Summer fun all year round

As school gears up, family schedules get busy. While it may seem there is less time for pleasure reading as there was in the summer, there are ways for caregivers to foster the love of reading all year long. Consider these tips to spark further discovery:

Make the library visit a part of your family routines

Libraries are full of books, audio CDs, magazines - every kind of learning material. The library also hosts fun events like chess clubs or storytimes, all for free. Make your library a regular hangout for you and the kids in your life!

Keep reading materials all around your home

Surround your child with reading and listening material. Comic books, short stories, audiobooks, graphic novels, board books and favorite classics could be placed within easy reach. Here are some ideas for favorite titles by grade level or favorites by age level. All you need is a library card, which is available at no charge for anyone no matter the age! In addition, practice reading aloud with your child with everyday materials such as restaurant menus, road signs and game instructions.

Reread familiar titles

Reading books that seem slightly below a child’s reading level or rereading favorites can help children develop fluency and give them confidence and self-assurance to read more advanced titles. Practicing reading aloud books is another great way to get your child motivated to read more. Ask library staff or go online to find some ideas for read alouds for families.

Be a role model

Set an example yourself and read, whether it’s magazines, newspapers, books, or your Kindle. Taking a few minutes to read sends a strong message to kids that reading is a priority and is fun for everyone.

Go online

Explore useful websites, blogs or author websites for your child to read. Have your child use the library online services or homework help to do their assignments or discover interesting facts. And it’s easy to use the library catalog as if it were a scavenger hunt for your child to search for a new title.

Promote writing

Reading and writing skills complement each other. Kids can keep a journal of what they read, or make up their own stories and characters in their journal. Suggest they practice writing their own ending to their favorite story or book, or encourage your child to write a fan letter to a favorite author. You can even sign them up to get library author alerts when their favorite author has published a new book!

Watch TV with the sound off and closed captioning on

This can be another fun way for kids to see words and challenge them to associate what they hear with what they read. What better way to promote reading than to take a favorite television show and change it into reading!

This article was written by Stacy H., Maple Grove Library.