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Summer is almost here and it’s a great time to come up with your summer reading goals. The kids and I have always loved reading, but there’s just something about sitting out in the summer sunset and enjoying a book or two. Relax by the pool with a glass of lemonade and it’s literally the perfect reading scenario!
If you’re looking for a way to prevent the summer brain slide and keep the kids engaged and reading all summer long, it’s important to find great books that they actually want to read.
What most parents find difficult about the summer months is that the kids seem to want to put a “hold” on learning and focus on other things during that time. I get it, we’ve all been there.
But this is where reading comes into play. Not only does reading open up their eyes to a world of imagination, but it’s a fun way to destress, slow down, and even calm themselves right before bed.
Reading is one of our favorite activities to do as a family during the year because we get to sit, snuggle, and bond.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to create a summer reading list for your child, here are some of my favorite reading tips!
How to find good summer reading books for your child’s age group
There are so many great resources to find books that your child will love. Here are some options that you can start asap to start gathering books for your summer reading at home.
- Ask the local librarian – librarians are a wonderful resource because they are often familiar with the books and know what has been popular in their library. They’ll be able to get recommendations and present new books as well.
- Ask friends – If your child’s friends are loving a certain book, it’s likely your child will enjoy the series too given that they will also probably have similar interests. It also gives your kids something to talk about. Who knows – there might even be a fun book club that can happen along the way!
- Browse through the Scholastic website – They have a wonderful summer reading section that includes award-winning books, best sellers, etc. Literally all types of books about all types of topics. The website is organized in a way that is easy to navigate and super simple for the kids to explore and find what they’re looking for. I love that the Scholastic website includes age groups and general grade level suggestions under each book as that gives the perfect starting point for them to look at and explore. Here are the book recommendations for children ages 8-9 (my daughter is 8 years old).
- Visit your local book store, walk around the aisles and see if anything catches your child’s interest – We don’t judge books by their cover in our house but there isn’t something fun about walking around a book store and discovering a new book!
- Look for online reviews of the books – Parents and kids do a great job of adding their own reviews of books that can really help in discovering options.
Those are just a few ideas. I love talking to other parents as well and asking what books that their kids are currently reading.
How to create your summer reading booklist
I like to create a visual reading list for my daughter. Once my daughter and I have come up with the right books I then go online and type in the book title into the search bar. I then copy the image into a word document.
This is a great time to talk about what each book is about and my daughter may even decide which order she will be reading the books in.
I like to include a special reward section so my daughter knows what she is working towards. Reading goals and reading rewards are really fun for the kids and it is a great way to build their reading confidence as well.
Getting a reward after finishing their booklist is always a summer highlight! My daughter’s chosen reward for this year’s booklist is a day at the trampoline park.
My daughter can then tick off which books she has read.
I am including a printable for my visual summer reading list. Once you print it out you will need to print out your chosen book covers and have your child cut and paste them into this page.
Alternatively, you can print out my coloring page reading logs here.
How to get your child excited about reading
If you have a child that just isn’t a huge fan of reading, there are ways that you can get them pumped about it and change their mind frame.
It isn’t a process that will happen overnight, but the more that you encourage reading in a positive manner, the more that they’re going to be excited to read.
Start them with a much-adored book series
If you’ve ever been in a reading slump before, you know that the book choice really does matter. Find a book series that you know they’ll love to get them excited for more. Learn why children’s book series are the best gift to encourage a love for reading.
Pick a book to read together
Kids love doing anything with their parents and reading a chapter book together is a great way to bond! This will give your child and you quality time, encourage a warm feeling around reading, and helps your child learn to pronounce words they may not know. Learn why reading together is the perfect family activity
Keep it simple
Don’t push reading so hard that it’s the last thing that your child will actually want to do. Instead, have a varied list of books that include some age and skill-appropriate reading (at their reading level) and include a book or two just below to encourage reading confidence.
Don’t make your booklist overwhelming for your child. You can start with a smaller list of books and as your child’s confidence in their reading grows you can add more books. I chose to begin with 4 books and then we just add on more from there.
Make sure to only include books that your child is eager to read in the beginning. Let the stories and pictures draw them in and watch how their curiosity for other books expands.
Use reading time to earn tech and gadget time
Many kids would rather watch TV or play games on a gadget than read. Have your child earn their gadget time by doing some reading time. Each reading minute can earn them a minute (or x 2 or x 3 minutes depending on what works for your family.)
Incorporate audiobooks into your reading list
Audiobooks are great for listening when you are in the car driving to swimming lessons or other summer activities. My kids really enjoy audiobooks and we somehow always get to our destination at the best part of the book!
Books we will be reading this summer
The Magic School Bus Rides Again by Samantha Brooke
Every Magic School Bus book is full of adventure – paired with a little bit of learning. Any of the Magic School Bus books will have your little one buckling up and getting ready for the ride!
The specific book my daughter will be reading this summer is, The Magic School Bus Rides Again – Carlos Gets the Sneezes: Exploring Allergies. Children will dive a little into science and learn about antibodies and t-cells in this interesting topic that will teach your child about allergies.
Ranger In Time #1: Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner
This book is perfect for pet fans and kids who love adventure. They’ll cheer along with this time-traveling rescue pup as he’s transported back to the year 1850, where he meets a young boy named Sam! The Oregon Trail can be a little dangerous and Ranger will need to save the day and help protect Sam throughout his journey. Here is a quick peak inside to show you what the pages look like.
Did you know that witches walk among us and look just like regular folks? One thing these witches hate though is… children! An eight-year-old boy and his grandma come face to face with the Grand High Witch herself and she and the other witches want to get rid of all the children in the world. Will they be able to be stopped in time? The version of the book we are reading is the Graphic novel. I read the original version previously and was excited to see that there is a graphic novel version now too.
I Survived the Titanic Graphic Novel
The “I Survived” series is all about true events that have changed the course of history. This graphic novel is a page-turner full of facts and historical information. Ten-year-old George Calder can’t wait to explore every inch of the Titanic. His tag-along little sister, Phoebe, joins him and ventures into the first-class baggage room when a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George’s life changes forever.
Eleven-year-old Japanese-American Owen has been in Japan for his sixth-grade year. He finally feels like he’s getting the hang of the new place and when early one morning, everything changes – and Owen suddenly finds himself just trying to survive one of history’s most devastating disasters – A horrifying tsunami.
The “I Survived” Series has been enjoyed by all my children, each with varying interests and ages. If you have children who love reading and learning about history, make this a family chapter book choice to read together.
The summer is a great time to up your child’s reading level and build a love for reading.
Grab the visual reading list printable here