While we all know that summer means countless hours spent outside, we sometimes need to come inside to cool off, too! I recently found myself a little too quick to let my kiddos watch a show, simply because it felt like we had so many hours to fill in the day, and they were tired from running around in the sun. But after a trip to our local library ended in the librarian signing them up for their summer reading program, I remembered that my favorite indoor summer memories all had to do with books - not TV. Of course! So here are a few things that we're implementing around our house, in case you want to up your summer reading game as well :).
Start the day off with a book. My kids take a little while to get going in the morning...and I'll be honest - so do I! Since we don't run out the door first thing, reading one or two short books on the couch has been a cozy way to start the day.
Find your local library. We're spoiled with a great library and fantastic story times - even a pre-bed, pajama story time once a week! But all you really need is a place to expose your kids to new books: let them wander and pick out books at random. You might strike out now and then, but you'll be more likely to learn about some hidden interests (my three-year-old apparently loves coral reefs!).
Make a list. This is mostly helpful for parents who feel stuck in the "we've read "Little Blue Truck" for the past two years straight" rut :). If you feel like you need ideas or outside structure, there are countless lists online based on subject or age. And again, librarians are always happy to help with suggestions!
Work with what they like. My two-year-old loves the old Curious George TV show. So the easiest way to get her to settle in to read is to start with a Curious George book, and then branch out from there! Little ones revel in familiarity, and countless studies have shown how it's an important tool in their learning. So embrace it!
Make it personal. I especially love to get books that are related to trips we're taking - these obviously top my list! ;)
Have both parents read. While I do the bulk of reading aloud, Dad always comes through with new hilarious voices, which makes taking turns with bedtime reading fun for everyone.
Read for yourself! I've made a new reading goal for myself, which means that I'm reaching for books more than my phone (why is it so hard to leave the phone alone?). I love reading, but I'm starting to realize that my kids see that and that I don't just leave it for when they're asleep! When they see me settled in with a book, they're a little more likely to do the same...and I can't hope for more than a lifetime love of reading.