Summer is finally here! For elementary-aged military kids, summer break means more time to play, more time to spend with family, and perhaps even more time for some fun adventures that otherwise couldn’t happen during a typical school year. But, it can also mean a break in learning and, in many cases, a loss of newly developed reading skills.

The recent “Kids and Family Reading Report” conducted by Scholastic, contains troubling statistics showing that 14% of kids ages 9-11, and 32% of kids ages 15-17 did not read a single book during the summer of 2018. And yet, nearly half of parents with school-age children are unaware of the “summer slide” (47%), the loss of academic skills that occurs when school is not in session and which is attributed largely to the lack of reading.

Keeping kids reading during the summer months is a must when you’re trying to prevent the so-called “summer slide,” but finding creative ways to encourage kids to read is sometimes a task itself. Rest assured — there is one great (and easy) way to get even the most reluctant readers to pick up a book — summer reading challenges!

How to Keep Kids Reading Over Summer Break

There’s a reason why all of the popular summer reading programs from Scholastic, Barnes & Noble, and BOOK IT! are still around. It’s because they work! You can even customize challenges to your child and their interests, using personalized rewards for them when they complete it.

Here are 15 summer reading challenges to get you started:

  1. Recommend your favorite book to a friend or family member.
  2. Read a book with a character who looks different from you.
  3. Read a nonfiction book about an animal.
  4. Listen to an audiobook on Hoopla.
  5. Read a book outside.
  6. Write your own story with an animal as the main character.
  7. Read a book about a place you would like to visit.
  8. Draw a picture of your favorite character from a book.
  9. Read a book that was made into a movie, then watch the movie. Examples include: Charlotte’s Web, Because of Winn-Dixie, and A Wrinkle in Time.
  10. Follow along with a science or art activity on YouTube.
  11. Read a biography about someone you admire.
  12. Read a graphic novel.
  13. Watch three stories on Oxford Owl.
  14. Build a blanket fort and read inside it.
  15. Make a recipe from a cookbook.

Summer doesn’t need to stall your child’s reading progress, and it can even be an opportunity to gain reading fluency and enthusiasm through completing fun challenges like the ones listed above.

How do you keep your kids reading during the summer months?

More Educational Activities to Try This Summer with Your MilKids:

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