EVERYDAY HOME  | 6.12.20  |  by Gia Dolney

It’s summer!  As we look for ways for our children to have things to do in the weeks before school starts again, we encourage books. This post is all about how to make summer reading fun for kids, to help them enjoy it and hopefully create a life-long love of reading.

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Utilize Summer Reading Programs

One of the easiest ways to get your child into summer reading is to have a local or national reading program help you.  Most local libraries have a summer reading program that adjusts for all ages, and often includes prizes and incentives.

If your local library is not open due to COVID-19, there are likely online reading programs. Here are some additional summer reading ideas for 2020.

The Libby App is a free way to get books from your local library. You can read the books within the app, such as on a tablet or phone, or drop them into a Kindle or Kindle app via your Amazon account.

There is also the free annual Scholastic summer reading initiative.  This year the theme is “Read-A-Palooza: Read, Celebrate, Give.” The program has a free “digital destination which offers full books, live events, and games in a safe community for readers.” This makes summer reading fun for kids as they track their reading progress and get rewards.

Photo Courtesy: Scholastic

Barnes & Noble has a fun summer reading program this year in which students in grades 1-6 can earn a free book. Between 7/1/20-8/31/20 you can receive a free book by reading eight books. The program has a summer reading journal that you fill out, bring in to Barnes & Noble, and then you get your free book!

Photo Courtesy: Barnes & Noble

Amazon Books, the company’s physical stores, also has a summer reading challenge. It works similar to Barnes & Noble.  You read any eight books. Keep track with a reading journal. Then bring in the list to your Amazon Books store by September 2 to get $1 off your next book purchase.

Look Into Reading Apps

Melissa Taylor, a teacher and writer, says that reading apps can be good but should complement physical books and “help kids learn to read and practice reading.” One of the apps she recommends is Reading Eggs, because it has game-liked lesson.

What used to be a book subscription service, the Amazon Rapids app is now a short stories app where kids ages 5-12 can read and listen along.

The FarFaria app provides one free book each day. You can subscribe if your child wants to read more than one a day. The app has books for ages 1-9. And there’s a wide variety, including educational books, bedtime stories, and even songs. There’s also an audio version for every book, with words highlighted.

Check Out Book Delivery Services

Also consider building your child’s physical, at-home library. Children love to read and look at books over and over.

A frugal way to do this is by going to second-hand stores and used bookstores to purchase used books. Amazon also has a used book option on every book’s page (if a used book is available). Many other vendors have used books, such as Thriftbooks which offers free shipping if you order over $10 in books.

There’s also an Amazon Prime Book Box.  You pick your child’s reading level and preferences, and then a box of new books are delivered every 1, 2, or 3 months.  What’s fun about this, is that there’s a sense of adventure and surprise.

Photo Courtesy: Amazon

Cratejoy.com has a similar-type kids’ books subscription program.  You pick the book bundle type (there are several options), which can include mixed books and themed projects as well.  There’s even a Spanish-language book box.

Photo Courtesy: Cratejoy

Lillypost.com is another kids book service for young children through age 7 — you pick your box and plan, and with each box the company donates a book to either one of two charities, Project Night Night for homeless children or The Children’s Book Bank for low-income children in Toronto.

(Note: updated from the original post on 6/22/18)

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