Whether you teach summer school, work at a camp, or have children at home, a major goal will be to encourage them to read and write this summer.
Love a Library
The library is a magical place that will open a world of books to children. When children get to choose their own books, it’s a powerful hook to get them to read. Most libraries have summer reading programs, as well as puppet shows and special events.
*Hint! Let children decorate a cloth bag to store books from the library. Keep it in a special place to encourage children to be responsible.
Have a quiet time each day when all devices are TURNED OFF. If you don’t make this a priority and routine, it won’t happen. Not only should you expect your children to read, you need to enjoy a book and be a good model for them. In the book THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD, an interesting finding was that parents who read with their children and modeled reading had a positive impact on academic success.
“If you want to catch a rabbit, you have to have a rabbit trap.” And, if you want children to read, you have to create a unique place where they will want to read.
*Let children decorate a cardboard appliance box to be a “book clubhouse.”
*Put pillows and stuffed animals in a small plastic pool so they can “dive in” and read.
*Make a tent and let them read with a flashlight.
*Brainstorm other places that would be fun to read.
Treasure Hunt Story
Prepare clues that will lead to a “treasure story.” (This is a special book that you have hidden outside.) For example:
1. A treasure hunt is so much fun. Near the swing is clue number one.
2. Clue number two should be easy, too. At the top of the slide is something for you.
3. Clue number three you will find in a tree.
4. Now it’s time for clue number four. Look for it by the storage door…
Tape the clues around your yard or playground ending with the spot where the “treasure story” is hidden. Encourage the children to help you read the clues and follow the directions. Find a shady spot outside and enjoy reading the book.
Paper and Pencils
*How about a spiral notebook or diary where you encourage children to write each day?
*Give children paper and envelopes to send letters to relatives and school classmates.
*Involve children in making shopping lists, chore charts, and other print activities.
*What child won’t want to write if you give them sticky notes to make labels and reminders?
*Clipboards and markers are good for a car trip or walk in the neighborhood.
Fill a shoebox or plastic tub with scrap paper, pens, pencils, markers, hole punch, scissors, glue stick, stickers, lunch bags, envelopes, silly putty, etc. When you have to fix dinner or need a break, get it out and encourage children use their imaginations.
Chalk can provide endless writing and reading opportunities.
*Children can decorate a paved surface for a birthday, Father’s Day, or other event.
*Children can practice writing words or drawing shapes.
*Draw a hopscotch design with chalk on a paved surface. Write letters or numerals in each section for the children to identify as they hop and play.
Reading and writing should be a JOY, not a chore. The trick is finding the right book that they will WANT to read and finding something they WANT to write about.
Happy reading and writing!!