Have you ever wondered how you can keep your kids reading, thinking, and writing while hanging with the family over summer break? Catching some movies, taking trips, enjoying sunny days and slow nights, you’ll have the makings to create your own great stories, so why not inspire your kids with some fun stuff from great writers and their books? A few of my favorite ideas are as follows:
You could try a summer reading list with bestseller, popular, and favorites from other sources, including libraries, publishers, book stores, literary supplements, parenting sites, and even literacy organizations.
The Book That Turned Into A Movie
Who doesn’t love ridiculous plots and hi-tech silliness? Take in a flick or two at a local cinema or multiplex. You might also encourage your kids to read the book or graphic novel that inspired the movie. See if they liked the book or movie better and why.
Act It Out
No matter your age, call on the fun summer spirit of performance. Reading aloud can be magical. Anywhere will do, since the fun is in the doing. Suddenly, the yard becomes an ancient Athenian theatre, Roman camp, or medieval court. Declaim on the porch steps that supper is ready and let your kids and their friends’ stage performances. Read, act, and enjoy!
At-Home Learning Curricula
Use the web to find helpful things. Many websites, such as Reading is Fundamental and PBS Kids! offer free summer learning curriculum for parents. You can prepare for trips to fun museums, historic sites, and nature preserves, all of which are great for a day-trip or quick half-break. Maybe read a story or book with relevant background before heading out. You’ll have more to think about and discuss on the way back.
Explore Your Nation
Reading about the country and its people is always illuminating and usually fun, so try this for a change: read up on the nation’s amusement parks and sports. Baseball is quite interconnected with the social and political history of this country and reflects the changing views and beliefs of different regions and those congregating in them. Read something about the history of amusements, traveling entertainers, roller coasters, and the people involved in making or selling them. It’s all history, culture, and fun. When your trip or game is over you can always find more elsewhere.
Keep Track With A Journal
Keeping a journal will preserve the moments and provide creative inspiration and material later. Recording the summer and all that happened, whether on email, online, or in a notebook, will allow your children to remember what they did, when, with whom, and what they thought and felt at the time. It will sharpen their observation, their pens, and provide a basis from which to create something more later.
Does your child have a friend that is traveling or leaving for camp? Why not have them become pen pals and send post cards and letters during the break? It’ll be a quiet and relaxing moment, allowing, if they wish, for reflection.
Finding time for online activities may lead you to one of the fun educational summer camps aimed at kids that want to write. One such entity is the BoomWriter Storytellers Camp. Participants in the week-long writing camps get daily writing lessons and creative inspiration from Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. At the end of each week, kids get published copies of the books they’ve produced.
Find Quiet Time
Between day camps, sports camps, and play dates it can be tough to find personal quiet time. Kids need it, too, and if your child isn’t inclined to read, suggest they try during one of these times: mornings before the day kicks in, when the afternoon heat is worst, or evening, maybe before bedtime: they might choose to write their journal then, too.
Hope this helps and that you all enjoy your summers.