I think as homeschoolers we have an advantage over school kids as reading is a part of everyday life and not necessarily part of school so summer reading can continue as usual. However, this is not always the case. Not all kids enjoy reading when they would rather be outdoors running around all summer. One way to liven up summer reading is to incorporate complimentary activities into the stories.
How do you do this?
Read the story or book ahead and then either brainstorm an idea or surf the internet for ideas to enhance the story. Just about anything goes! There are endless ways to bring books to life.
Making Summer Reading Adventurous
- Try a new recipe; from astronaut food to flatbread, there’s always a food activity to be found for any story.
- Take a trip to a living history museum or book setting; forts, castles, beaches, parks, mountains, plains, forests, etc.
- Crafts – this is one of our favourites! Paint a picture, make a model of a building, make clay pottery, learn cross stitch, build a bench or sword, there’s no shortage of ideas for this.
- Dress up as one of the characters and spend the day in their shoes – how would they react to your everyday situations? From superheroes to Vikings, don your cape and horns and have fun.
- Once you’ve read the book, watch the movie – there are many books based on movies and vice versa. See if the way you pictured the story in your mind’s eye is how it’s been portrayed by the director.
- If you happen to live near the location of a book, set up a post-card or letter exchange with someone and write to them as if you are one of the characters. What would they say? How would they speak? We recently did this, pretending we were about to set sail on the Titanic for its maiden voyage, using a postcard of the Titanic advertisements.
- Learn about the author’s life and interests. This may expand the genre of your child if they are stuck in a particular one. To find that their favourite author is inspired by another, can be enlightening.
- Set up a special reading nook – a tent, bean bag, playhouse, under a tree, a step, or another location. Make it special with a sign, fairy lights, and a bottle of water to keep hydrated.
- Act it out! Have the kids put on a play for you, their grandparents, friends, or to record and turn into a movie. Have them act out the book. If they are older, they could even write the screenplay and design a set.
- Check out Castle View Academy, where there are dozens more ideas on specific book activities.
Children can choose their own books or you can help them choose something in a genre they enjoy so they are more interested in the topic. Then set up a reading nook and let them read while you prepare the activities. Double the fun by inviting a friend to join in, too. Once children get the idea that books don’t have to simply be read as a chore, but that you can have fun with them, they’ll be sure to come up with great ideas, too.
What are ways you’ve made summer reading fun for your children? Share your ideas below in the comments!
Crystal McClean is a Canadian homeschooling her family in Northern Ireland. Her family loves to learn about culture and they find it fun to do this by reading books, creating activities and recipes as well as attending cultural events when they can. When she isn’t home with her family she’ll be at the writing letters at library, taking photos at the local camera club, or counting wildlife along the loughshore with friends. You can learn more about their adventures at Castle View Academy or follow along via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.