Summer Fun that Stimulates the Mind

Summer is a time for kids to enjoy a break from school and to explore their imaginations (and the backyard). But, when your kids are sitting on the couch watching TV or playing video games for the umpteenth day in a row, you may want to nudge them toward pursuits that keep their brains active a growing. How can you stimulate their minds without imposing a lot of structure to a time dedicated to play? Below, the parents of Parent Soup share their tips.

The Problem
"I'd like to get some suggestions on how to keep my eight-year-old son reading during the summer. He's done pretty well during the school year with the accelerated reader program but I'm not sure if I can keep him reading without some kind of incentive. My daughter is finishing kindergarten and she is reading pretty well. She likes to read a lot on her own. I guess maybe I should pick out a book my son and I could read together over the summer--any suggestions?"

Start a Read-A-Thon
"You can have a read-a-thon with your family or neighborhood kids. Challenge the kids to read so many pages per week and make a chart to keep track of who's read what. You can all plan a weekly visit to the library to exchange books. Good luck and have fun."

"I try to get my seven-and nine-year-old boys reading for at least 15 minutes a day, and I offer a reward or treat when they finish a book. We did a reading program through a local department store once. But I've found that it works better if I let them choose the books and the treat. It can be something as simple as an Italian Ice."

~ Parent Soup member Debvillan

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