EVERYDAY HOME  | 7.5.16  |  by Terra Wellington

If you’re like us, we’re rapidly reaching the halfway summer point in which the kids are starting to say “I’m bored.”  This is why we are huge fans of our local library!!  It’s another place to explore in the hot summer months, at least once a week.  Libraries also, of course, encourage summer reading.  We’ll take any help we can get!  So, we’ve put together some of our best tips on making the most of your library trips.

Read on for ways to encourage summer reading with library trips  

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Get your child a library card

It’s something special for a child to have his own library card.  The child can learn to check out books on his own and be responsible to bring the card for each library trip.

Sign up for the summer reading program

Almost every library has a summer reading program with incentives.  Ask any library worker for information and how to sign up.

Usually there are also program dates — for example the Los Angeles Library’s summer reading program is from June 13 – August 6.  And even if you jump in halfway through, being involved for several weeks is still satisfying.

Oftentimes there are also separate programs for kids, teens, and adults.  So even parents can be reading at the same time as your 4 and 7 year old.

Most libraries give children prizes for reaching summer reading milestones.  The Arlington, Virginia Library has an extensive prize program for all ages, even adults — and includes a partnership with Chipotle for meal cards.

Image Courtesy: Arlington, Virginia Library Summer Reading Program

Image Courtesy: Arlington, Virginia Library Summer Reading Program

Choose books wisely

It’s fun to browse for books, especially in the children’s section.  When you happen upon authors that your child like, you can return to seek out more titles from the same author.

If you’re looking for book list sources, we like reading about book recommendations from Common Sense Media.   It’s a way for us to know what’s in a book before we check out, making better selections with positive role models and avoiding less favorable topics and content according to our families’ beliefs and values.  For example, here’s some interesting lists: Books That Inspire Kids to Be Grateful, 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12, Books for Reluctant Readers, or Chapter Books: New York Times Bestsellers.

Go to the library at least once a week

And put it on the calendar with the date and time.  Make it a regular thing.  Kids benefit from structure during the vacation months.  And having hard dates for the return gives children due dates for finishing up a book or receiving an incentive from the library.  Enjoy!

For even more tips, you can read our article on 5 Easy Ways: How To Get Your Kids to Read This Summer.

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