Photo Credit: Wayne Simpson/All Canada Photos
Your kids may be ready for a break from school, but you want to keep their growing minds learning -- even in the fun-filled summer months. That's why PBS KIDS, Scholastic and iVillage have teamed up again for the Third Annual Summer Reading Challenge. You can learn more and sign up here. (But hurry, it starts June 18th!)
To celebrate the challenge -- and kids reading -- we had a #SummerReading Twitter Party last night featuring great hosts, including Liz Zack, Editorial Director of iVillage's Pregnancy + Parenting channel, blogger Mom It Forward, and experts from PBS KIDS and Scholastic. Lots of moms pitched in advice for getting their kids excited about books when it's bright and sunny outside -- read our favorite tips below!
Have a Booknic
Reading is more fun when you make it a family event: @PBSParents suggests grabbing some blankets and lunch along with your favorite stories and make it a "Booknic!" Mom Staci Salazar puts a spin on her booknic by turning it into a tea party for her young girls.
Make It Interactive
One way to engage young readers is to go beyond the page and think up fun activities they can do with Mom or Dad. @Memetales does crafts and makes books with her kids around the topics they're reading. Staci Salazar encourages her girls to act out the books they read with a puppet show while @MamaKnowsItAll opts for books with cooking projects included.
Switch Screen Time for Page Time
While we love apps, there's something nice about holding a book -- or seeing your kids read some of the classic page-turners you loved growing up. Mom Lisa Lantz lets her kids earn electronic play time by reading: minute for minute! Dad Troy Pattee's kids earn an hour of computer time with an hour of reading time. TheAumsMama turns movie night into reading night -- but keeps the popcorn!
Let Them Be Rebels
What's better than getting special privileges when you're a kid? (Basically, nothing!) ImaginationSoup makes reading special for her kids by letting them break the rules -- by reading past bedtime!
Give Them Incentives
A little simple competition never hurt anyone, and many moms offer incentives to get their kids turning even more pages. Ma Will gives her kids snacks, stickers and certificates for the books they log during the summer.
Give Them a Hammock
Reading nooks are easy ways to encourage kids to read over the summer -- something as simple as a hammock in your backyard can do the trick, according to mom Carrie Ann. Having a designated spot where they can relax, learn and read makes kids comfortable and encourages their imagination. (Just think of all the stories they can create by looking out in the backyard!)