How to keep kids reading this summer

Published 8:59 am Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Some kids love to read and can’t get enough of their newest books. But others need a little more motivation. With our family, we go through books like some people go through new movies. If you have a family of readers, then you know that summer is a great time to catch up on some great books. Here are some tips to help you keep your kids reading this summer while school is out of session.

• Sign up for summer reading programs: Most libraries have summer reading challenges for kids of all ages. Check with your local branch to see what programs they are offering for the kids. Typically, these summer library programs offer free books as prizes for completion of the challenge.

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• Earn Free Books: Half Price Books Feed Your Brain: Read 15 minutes a day to keep earn bookworm bucks at Half Price Books. (Grown-ups may read aloud to kids who are still learning.) Download a free reading log, add up your minutes and have your parent or guardian initial each week. Once you’ve reached 300 or more minutes, bring your log to your local HPB to claim your Bookworm Bucks on or before Aug. 31.

Tip: The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is here to encourage you to read books of your own choosing and earn a free book, simply by following these three easy steps: Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal. Tell us which part of the book is your favorite, and why. Go to a store before Sept. 5 and choose your free reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

• Free audiobooks for teens: SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week — based on weekly themes.  

• Read free Amazon Kindle books: If you have a Kindle reader, then you can download hundreds of ebooks for free. You simply browse the categories you are interested in and then download the book. It will typically sync up immediately with your Kindle or app on your phone.

Listen to Books in the car if you are going to spend any time in the vehicle traveling this next month, stop by the library first and check out an audiobook. You can all enjoy listening to Chronicles of Narnia or a Harry Potter book while passing the miles. Even young children can learn to follow long story lines as long as you take a few minutes periodically to stop and catch them up. It’s amazing how a young child will develop the ability to retain information from a book even though it’s technically above their level.

• Offer Incentives or Bribes: If your children are not excited or motivated to read, don’t be afraid to offer incentives. Some kids would much prefer electronics to books. No problem. For every 15 minutes of book time, they can earn 5 minutes of electronics. You just may find that your kids are reading more than you expect.

• Set an example: You can’t expect your children to love books if you don’t read books yourself. Even though life gets busy, I still make time to read. With free e-books available for Kindle, iphone or ipads, it’s even easier to carry around an entire library. I make a point to grab a book anytime I leave the house in case I find myself waiting with a few extra minutes.

Do you and your kids love to read? What book are you in the middle of right now? Do you know of other summer reading programs? I’d love to hear!

For more ideas on hobbies and life, check out Hobbies on a Budget at