Teachers anticipate the start of summer vacation with as much enthusiasm as their students -- if not more! They know, however, that summer break can mean a slide in essential reading skills and other areas of learning.
You can help your child build good reading habits and avoid a decline in reading skills with these fun and easy activities.
Alphabet Safari Turn each errand or outing into a quest! Very young children who are just learning the letters of the alphabet, will have fun searching for a specific letter on street signs, billboards and buildings while you are running errands.
Focus on one letter per outing. Practice drawing both upper- and lower-case versions before leaving home to familiarize your child with the "letter of the day," and see how many they can find on your outing.
Older children can work their way through the alphabet. Once they find an "A," move onto the next letter, etc. The challenge is to finish the alphabet before you return home.
Form a Junior Book Club . Invite a friend or two with children of a similar age to meet for storytime and playtime. Take turns reading each child's favorite story. Have children dress as their favorite character and have story-inspired games and treats.
Create a Reading Corner. With your child, pick a place in your home for a special reading area -- a corner of their bedroom, a comfortable chair in the living room, even a blanket fort. The idea is to make it a cosy area where your child will want to curl up with a book. Even better if you join them for storytime!
Find books about subjects that interest your child. If your child is fascinated with space, horses, soccer or dump trucks, for example, you are sure to find a books through your local library on that subject. There are many biographies on well-known people, including sports celebrities and historical figures, written for children. Engaging with a subject that interests them often captures the attention of reluctant readers.
Check out your public library. Public libraries are a great source of summer activities for children of all ages. Visit your local public library's website for a calendar of summer events. Click here for a list of public libraries in the United States.