Whether you homeschool year round or take some time off during the summer, it’s easy to keep your children learning over the summer! Even if you don’t do more formal homeschooling during the summer months, reading aloud is a perfect way to keep your children interested and learning! And it’s a great way to have some fun together too!
Summer time is the perfect time to get in some great read-alouds the whole family will love. Here are some creative ideas for infusing your summer days with the love of literature.
5 Creative Ways to Read Aloud This Summer
Read Aloud at Mealtime
Summer is a great time to start a new family habit. The schedule is more relaxed (hopefully!), you are scheduling less homeschooling (maybe?), and enjoying some much needed rest (Mom-style). So now is a great time to try something new. We starting reading aloud at meal times out of simple necessity. We wanted our kids to stay seated and eat. We had wigglers, especially our youngest, and reading aloud did the trick. As the kids grew older, this became a family habit–a cherished one, actually. Our kids refer to the books piled on the kitchen table as the ‘book menu.’ Every meal time, we read. It’s lovely. Why not try it out, even for one meal every day? I think you just might love it.
Have a Read Aloud Picnic in the Park
Want to have a swarm of little kids peeking over your shoulder at the local park? Pull out a blanket and pull out a good book and start reading. It is so neat to see how children are drawn to a story being read aloud. Of course, I’m really only concerned about keeping the attention of my own sweet children, but if more join in, great! Take along some snacks, a big comfy blanket, and either a pile of great picture books or one or two chapter books or short story compilations. Get cozy and start reading. It is such a special experience to read together snuggled in the shade of a tree on a beautiful summer day.
Have a Poetry Reading Tea Party
Do you have an outside area where you can set up an inviting little tea party? I haven’t done this yet but I hope, Lord willing, to try this out in July. There is a huge movement of Poetry Teatime families enriching their days with this sweet habit. Make some fancy treats or some of those teeny-tiny sandwiches. Boil the kettle and set out a couple special types of tea (and maybe some juice for the skeptics). Set out tea cups and saucers and spoons and of course the sugar and milk. There are so many amazing ideas online for lovely Tea Time Poetry Parties. I gush when I just think about inviting all the neighborhood children and their mamas to something like this!
Alright, I’m getting carried away. It doesn’t have to be the whole neighborhood. Just start with your family. Set out a lovely little tea party table and find some great poems to read aloud. Let the children enjoy their treats and enrich their little hearts and minds with beautiful poetry and funny rhymes. They won’t soon forget this experience. In fact, you just might end up making it a weekly affair!
Listen to Audio Books While You Drive
Long trip ahead of you? Just driving around town to various summer activities? Why not reserve a whole bunch of great audio books from the library and make good use of those driving hours? There is almost never a time when we don’t have some kind of audio book in our van’s CD player. We have listened to COUNTLESS books this way. In fact, right now we have A Little Princess in there, and a little while ago we finished The One and Only Ivan. Adventures in Odyssey got us through several hours of vacation driving with 5 kiddos crammed in the back of a packed van too. We absolutely LOVE audio books – not sure what I’d do without them!
Some of our favorite books we’ve listened to on audio include (but are in no way limited to!): the Ramona Quimby series read by Stockard Channing, the Little House series read by Cherry Jones, and The Trumpet of the Swan and Charlotte’s Web read by the author, E.B. White.
Make a Rainy-Day Reading Fort
Alright, so not every summer day is a sunny one. When a rainy afternoon comes your way and all the kids are getting a little antsy stuck inside, why not do something they won’t expect? Call everyone together and transform a room of the house into a giant reading fort. Get everyone involved in creating something interesting and cozy, then pop some popcorn or cut up some fruit and snuggle in with pillows and blankets for some wholesome family time.
Alternatively, if it is a sunny day, you could also make a reading fort outside and enjoy the same effect! (Or better yet, do both this summer!)
I hope these ideas might inspire you to really embrace some creative read-aloud opportunities this summer, Friends! Blessings from Cass @ TheUnpluggedFamily