I have fond memories of my childhood Summers. My mom always encouraged us to be kids, so we played in our back yard, ran through the sprinklers, rode our bikes and had plenty of popsicles. Sometimes, she would even sit in our sandbox and help us make castles, complete with a moat and twig drawbridge.
But one of the best parts of every Summer was all the free time we had to read. I enjoyed many afternoons with my nose stuck in a book. I chased down criminals with Nancy Drew, floated down the River with Anne, and hid from dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Indeed, my days were full.
Sometimes, my older sister would challenge me to a book contest to see who could read the most pages in a set amount of time. In retrospect, I think she just wanted some time alone without me pestering her, but I’m not sure I’d ever get her to admit that. I suspiciously won a lot of those contests. Then again, maybe I really was a faster reader, and since I’d hate to accuse anyone of having ulterior motives I’ll just keep my title as Fastest Reader in our house.
It’s no surprise that my own shelves are filled with all my childhood favorites, as well as some new friends we’ve met since my kids arrived.
So, this summer, between trips to the park and a freezer full of popsicles, I hope my kids enjoy a few adventures of their own. Perhaps they’ll enjoy meeting Harry Potter on the Quidditch field, Percy Jackson at Camp Half-Blood or maybe they’ll even get to meet Pigeon on that bus that he never gets to drive. I might even be able to convince them to have our own reading contest, and maybe, if they’re lucky, some of them will be able to “beat” me. I am, after all, the reigning champ of Summer reading.
Need some ideas to get your kids motivated? Try these ideas from my Summer Reading Kit.
- Summer Reading Bookmark Trackers Simply print, cut out and then use a hole punch to punch out a watermelon seed for each book read. See how many bookmarks you can fill up before the summer is over!
- Summer Reading Bingo 25 great ideas! Have each child complete a row, a column, diagonally, or blackout the board.
- Summer Reading Book Log Keep a record of each book read over the summer. Includes book title, author, pages and 5 star-rating.
- Summer Reading Rewards Together with your child, set some reading goals. Use these fill-in-the-blank reward coupons every time a goal is met.