Beat Summer Slump: 3 Easy Ways To Motivate Your Kids To Read & Write


I believe that kids should have their toes in the water and their bums in the sand during the summer. A lot of learning happens when kids are running, playing and hanging out with their friends.

That’s why I’m sharing summer reading and writing activities that won’t make your elementary-age child feel like they’re in summer school.

3 Simple (& Fun) Summer Reading & Writing Activities For Kids

I’m recommending a diverse and inclusive summer reading chart by Here Wee Read. I’m also showing you how to start a partner-writing journal with your child. If you struggle to motivate your child to read, I’ve pinpointed what you need to do to curate a collection of books your child is excited about. And I have some suggestions of what you can do while you’re reading with your child to keep them better engaged.

The Diverse + Inclusive Summer Reading Chart for Kids + Adults from Here Wee Read is 1 of my fave activities to encourage children to read this summer.

1. A Diverse & Inclusive Summer Reading Chart

I remember being obsessed with summer reading challenges in elementary school. I had a BIG thing for winning prizes, no matter how cheap, plastic or small. I once read 20 books for an inflatable beach ball.

Here’s a summer reading challenge that’s free, inclusive and printable by Here Wee Read. The Diverse and Inclusive Summer Reading Chart for Kids and Adults is one of my favorites.

You can download and print the 8.5-by-11-inch or poster-size charts. (Personally, I think the poster-size chart is a lot more fun because there’s more for your kids to color.) After your child reads “a book written by a Latine author” or maybe “a book with an indigenous main character,” they check it off and color in a book. The end result is a fun, colorful poster for your family.

Since you’re facilitating this challenge, you’ll need to come up with the prizes. I’m sure you’ll think of a fun incentive for completing the challenge like breakfast for dinner or a day trip somewhere special.

2. Partner-Writing Journal For Busy Mommas

Last summer, I asked a busy mom and son to start writing letters to each other. The mom was surprised and amused by the anecdotes her son wrote in his letters. When he read her letters, he felt really special. I created this writing activity hoping to help him become a more confident writer. In the end, the most meaningful takeaway for this mom was that she got to bond with her child. 

A partner writing journal between a parent & their kid is a meaningful writing activity to connect & bond over.

If you’re a busy momma, this summer could be the perfect time for you to start a partner-writing journal with your child. This journal will be a way for you to bond with them, and a great way for them to practice writing organized narratives. 

The instructions are very, very simple. You write a letter to your child in the journal, and they write back. You’ll create memories as you and your child fill this journal with stories about your summer!

3. Read Together Regularly (Hint: Stock Up On Books They Love)

My baby kicks his little feet and his eyes light up when I open a picture book or board book in front of him. He knows it’s time to get cozy with momma and dada. He loves touch-and-feel books. Recently, he’s started flipping the pages of his board books all by himself.

When given the added effort, reading to or with your child is a bonding experience that makes you feel happy, peaceful and energized when it’s over. Like a workout!

The key is to make sure that you’ve got books at home that your kid cannot wait to read. It feels great to constantly refresh my baby’s collection of books by exchanging books with friends, borrowing books from the library, visiting the local used-book store, and checking out our favorite independent bookstore.  

How to encourage reading? Stock up on books your child loves. Reading to or w/ your child is a bonding experience that makes you feel happy, peaceful & energized.

You don’t want your child’s books to gather dust. Instead, you and your family should try to keep these books in good rotation. Hold them and read them often. I breathe life into my baby’s bookshelf by carefully curating it with books that I’m excited to read to him. If your child is a toddler or older, encourage them to choose books to buy and borrow. 

When it’s time to read, get cozy. Create a reading nook or maybe just read in bed. Choose a time of day when you’re not distracted. Bedtime reading is a favorite!

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Lastly, let go of any fear you have about your child’s reading abilities. Make reading together a time when you’re focused on bonding and having fun.            

Enjoy the rest of the summer,

Mohini Pollock, M.Ed.

I’m a new mom and literacy specialist who lives in California. If you’re raising confident readers and writers, find me @mohinipollock or I like sharing literacy strategies and tips. I also talk about my life as a baby momma.

My 3 fave summer reading & writing activities for kids (that don't feel like summer school)? A reading log, journal exercises & reading together. More tips, inside.

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