This summer, I’m sharing ways to encourage your child to keep learning–and learning can be fun! I have one child who loves to read, and another child who is a struggling reader. These ideas are for both of them!
No, your children may not enjoy all of these activities, but even reluctant readers can enjoy at least some of them.
Act it out!
Interactive learning is fun, and it sticks. Research has shown this over and over. This is especially helpful for reluctant readers. Reading a book can seem boring to some people (GASP! I know–I don’t get it either…lol). However, acting it out is fun! We did this for the 3 Little Pigs recently. My oldest son was the big bad wolf, while my youngest was all of the 3 little pigs. They had so much fun running from 3 different places in the house and making up the little houses that could or couldn’t be blown over.
Other ideas for this:
- Put together quick costumes out of things you already have at your house.
- Act out stories using LEGO minifigs or other toys and figures.
- Act out stories using paper dolls.
- Act it out on paper–have children illustrate the story.
Snacks are always fun, and pinterest is a great resource for creative ideas for themed snacks to go along with your favorite books! Make a night of it–or a breakfast of green eggs and ham. The point is to make it fun :)
Themed Crafts and Activities
If a book alone doesn’t hold your child’s attention, add some fun activities! Again, pinterest is a wealth of ideas here! If you’re overwhelmed with the many ideas on pinterest, my friend Sarah did a year-long series of Story Time Activities. Each post contains things like free printables, snack and activity ideas, and more!
Take a related field trip
Sometimes I plan unit studies based on trips we’ll already be taking, so that we can study a bit on the subject before taking our trip. But this does not have to be elaborate! They can be simple field trips. Keep it local–no matter how big or small your town, I’m sure there are some great places to visit if you ask around.
- Reading about apples? Visit an apple orchard, or make apple cider.
- Reading about history? Visit a local historical spot.
- Is there a picnic in your story? Go on a picnic.
Again, this doesn’t have to be elaborate, just fun and related in some way to the story.
Let them Choose
We want our kids to read high-quality books. But, reading is also supposed to be fun. Work out a balance and be sure you’re allowing them to choose some books just for fun as well. Let them choose some of those basic superhero books, comic books, and other books tailored to their interests.
Who knows, your reluctant reader might just discover the joy of reading!
Read together as a family
Read books to your kids! Even if they are big enough to read to themselves, it’s still fun to snuggle up with mom and dad to read a book. And if they are in those in between years, reading chapter books aloud together as a family can be fun as well.
We love the Little House on the Prairie books for family read-alouds.
Summer Reading Programs
Libraries all over the country have summer reading programs. Some of them require sign up in advance while others do not. Call your local library and find out. Our local library’s theme is super heroes, and our boys are loving it this year! There are also many places that offer rewards for summer reading.
- Barnes & Noble–kids can earn a free book!
- TD Bank
- Showcase Cinemas
- Books A Million
- Metro Bank
- Half Price Books
Nothing like a little bribery, right? There are many programs that your kids can do all year long. If you aren’t interested in them, create your own rewards system. Allow your children to earn small prizes or screen time after reading a pre-determined amount of books or minutes. Give them encouragement. You never know, you might find that your reluctant reader actually likes to read once he/she gives it a chance.
On-going Rewards programs to check out:
- Chuck E. Cheese–kids can read everyday for 2 weeks to earn 10 free tokens.
- Book-It–Kids can earn free personal pan pizzas (homeschoolers sign up here)
PS–look here for ways to get FREE and almost-free books!
More Ideas & Resources
Book specific ideas and activities
- Book & A Big Idea posts from iHomeschool Network members. A great list of books and activities.
- Story Time Activities & Ideas (12 different books)
- A Christmas Carol
- Daisy Comes Home
- Alice in Wonderland
- Bright Stanley
- Going on a Bear Hunt
- The Grouchy Lady Bug
Encouraging them to read:
- Fun & Frugal reading resources
- FREE and almost-free books
- Help your kids to love reading
- Encourage a love of reading in your kids
- 5 Ways to encourage a struggling reader
- Activities to promote reading comprehension
- Fun & Active Reading Games
- The Reading Game
- All About Reading
This post is a part of my “Make Learning Fun this Summer” series. Click here to read the other posts in the series.
What fun experiments have you tried with your kids?