Did you know that most students lose about two months worth of knowledge during their summer break? According to a research study on reading, all it takes is 15 minutes a day of independent reading to help curb this loss. That is why Half Price Books created our Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program, where kids 8th Grade and under can earn Bookworm Bucks by reading just 15 minutes a day. Still, the question remains: how can you get your kid reading this summer? Here are some tips on how to make reading fun for you and your child.
According to the National Commission on Reading, the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school. Having a parent or another caring person read aloud helps children learn listening skills, vocabulary and language skills as well as develop imagination, creativity and a sense of security, knowing that their parent feels they are a worthwhile pereson. Here are some great books to read aloud to your preschooler:
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
There is a reason this book has been around for 60 years. And after you read it, you can grab some crayons and go on an adventure of your own.
Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
When reading this book aloud, it warns you to “Take it slowly. This book is dangerous.” However, both you and your child will laugh as you trip over your tongue reading tongue twisters in true Dr. Seuss fashion.
As your child learns to read, try to pair books with activities you can do together. Here are some books that lend themselves to more fun family time.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
This is one of my 2nd graders favorite books, but I think it’s because we always make cookies after we read it. Another good cooking book to read is…
Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth
This story was first published in London in 1808, so there are several renditions. I chose this one because I love the illustrations. Still, making soup (even stone soup) after reading the book is a fun thing for you to do with your child.
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
When the story is all about imagination, what can’t you do after reading it? You can bounce, bounce, bounce around the house (or outside would be even better). You can make a sword out of cardboard and aluminum, put on a cap and mask, give yourselves Spanish names and look for adventure in your own backyard. You can make “Holy Guacamole,” some rice and beans and have a fiesta. You can make a piñata, or simply have a siesta. The sky is the limit with this book.
Now that they are reading all on their own, you have to find books that are in their interest level. Here are some suggestions in categories your child might be interested in.
If they like humor…
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
Snot Stew by Bill Wallace
If they like animals…
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace
If they like science…
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet by Anna Claybourne
If they like comic books…
Sidekicks by Dan Santat
The Cloak Society by Jeramey Kraatz
If they like sports…
Tackling Dad by Elizabeth Levy
King of the Mound by Wes Tooke
STAT: Home Court by Amar’e Stoudemire
We encourage parents to read the books their children are reading so they can converse with them about the books. So, why not have a family book club during the summer where you get together once a week or month to discuss a book you are all reading?
Book club recommendation…
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This book can also lend itself to going on a trip to a holocaust museum or the symphony. It’s great for kids who like music.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Getting your kids interested in a series is a great way to keep them reading, and if your kids like magic, this series about a self proclaimed villain might be right up their alley.
Pick up a Feed Your Brain bookmark the next time you are in Half Price Books for more reading recommendations, and don’t forget to grab a Feed Your Brain Reading Log, so that your kids can earn Bookworm Bucks this summer.
Also, we have extended our program to include high schoolers. To learn more about the high school portion of our program, visit the Feed Your Brain home page.
Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.