Summer is almost here and if you’re anything like me, I’m already looking for inexpensive, fun ways to spend an exciting summer with my kids. One of the things my boys’ teachers suggested is to continue to give them the opportunity to learn throughout the summer. It makes sense because students tend to lose up to 2 ½ months’ worth of learning over the summer break. Participating in summer reading programs is a great way to keep our kids engaged in reading.
Research shows that children who don’t maintain reading skills over the summer are likely to start the upcoming school year at a disadvantage. (Source: Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge)
Here are top tips to prevent the summer slump:
Tip #2: Integrate literacy-building adventures into your daily routine.
Tip #3: Find educational activities you and your child can do together indoors and outdoors.
Tip #4: Look for books and programs that feature your child’s favorite characters.
Tip #5: Explore your local library.
Speaking of summer reading programs, I’m excited to announce that I will be hosting an iVillage PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge program for my kids and my friends’ kids this summer, courtesy of iVillage PBS KIDS!
Here’s a little information about this exciting summer reading program for kids from iVillage PBS KIDS:
Here are some other great (and free!) summer reading programs for kids that I found that are worth checking out too!
Local Libraries: Check your local library’s Summer Reading Program. The theme for this Summer for most locations is Dream Big Read! Many will have free activities and prizes for goals reached. Call your local library for details. You can also Click HERE for a directory of national library systems. Click on your state and then find your city.
Sylvan Book Adventure: Kids in grades K-8 can read a book from the Book Adventure list, take quizzes on what they’ve read, and earn prizes. There are almost 8,000 books to choose from and you can search by title, author or grade. On the quizzes, kids need to score at least a 90% to earn points but quizzes can be taken more than once. You can check out the Prize Library HERE. If you are between the ages of 7 and 16 (as of March 1, 20112) you can enter The “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days of Summer” Reading Contest for a chance to win tickets to see the movie, in theaters on August 3rd. As a parent, you can also register to receive their free monthly tips e-newsletter at www.SylvanPagePerDay.com between May 1st and September 15, 2012, and enter to win $500 to help your child prepare for back-to-school! To get started, click HERE to register.
Book It: Pizza Hut’s Book It! is inviting kids to join in the Summer Break Reading Challenge Sweepstakes! To enter, kids need to be in grades K-6 during the 2011-12 school year and meet the challenge of reading five books. 50 lucky winners will receive a “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” summer fun prize package including a Summer Break Tote Bag, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Series 1 thru 5, Diary of a Wimpy Kid DVD, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules DV, Plus, and a $20 Visa Gift Card. Click HERE to print your entry form and for more details.
Scholastic Summer Challenge: Kids can sign up and log their reading minutes to win cool rewards with this FREE online program from Scholastic. Parents can get reading tips, booklists and track their kids reading either online or on their phone. Click HERE for more details and to sign up, just click on the “Get Started” button in the lower right corner and then click on join now in the pop-up box.
TD Bank: This is a great offer for kids to start a new savings account! Kids can earn a $10 deposit for a new or existing Young Saver Account by reading 10 books this summer. Just click HERE to print out the Summer Reading Form to record your books and when completed, take it to your nearest TD Bank to claim your free $10 deposit!
Barnes & Noble: Earn a FREE BOOK when your kids read any 8 books. Just click HERE and download the Reading Journal. After the 8 books have been recorded and it’s completed, bring it to your local B&N store and your kids can choose a FREE BOOK from their list. You can also download a Parent Activity or Educator Kit for fun reading activities and teaching tips.
Half Price Books: Get your kids signed up for the Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program where kids ages 14 and under can earn a $5 Half Price Books gift card when they read for 15 minutes each day. Grown-ups may read aloud to kids who are still learning. Once they’ve red 300 minutes, they can turn in their completed Reading Log to any Half Price Books location to claim their $5 HPB gift card. One top reader per age group each month is awarded with a TOP READER prize – a $20 HPB Gift Card!
Pottery Barn: Join Pottery Barn’s Summer Reading Challenge for kids and earn a free book! Just read all the books on one of their recommended lists and after you complete the list, claim your a free book at your local Pottery Barn store. This program is for both independent readers and younger children who can read with an adult. You can also download a Progress Tracker Poster and a Certificate of Completion and enter for a chance to win a backpack full of books. Just click HERE for more details. This program will run thru August 22nd, 2012.
Chuck E Cheese: Kids can earn 10 FREE tokens every time they read for 2 weeks in a row. You can download the Reading Rewards Calendar HERE and when it’s completed, bring it to your local Chuck E Cheese. Limit of 1 FREE Token Offer per child per day at participating locations. Food purchase is required.
About the Author: Jocelyn Cañasa-Brown is a working mom of two boys and is a recognized blogger and mom influencer in the Washington, DC area. In her spare time, she designs and creates her own handmade jewelry, maintains her jewelry store on Etsy and is an active moms group organizer and leader both online and offline. Hip Mama’s Place was nominated for Parents 2011 Best All-Around Mom Blog and named one of the Highest Rated Blogs and Sites on Nickelodeon ParentsConnect for the Washington, DC area. Follow Jocelyn on Twitter and/or Facebook.