EVERYDAY HOME  | 6.1.21  |  by Gia Dolney

summer reading 2021 at the library

If you’re like us, we’re so looking forward to summer. And after a long school year that was difficult for most families, we’re all ready to relax and enjoy less stress. So we’re trying to figure out how we can do summer reading 2021 while keeping it fun. We’ll take any help we can get!  So, we’ve put together some of our best tips on making the most of this year’s summer reading for your kids.

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Get your child a library card

Most libraries are open now, at least to some degree. So go ahead and get your child their own 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 — even if you’re checking out online.

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. Or check on the library’s webpage.

Usually there are also program dates — for example the Los Angeles Library’s summer reading program is from June 7 – August 7.  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.

summer reading 2021 at the library

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.

And here are some additional book lists. You can see if your local library has these books, before you buy. You can also check out free digital versions via the Libby app, which you can connect to your Kindle or your tablet (via the Kindle app).

Go to the library at least once a week

When you put a library trip on the calendar with the date and time, it gives summer some structure.  Make your summer reading 2021 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 more alternative activities for your kids this summer, check out our Summer Screen Time Tips article.