Summer Time Reading Ideas

Summer is time for splashing in the pool, running in the yard, playing at the park and also time for reading together. Balance the busy, physical activities that the warm weather brings with quiet, reflective times sharing books.

  • Keep track of how many different places you read a book this summer. (some ideas: at the park, by the lake, in the backyard, under a tree, in a tree, under the kitchen table, in bed…)
  • Read Every Day! How many books can you read aloud together this summer? Keep track of what you read with one of these easy art projects:
    • Book Worm: Cut out paper circles in different colors and write the title of a book when you’ve read it, onto each circle. Tape the circles together in a row and you will have a caterpillar. How long will it grow?
    • Flower: Cut tear drop shapes out of white paper for the petals of a daisy and write the name of a book you read on each petal. Use a yellow paper circle for the flower center and add petals on as you read books. Tape the flowers onto the wall, door, or large paper. Add stems and leaves if you wish. You’ll have a garden in no time!
    • Kite: Make a diamond shape out of paper for a kite to tape to the wall. Add a long string for the tail. Cut out small triangle shapes and write a title of a book you read on each triangle. Tape two triangles with the tips together and you’ll have a bow to put on the tail of your paper kite.
    • Tree: On large paper draw the trunk and branches of a tree. Cut out leaves from paper in an oval shape or trace around real leaves from outside and cut out of paper. Write a title of a book on each leaf and add them to the tree each day.
    • Hands: Trace your child’s hand on paper and cut out. Write the name of a book on each finger as you read them. Create more paper hands as you need them. This is a great way to practice counting too! (One caution for any of these projects: choose carefully where you are taping your cut-outs so you don’t damage any wall coverings in your home.)
  • Make sure to bring books on vacation, outings and errands to keep your young children occupied and entertained with great stories and illustrations.
  • Start a Summer Book Club with friends of your children or neighbors. Each family reads the same book at the same time and then gets together to talk about the book. Ideas for conversation: What was your favorite part of the book? Who is your favorite character and why? Were there any words that were new to you in the book?
  • Host a book exchange with friends or neighbors. Everyone can bring one, two or more books that they are willing to part with and then swap for a new gently-used book that someone else has brought.
  • Connect books with activities! Read a story that mentions something yummy to eat and then try out a recipe at home. (ideas: “Bunny Cakes” by Rosemary Wells or “Strega Nona” by Tomie dePoala) Read a book about a physical activity and then try it with your children. (ideas: “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle or “Making the Team” by Nancy Carlson)