We all know that the summer slide in reading is real. Kids are going to lose some of their reading and math skills over the summer simply because they aren’t using them. Today, we’re talking through the 5 best tips for summer slide prevention.

Kids reading a book outside to show the 5 best tips for summer slide prevention
It’s inevitable that your child’s reading skills will suffer over the summer if they do not READ! Read to find the 5 best tips for summer slide prevention. It’s never too late to pick up a book!

Tips for Summer Reading

The absolute BEST way to combat that summer slide is to find a way to motivate your child to read every single day of the summer. I totally understand that is easier said than done! Let’s figure out how to make that happen this summer.

If you want a book list that your child will LOVE, take this quiz and you’ll get strategies and book suggestions sent straight to your inbox!

Reading quiz to determine your child's reader type and provide a summer reading list
Take this two-minute quiz to get a summer reading list your child will WANT to read this summer!

1. Sneak in reading for 20 minutes a day

There are so many ways to sneak in reading for 20 minutes a day, yet I know it’s a struggle in the summer! One of the biggest recommendations I have for reading over the summer is NOT to save reading for before bed. It is the easiest way to skip reading each day!

Hear me out. Our bedtimes seem to get later and later during the summer, and sometimes they fall asleep on the way home from an activity or event. A late bedtime usually means heading straight to bed without any reading that night.

If you are home with your child over the summer, I recommend setting a timer to randomly go off in the middle of the day (that’s a convenient time for YOU) and once they hear that special alarm, it is D.E.A.R. time, or Drop Everything And Read time.

Ideally, you would pick a book up with your kids. I also understand that you need to get things done, so set a timer for 20 minutes and let them read! Reading for 20 minutes a day is the best way for summer slide prevention.

  

2. Join a library summer reading challenge (or any reading challenge for summer slide prevention!)

Library Summer Reading Challenge

Your public library probably has an amazing summer reading program that you just have to register for (usually online). Put your child in charge of tracking their reading. You may be able to do everything virtually, or you could pop into your library to claim your prize!

BookIt! Summer Reading Challenge

To motivate my summer reading when I was younger, I was always so pumped to win my personal pan pizza through the BookIt! program. I didn’t even like the pizza; I was just so excited to win it!

Good news! Your child can win a personal pan pizza for reading too! You can sign up here. This runs June through August, since BookIt! realizes pizza is a great summer reading motivator 😉

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Challenge

This may be my favorite summer reading challenge since kids are rewarded with actual BOOKS! And the book selection this year is pretty amazing. They do have to fill in their favorite parts and record 8 books they read, but I think it’s fair since they get to pick a free book for turning this little journal in!

You can print the Barnes and Noble summer reading journal here (but you will need to bring it to a store to claim your free book). Again, put your child in charge of tracking and filling in their own journals!

3. Find a children’s summer reading program

If you want to brush up on those reading and writing skills this summer, you may be interested in Virtual Zoo Camp. This is pre-recorded fun for 7-10-year-olds that I designed to help encourage a love of reading, and brush up on those writing skills a bit too!

Your child should be able to read for this program IF you want them to complete it independently. If you want to work together with your child, the lessons are short and quick in order to encourage reading and writing this summer! You can grab your zoo pass here!

Virtual Zoo Camp image of everything included in this summer reading program for summer slide prevention, including literacy lessons, animal movement breaks, animal snack recipes, and printables.
Virtual Zoo Camp is a children’s summer reading program your child can do at their own pace. Brush up on those reading and writing skills before you head back to school through these EASY, FUN, QUICK activities!

4. Encourage a book swap between friends

Getting new books for your child helps with summer slide prevention. This does not mean you need to do weekly Amazon orders or run to a bookstore for new books! (Although let’s be real, this is one of my favorite pastimes!)

There are many ways to get new-to-your-child books. Obviously, the library is a great place to start! You could also host a book swap where everyone brings a certain number of books and leaves with that same number. I recommend sticking to 5-10 books so this does not get overwhelming!

You can decide if you want the books back or if you want to swap and keep the books. Be sure you have your child’s name or a sticker marking your books if you want them back!

5. Join a children’s book club for summer slide prevention

I don’t know about you, but if I have to read a book by a certain date for my own adult book club, normally I’m staying up late the night before to get that book done! I don’t want to be the one- especially since I own a reading business- to not have read the book. Talk about motivation!

This same process works for kids. They WANT to read books in my book club since they’ll get to chat with their friends and celebrate together. 

Now, I’m not going to have 7 and 8-year-olds cramming chapter books and reading until midnight every month! I break up the books into 3 separate parts and we discuss vocabulary and different strategies they used to read the section.

Not only is it motivating for your child to read (and get in those 20 minutes of reading each day!), but they also form genuine connections and brush up on those reading skills. Joining a book club is an excellent way for summer slide prevention.

A computer screen showing a virtual book club in action, along with printables and activities for the book. Book clubs motivate kids to read and work on summer slide prevention.
Book clubs are an excellent way to motivate your child to read with their friends! It also brushes up on some of those reading and writing skills.

Summer Slide Prevention

Now that you’re aware of the summer slide, let’s get your kids reading this summer! Figure out a way to motivate your kids to read for that 20 minutes a day, whether it’s through a summer reading challenge, a summer reading program, a book swap, or joining a virtual book club! If you want a list of books specific to your reader type, take the quiz here for your book suggestions!

I used a lot of the tips from Kayse Morris’s 7 Helpful Tips to Blog Like a Boss for this post. Check it out here! Some of the other bloggers who followed her challenge wrote these awesome blog posts:

The New Way to Teach Guided Reading from Ship Shape Elementary

The 7 Types of Syllables to Rock your Phonics Lesson from Learning with Heart

How to Teach Decoding of Words to Increase Your Child’s Reading Skills from Kid Equip

Will Knowing the Definition of Alphabetic Principle Help You? Definitely! from Learning for Little Minds

How to Introduce Sight Words from Shared Teaching

Kim Creigh, M.Ed