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5 Tips to Motivate Your Readers Over the Summer

Melissa Taylor

Do you have UN-motivated readers this summer? Because I do. Here's my best tips to motivate your kids and mine to read.

For the first time ever, my oldest daughter is very motivated to finish as many reading programs as possible. She's on her second library program, already having completed the local library program. But my younger daughter, a beginning reader, is still resisting reading. I don't want her to hate it so I'm finding ways to make reading more fun and motivating.

1. The local library reading program   is our number one summer reading programs. (If you're weird like me, you consider register in the neighborhood library districts, too.) 

2. National summer reading programs usually offer prizes and coupons and they're online. Do you think any of these would motivate your readers?
iVillage and PBS Kids
Pottery Barn Kids
Barnes and Noble
TD Bank (10 Books, $10 Bucks)
Pizza Hut
Sylvan Learning

3. Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer, knows about getting kids to love reading. In "Building Up Your Book Muscle " on EdWeek, she writes that following book review blogs might help motivate young readers. Good books help. She recommends: 

Watch. Connect. Read. 
Nerdy Book Club blog 
100 Scope Notes
The Goddess of YA Literature
The Nonfiction Detectives
A Year of Reading
The Brain Lair

4. Reread The Rights of the Reader and allow your kids to choose their own books. That helps a lot, too.

5. Use the 10 Weeks of Reading Adventures from Reading Rockets. Look at these fun ideas they suggest for Week 2 . . . 

Week 2: Keep in touch

  • Make a personal phone book. List phone numbers and addresses of your friends and relatives.
  • Design your own stationery and write a letter to a friend.
  • Start a journal with a friend or relative. Take turns writing in it all summer long. You can even do this by mail or e-mail.
  • Write a letter to your favorite author. A librarian can help you find a postal or e-mail address.
  • Draw a picture postcard of an imaginary place. On the back, write a message. Mail it to a friend or relative or put it in your scrapbook.
  • The first U.S. postage stamps were designed in 1847. Be a philatelist. Design your own stamp.
  • Word game! Invent a code (A=1, B=2, for example). Send a message in code to a friend.

I love these ideas, how about you? No need to reinvent the wheel.

Which do you think will motivate your kids to read over the summer? Or, what are you already doing that is working?