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Read to Me International

Beat the Summer Slump with These Fun Ideas

 Liane AkanaFrom Executive Director Liane Akana

So what’s a busy parent to do to combat the summer slide? Before your children talk you into allowing them to sit in front of the television over summer break, consider low-cost or free options available.

In addition, consider some of these low-cost or no-cost ideas, which can take place on evenings and weekends as well during the summer days:

Take advantage of the public library in your community. Visit the library regularly and learn about the programs and services that are offered. Most public libraries conduct summer reading programs that are fun and provide incentives for reading. (Hawaii State Library's summer reading program registration starts May 24!)

Check to see if the bookstore in your area hosts a free story hour.

Create your own enrichment program for your family.  Plan a visit to a museum, zoo, or aquarium, then read aloud complementary books to younger children. Or, have older children borrow books for further reading on topics that they learned about during their visit.

Take pictures of everyday happenings or a family outing, and collaborate with your child on writing a picture book together. If you don’t have a camera, have your child do the illustrations. Read your book aloud together, and it will quickly become a family favorite.

Encourage your child to keep a summer vacation diary and have him or her write in it daily.

Cook with your children. Have them read the recipe, and help to measure the ingredients. They will gain practice reading and following directions while, unwittingly, learning fractions.

Make time to read aloud together every day, and talk about what you’ve read. Check out our nonfiction picture book list and ice cream craft for some ideas.

And don’t be surprised when your child shows noticeable academic gains AND declares that this was his or her best summer ever!  

Shoot us an e-mail at if you know of more summer reading program, storytimes, or affordable programs. We can still add to this article and promote these opportunities, and we appreciate your input.