Learning Never Stops: Why Summer Reading is Important for Children

Summer is a time for outdoor fun, vacations, and a break from the daily school routine, but it’s also important to keep your children’s mind active. There are many advantages to keeping your children engaged in reading during the summer months and avoiding the “summer slide,” or a dip in their educational learning.

Benefits to summertime reading.

Builds long lasting reading habits. We are always learning so it’s important to continue reading no matter what your age.

Increases social-emotional development. According to Scholastic, 83% of educators agree that reading helps students understand people that are different from them, and 81% say it helps students develop empathy.

Helps encourage reluctant readers. For those children that may be wary of reading, it can help build their confidence and keep them interested.

Provides a summer activity. It’s important to have a balance of both fun and educational activities.

Ways to Keep Children’s Interest in Summer Reading

Try breaking the summer up into weekly themes to help create, build, and maintain an interest in books. Children can increase their ability to read by spending just a few minutes a day reading.

Here are some examples of weekly themes you can add to your summer routine.

Celebrate summer. Read while on vacation or during road trips. Make a summer scrapbook and encourage your child to write down what they saw, what they liked, and favorite memories.

Keep in touch. Write your child a daily letter, or have others send them a letter, and have them read it to you. You can also help your child write letters back to friends and family members.

Travel the world. Encourage children to read about different travel destinations. Introduce maps and ask your local tourist bureau for information on travel destinations to read and discuss with your children.

Want ideas? Here are a few book suggestions by grade.

Pre-readers (picture books):  Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz, The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

1st Grade: My Toothbrush is Missing by Jan Thomas, Hi, Jack! by Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli..

2nd Grade: Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne, Mystery Club Mr. Wolf’s Class by Aron Nels Steinke

3rd Grade: Simon and Chester Super Detectives by Cale Atkinson, Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown.

4th Grade: Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis, Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

View more books by age and category.

5th Grade: Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit, A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

6th Grade: The Last Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles, Isaiah Dunn is My Hero by Kelly J. Baptist

7th Grade: 96 Miles by J.L. Esplin, The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

8th Grade: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, The Recruit (Cherub) by Robert Muchamore