We’re making our summer reading list and I am really looking forward to our summer plans this year because we’ll be away for quite a while and will be experiencing something new as a family. I’ve also planned something fun and different in store for Sprinter for his summer reads… to help him grow as an independent reader. Reading has always been ‘Mummy read alouds’ but now that he can tackle easy readers, why not assign some reading to him for a change? 😉

read cartoon

It’s really important that kids read when school is out so that they continue to build on their reading skills and prevent a ‘summer’ slide, especially for early readers like Sprinter. In my opinion, reading isn’t quite an effortless natural activity to them yet. Hence, they need to put their reading/coding-decoding of the alphabets/blending skills into practise… and it’s really important to make it into a fun and exciting challenge too! So we decided to go with a Summer Book Bingo challenge 🙂

Several versions I found online and will be using this summer for everyone.
Several versions I found online and will be using this summer for everyone.

You can find many versions online and use them or if you have more than one reader at home, it’s best to personalize the challenge for each child based on their reading skill level.

My niece is nine (we’re all going to be spending summer together) so I’ll include a couple of chapter books in her bingo.

On the other hand, her younger sister and Sprinter (beginning readers) will be on a different plan.

Sunshine and my nephew aren’t reading at all, so I’ll be doing all the reading for them this summer. 🙂

Don’t forget to celebrate! It’s suppose to be a fun and an enriching challenge. I try to be careful with rewards but in this case I think it’s worth providing incentives. E.g ice cream dates, a trip somewhere fun, a new book/small toy etc. So tell them in advance what they are in for every time they successfully get a bingo! I don’t use words such as ‘rewards’ and ‘incentives’ when I’m presenting the idea to them… I call them “celebrations” and we’ll celebrate the occasion. 🙂

Just before I end off… some tips that might be helpful:

  1. Let them choose: We’re still trying to build a relationship for them and help them fall in love with books and reading. Let them have a say over what they want to read. They’ll be more excited over books they want to read versus books they are ‘forced’ to read.
  2. Availability :  I believe ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Have books around the house – in the living room, in the play room and even in the bathroom! In fact, I think my book baskets in the bathrooms are most the popular! They always pick up a book to read when they’re there. Afterall, they are ‘stuck’ there for quite a while 😉 (Tip: This is when I can get more intentional by having books I’d like them to read in those baskets.)
  3. Time: Set aside time to read. Maybe after breakfast, or just before you’re about to head out to have fun. Even just ten minutes is good enough! I find the latter works really well for us – the kids run into their rooms to sit down and read when I tell them we can head out right after our ten minutes read. It’s a win-win because I use that time to quickly get ready as well.
  4. Library: Bring them to the library and let them have fun going through all the books and checking them out! They love visiting the library!
  5. Example: One of the best ways of course to encourage reading is to model good reading habits yourself. Kids learn by watching and imitating adults so why not organize family reading time once a week as a start?

Whatever you do, have fun reading! Let us know how you are planning your holiday reads and what are on your lists? We’d love to share! Happy reading!