• Jennifer Noel Wilson

Ways to Get Kids Reading This Summer

Updated: Jul 10

The summer is already half-way over! Maybe you are already thinking about school starting back up again and want to make sure your kids are ready. Reading over the summer can help kids build skills, aid in creativity, keep them learning and ready for school. Getting some kids to keep reading over the summer can be challenging. Here are some creative ways to help motivate your kids to read this summer.


Go to the library

We have always enjoyed the library in the summer. Most libraries have summer reading challenges for kids where they can receive prizes along the way. There can even be a grand prize for completing the reading challenge. Libraries also have fun programs that engage kids in reading like scavenger hunts, story time, or puppet theatre. You can even borrow crafts and games for family game night. Best of all, it’s all free!


Bring books on a picnic

Go on a picnic to a local park or your backyard. Bring a stack of everyone’s favorite books. Spend some time reading alone after your picnic or reading out loud together, taking turns. OR go after lunch. Pack the picnic basket with books, small games and snacks.


Have a Reading Campfire

Make some s’mores then spend time cozied up in sleeping bags or in your favorite chair reading by the campfire. Read quietly or out loud to each other. Start a “Story-Go-Round,” where one person starts telling a story for 1 minute, then the next person adds onto the story for 1 minute. Take turns adding onto the story, each for 1 minute. This should bring some fun belly laughs.


Play audio books in your car

When my kids were little, we enjoyed listening to Adventures in Odyssey in the car. It’s a win-win for kids and parents. The car will stay quiet!


Book exchange party with friends/Book swaps

Invite some friends over and tell them to bring their favorite books. Provide snacks, pillows, blankets, maybe even build some forts or provide tents. Have the kids exchange books and read them. OR create a theme from a favorite book. Provide snacks based on the theme, play games, have kids act out parts of the story.


Create a reading challenge or join one (schools sometimes have these)

Our local library had a competition in the past between schools. The school that had the kids with the most reading hours got a huge trophy!


Start a summer book club

Start a summer book club in your neighborhood. Have kids pick out a book to enjoy reading together. Rotate homes and get together every couple of weeks to talk about your favorite parts of the book and spend time taking turns reading out loud.


Read to stuffed animals or pets

Have your little ones read to their stuffed animals or pets. They love to use their imagination, so use this as another way to engage them to read. Pets will enjoy the attention when your kids read to them as well.




Create your own story and share out loud with the family

Encourage kids to write their own story. For younger kids, write down a story while they tell it to you. Then, read it to the family over dinner.


Reading Bingo

Download my Summer Reading Bingo card on my Family Activities page to engage your kids in a summer reading challenge. Making a game out of reading can be so much fun. I’ve included creative and fun ways to keep reading.


Read, read, read! Read out loud to your kids even as they grow older. Reading is a great way to bond and spend time with your kids at any age. I’d love to hear your creative ways to keep your kids reading!

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