As a mom, you see the summer months stretching out before you, offering a quiet calendar and available time for fun family activities. But also looming before you is the pressure of keeping your kids occupied and their brains engaged enough to prevent atrophy over their vacation.
What’s a mother to do?
The beginning weeks of the summer might offer the ultimate diversion for kids, providing needed R & R: pool trips, sleepovers, relaxation. Kids need a break from hectic schedules and from hitting the books, just like adults do on occasion.
But eventually both of you will want to reintroduce books to challenge the mind and make reading a priority. Here are a few family-friendly suggestions to give books a place in your summer schedule.
Make library visits a regular part of your summer routine—maybe early in the morning before other activities take over their time. Stock up on books for the week.
Teach your children that libraries are fun places to be. Take advantage of the numerous activities they offer, like author visits and readings, activity times and story times.
Visit bookstores and teach kids that these places are as fun to visit as the library! Many independent stores also offer activities and readings, while offering cozy and fun places for kids to browse books.
Read books together as a family. Maybe build a bonfire out back and sit around with a great read-aloud, passing the book to each other, taking turns sharing an adventure. If you camp as a family, definitely read together around the fire or in the tent at night!
Create a reading chart for kids, rewarding them when they complete their chart with a trip to the ice cream store or something else.
Choose books that provide follow-up activities: books by local authors; books with stories that can be acted out or recipes to be cooked; or books that offer potential for delving deeper
into a topic, like a trip to an aquarium or museum to further the learning.For books made into movies, read the book first and then check out the movie and discuss the differences. For a real challenge for tweens or teens, read The Lord of the Rings while working through Walking With Frodo at the same time.This devotional by Tyndale author Sarah Arthur will help your teens dig deeper into Tolkien’s work, looking for the great themes. Reward them with the movie version when you finish.
Schedule a reading time in the late afternoons or evenings when kids are tired and bored. Turn off all electronics and encourage everyone to grab a comfy seat and the story of their choice.
Model reading to them. Allow your kids to see you finding enjoyment in books. Be sure to tell them what you are reading and why.
At Tyndale, we love to provide good reading materials for families and kids. If you have horse lovers in your family, Dandi Daley Mackall’s Winnie the Horse Gentler and Starlight Animal Rescue series will hook young minds. For mysteries, consider reading the Red Rock Mysteries series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry. The Wormling series (Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry) and Robot Wars (Sigmund Brouwer) provide great stories for science fiction and fantasy lovers.
For more information and other titles, visit Tyndale.com.
Wishing you all the best as you unplug, recharge, and read over the summer!
Becky Brandvik is the Senior Acquisitions & Development Director at Tyndale House Publishers.