Summer Reading: 10 Tips to Prepare Your Kids for School This Fall

10 Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading this Summer10 Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading this SummerWe're right in the thick of summer and settling in to our routine. We're making time for the park, visiting our little Seattle beach, and even enjoying some weekend camping. Ahhhh, summer!

But I'm trying really hard to make reading one of our daily activities as well. I was told by each of my children's teachers to "Keep them reading all summer long!" So here are 10 tips helping us make that happen, so they are prepared for school in the fall.

1. Head to the library
We love our library. Luckily we are within walking distance, making it all the more simple to visit often. They have a fun little children's area and my kids love to play with the puppets and puzzles, and read books on the comfy couches. Our library has a great online system as well, so we can put things on hold ahead of time and head over to pick them up with they are ready.

Related: 10 simple ways to ease the summer-to-school transition

2. Find a good list of books to read
Over on Make and Takes, guest contributor Melissa of Imagination Soup has come up with a fabulous summer reading list. This list is great for all ages and has some really fun must-read titles.

3. Read to your kids
My kids love when I read to them. This is something that we usually do at night. Although sometimes they will bring books into my bed when we wake up and we'll start our day with a story!

4. Letting kids read on their own
As much fun as it is to have a story read to you, I think it's important for kids to "read" books on their own, whether they are an experienced reader or a "picture" reader - that's what I call it when children read with the pictures. Pictures tell so much of the story and kids can still "read" books even by scanning the illustrations to find out what is happening on each page.

Related: 5 things ALL moms look forward to on the first day of school

5. Start a reading program
Our library is offering a fun summer reading program for kids. If they read 10 books, they are entered in a drawing for the chance to win dinner for 4 at the top of the Space Needle. My daughter is convinced she is going to win, so she is devouring books! You could find something local in your community doing this or create something fun just within your family.

6. Be a good reading example
I'm a huge reader myself. We're usually going to the library for me to pick up my next waiting book! I keep books on my night stand to read before bed or I'm reading on the couch in the afternoon when there's some down time. It's good for kids to see us reading and to know we think it's important too.

7. Celebrate your books after you're done reading
This summer I've started a fun Storybook Summer series on Make and Takes sharing all sorts of fun books for kids and ways to celebrate them when you're finished reading. There are recipes, crafts, and silly activities. It's a great way to give your most recently finished book a little extra love.

Related: 7 expert tips for preparing your child for preschool

8. Make a reading chart to help motivate them
I love this fun idea for an Incentive Reading Chart from Mariel of Or so she says. She wrote on Make and Takes all about reading with kids and a fun motivational chart to keep them reading.

9. Take books to the park or other fun places to read
Switch up the scenery by taking a basket or bag of books to the park. There's nothing better than finding a nice shady tree to read in the cool summer breeze!

10. Have family reading time
I love to do "Read Alouds" with my kids. That's where we pick a chapter book to read together, I read and then my 9 year old son takes some turns. We usually choose a book that my 6 and 4 year old will like to listen to as well. Right now we're reading The Emerald Atlas. It's a little spookier, so it's been a fun one to read together.

For 10 things you need to know to raise a good reader, visit Babble!


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Marie LeBaron writes the popular parenting blog at Make and Takes. She has an Elementary teaching degree and is the author of the book, Make and Takes for Kids. Marie has always had a love of crafts. Even at a young age she was always making something, getting messy with glue and glitter. There's always some sort of project going on, her kitchen table is often cluttered with crafts. When she's not crafting and creating with her kids, she loves to read, run, and blog!

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