Books, websites, and apps are not the only way to practice and improve reading during the Summer. There are numerous activities that both complement and encourage additional reading and the pursuit of knowledge. Many of these activities will be great fun for your child, and encourage a love of learning and reading.
We encourage you to use some of the following recommendations at least twice a month to further your child’s progress in reading over the summer.
1.) A Night (or Day) at the Museum. A trip to the museum can be a great way to encourage reading. While you certainly don’t need to go at night (though, watching the movie beforehand may be a fun primer!), museum visits are often a terrific chance for children to learn about new areas of interest. Museums focused on natural history, science, and astronomy offer great opportunities for learning, and a trip to the library afterward can be the conduit to more reading.
Before you go to the museum, you might want to check out the museum website as an opportunity for planning your visit, as well as for encouraging additional reading. Many larger museums have extensive websites with numerous links to information that require reading and aid in the the acquisition of new vocabulary words for your children. Follow your trip to the museum with a visit to a library or an Internet search to find more information about areas of particular interest. Many museums have gift shops where you could buy books, models, or other hands-on materials to encourage further learning.
2.) If You Build It, They Will Read. Engage in a family building project. Construct a gadget, invention or a contraption for fun. Use a website or a magazine that requires some reading to find a suitable project and then have your child read and follow the instructions. This will require reading comprehension skills and often can add to your child’s vocabulary. Some of our favorite sites include http://makezine.com and http://builtbykids.com/.
3.) Travel Back in Time. Visit a historical site. Many children seem to have an inherent love of history and can become very engaged in reading about events that occurred in the past. Visiting sites that are related to historical events such as the the Civil War, discoveries of gold or oil, natural disasters, or even your own family history may be of particular interest to your child. There are hundreds of books with old photographs and text that show how these historical sites looked in the past. Many counties also have historical societies where pictures and histories can be accessed. Wikipedia is also an excellent source of information about local areas, as much of the content is compiled by local residents who have intimate knowledge of their towns and cities.