kids reading in park together; book-related activities for kids

Summer. What a fantastic word to a child! School is out, it’s warm outside, and the long days are filled with nothing but fun in the sun. While many children normally fill their summer days playing on electronics, hanging with friends, or going on family vacations, there are other book-related activities they may not even think about.

Before the young ones start groaning about having to possibly read over the summer, what if an adult were to say that by reading, they could get a free pizza? Or engage in weekly activities at the library with their friends? Or create a delicious dinner to eat?

Since the groaning has most likely turned to interest by now, let us dive into five summer reading activities that are sure to fill those long summer days with entertainment.

1. Library Summer Reading Programs

Libraries offer yearly summer reading programs that offer engaging workshops full of creative and literary based activities. From arts and crafts to story time to author visits and more, each year will offer new book-related activities that your child can participate in at the reading/grade level they are comfortable with. Check your local library for yearly themes, events and workshops, and more. The program is free, or depending on where you are located, there could be minimal costs.

2. BOOK IT!

For forty years, Pizza Hut has run BOOK IT!, a free reading program that not only encourages daily reading, but also rewards young readers with a free personal pan pizza once they have reached their reading goals! This program is available to children in PreK to sixth grade (ages 4–12) and normally runs from October to March of each school year; however, due to its popularity, there is now a Camp BOOK IT! for parents who wish to encourage their children to read from June to August.

3. Write a Story

Reading and writing go hand in hand! For without writing, we wouldn’t have the incredible stories we do today. Children can be writers, too. All they need is paper, something to write with, and their imagination. They could write about a little girl who searches for her lost dog. Or an alien who goes to an Earth school as an exchange student. How about a cowboy in the Wild West? The sky is the limit! And children do not have to stop there as they can expand their creativity and draw pictures to go along with their stories.

4. Books as a Reward

Unfortunately, chores still need to be done, regardless if it is summer break, but how about a literary incentive for some motivation? For families who are more financially comfortable, consider creating a chart of daily chores for your child to complete. Once they have completed their chores every day for two weeks, their reward is one book of their choosing at their local bookseller or store. By the end of the summer, your child will have added five to six books to their collection.

5. Cooking/Baking

When cooking or baking a new dish, reading is definitely involved as we must follow a recipe in order for the dish to come out tasting delicious. There are many cookbooks out there with recipes that are simple for younger readers to follow as well as pop culture cookbooks with themed foods from Disney, shows, movies, video games, and more. Not only will they be reading, they will be strengthening their culinary skills while spending time with family.

Final Thoughts

Whether you do one of these book-related activities with your children or come up with something new and unique, let’s make this summer a literary one!