When it comes to summer, reading may not be the first thing—or even in the top 10 things—kids have in mind! But reading can be the ideal summer activity. It’s fun, portable, can involve the whole family, and will help your child academically. Use these resources to launch a summer of reading.
Summer Reading: What the Research Says
- The Importance of Summer Reading, a research brief on summer reading and public library summer reading programs
- The Summer Reading Imperative, Kids and Family Reading Report from Scholastic
- Summer Reading: English Language Learners at the Library
- Summer Reading and the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap
Summer Reading and Summer Activity Resources
- Start a summer reading club. Book Club Basics from NEA’s Read Across America has ideas to help launch a summer book club for kids focused on reading fun and diverse book choices.
- Head to Start with a Book for free themed toolkits featuring five days of reading and learning fun with dozens of carefully chosen fiction and nonfiction book recommendations, hands-on activities, writing ideas, and apps and websites to deepen learning.
- Check out Summer of Adventure from PBS KIDS for Parents.
- Join Reading is Fundamental summer reading field trips and have kids spend their summer exploring their surroundings through reading adventures.
Ways to Challenge Kids to Read this Summer
- Visit your local library to find out about summer reading programs in your community.
- Teachers, librarians, and parents can register kids for Scholastic’s Summer Reading on Home Base where they are able to read books and stories; attend author events; interact with their favorite characters; play book-based games and activities; join dance parties; and more.
- In this summer reading and writing contest, middle and high school students are invited to tell The New York Times what articles they’re reading in The Times and why. Judges from the Times newsroom and The Learning Network pick favorite responses to publish.
- When kids complete a summer reading journal for the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program, they earn a free book after reading eight books.
- Do some Summer Reading Together with Learning Ally and win prizes.
- Sign up for Pizza Hut’s Camp BOOK IT! and reward reading all summer long.
- Chuck E. Cheese’s offers 10 free tokens to kids who read each day. Just print the reading calendar and redeem at a restaurant when complete.
Summer Reading Recommendations for Kids
- Summer booklists from Reading Rockets for ages 0-12
- We Are Kid Lit Collective Summer Reading List promotes books by Indigenous and People of Color (IPOC).
- Lee & Low Books’ Diverse Summer Reading list
- Summer Reading roundup of recommended reading from summer reading programs from TeachingBooks
- Summer Reading booklists for birth-8th grade from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
- Summer reading list from The Horn Book
- Summer reading tips to go from Start with a Book
- Reading Tips for Parents in multiple languages from Reading Rockets
- How to introduce toddlers and babies to books from Zero to Three
- "Parents of Young Children: Put Down Your Smartphones" from the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Guide for selecting anti-bias children’s books from Social Justice Books.
- Biracial Bookworms: Raising Readers, Activists, and Leaders
- Reading Aloud with Children with Disabilities from Reach Out and Read
- Ten tips for reading aloud to a blind child from the National Braille Press
- Reading tips for parents from NEA
- Reading Aloud with Children Twelve & Older from the Bank Street College of Education Children’s Book Committee.
- Find free books for kids and for the classroom from NEA
Great Web Resources to Help Raise Readers
- AdLit.org supports the parents and educators of struggling adolescent readers and writers with multimedia information and resources.
- Colorín Colorado provides resources for educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in grades PreK-12.
- NAEYC for Families helps parents understand how children ages 0-8 learn and offers creative learning ideas to try at home.
- National Summer Learning Association focuses on closing the achievement gap through high-quality summer learning for all children and youth.
- Reading Rockets offers strategies, lessons, activities and ideas designed to help young children learn to read.
- ReadWriteThink provides access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.
- Understood helps the millions of parents whose children, ages 3–20, are struggling with learning.
- We Need Diverse Books works to make sure more books featuring diverse characters get into the hands of all readers.