OK to read TO kids, even older kids.
- Keep a summer journal.
Have your student write in a journal or diary each day about all the fun things they do this summer. As an added bonus, turn the journal into a craft and decorate it together!
- Go to story time at the library.
Many local library branches offer read-aloud story times. Find out times for your local library here.
- Compare and contrast the book version and movie version of a story.
If there is a movie version of a book you’ve read, watch it and talk about it with your child. If there is a book version of a movie you’ve both seen, read it and talk about it! You can discuss what was the same and different, or what you liked or didn’t like about each version.
- Incorporate literacy into play!
For example, make a few letters while playing with Play-Doh, write out a menu while playing kitchen, document and label plants while on a camping trip, or write out the steps for making a craft.
- Have rich discussions with kids.
Being able to talk about complex ideas is often the first step before being able to write about them.
- Find books that really interest your child.
Reluctant readers are often just kids who haven’t found books they really like. Students who read all the time (simply because they enjoy reading) rarely experience summer slide.