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Keeping Reading Skills Sharp: 4 Summer Family Activities to Share

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 7/13/2015

Summer is so much fun for kids, but no school could mean falling behind in reading skills. This doesn't have to be the case. Parents can help kids keep their reading skills sharp this summer with the following summer family activities.

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    Summertime is a kid's favorite time of the year, but no school doesn't have to mean that learning stops. Help your child keep his reading skills sharp while school's out with some summer family activities that provide reading skills practice as well as plenty of fun. With a little practice, your child's reading will stay on track this summer, and he or she will be ready to start the next grade level as an A+ reader.

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    Visit a Museum

    Summertime field trips are great activities that help foster good reading skills. Why not take a trip to a museum? Museum displays are always accompanied by information. Read the displays and engage in the learning activities, encouraging your child to read aloud to the family. Choose a museum centered around one of your child's interests so he or she will be motivated to read about the displays. From aviation to marine life, you are sure to find a museum your child will enjoy. When it's vacation time, try to include a couple of museums in your schedule of events. Make educational field trips a part of your summer family activities, and your child will continue in learning.

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    Your Public Library

    Your Public Library 

    Your public library should be a frequent destination for you and your child this summer. Libraries offer weekly story time, puppet shows, and other special activities. While you're there, be sure to take home some books. You'll always have fresh new books at home for nightly bedtime routines. Encourage your child to read library books daily if possible. When it comes to maintaining and developing reading skills, the key is practice. Trips to the library tend to awaken a renewed interest in reading, which is what it's all about.

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    The Bedtime Routine

    Books should always be a part of your child's bedtime routine. Why not have your child read to you each night before you read to him or her. Read books to your child that are slightly above his or her independent reading level. This will keep your child challenged as he or she acquires more words. Reading as part of a bedtime routine means that he or she will read at least one book (or chapter) a day, as well as be read to once a day. These activities also calm your child, and help him prepare for sleep easier than being put to bed without stories.

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    Games to Improve Reading Skills

    If you want to keep your child's reading skills sharp throughout the summer, why not play some word games in the car. Long trips can be a great time to try some car games, but even shorter, daily trips work great. Take turns reading road signs or finding words that start with certain letters. Try a game of reading signs that belong to a specific category, such as only restaurant signs or only gas station signs. Have your child make up some word games too.

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    Summer doesn't seem to last long, but it can be long enough for kids to lose some of those reading skills they've learned in school. Help your kids retain those skills with summer family activities. From museums to library activities and silly car games, you will instill a love of reading, and they won't lose any of those hard-earned skills over the summer.