Studies show summer learning loss is a big problem, with kids losing about two months of skills when school's out. That skill regression must be regained at the start of the next school year!
For preschoolers, literacy is a big focus. Reading is an essential part of the school day, including story time and other class projects that revolve around fundamental literacy skills.
With a little effort, learning doesn't have to fall at the wayside during summer vacation. Try these five fun ideas for raising great readers, even during the dog days of summer.
Make story time part of your daily routine: Reading is a wonderful way for families to bond while helping kids learn. Listening to spoken words, seeing pictures and letters, and being entertained by an unfolding story are all benefits of story time. Before bed is a classic choice for story time, but it can be a great activity throughout the day. Make it a ritual to wake up to a tall tale. Conclude lunch by gathering around to hear an amazing adventure. Take an afternoon snack break with a book. There's no wrong time for reading!
Explore your local library programs: Libraries are wonderful resources for parents during summer vacation. Yours will likely have various story times scheduled throughout the week, plus a summer reading program kids can join. These programs encourage kids to read and do other literacy-based activities, often rewarding them with prizes or other motivational tools. For little ones, programs can typically be done with an adult or older sibling, so no one misses out on the fun.
Make a summer reading list: Preschoolers adore checking items off a list, so this summer, why not encourage reading by creating a summer reading list? ReadBrightly.com offers a fantastic list of summer reading options for preschoolers. Of course, if you find a series your child particularly enjoys, see if you can work your way through the entire thing! Remember, librarians are incredible resources. They are happy to help you find some age-appropriate books to keep kids entertained while learning.
Encourage kids to read with you: While reading a book to your preschooler, you can easily integrate language basics into the activity. For example, when a sight word is part of a sentence, ask your child what it is. Have them see if they can spot it on any other pages before you do! You can also practice letter recognition periodically during the story, as well as practice phonics by sounding out letters together.
Become an at-home author: To encourage imagination and boost literacy skills, try writing a story together. It can be as simple as stapling paper together, having kids draw pictures and assisting them in writing a word or two on each page. If writing is difficult for your child, you can skip that step and instead have them tell you the story out loud. You'll be amazed at the tall tales these tots can come up with!
If you're a teacher or center director, feel free to take this list and make it your own by including it in your newsletter or on social media pages.
Studies show summer learning loss is a big problem, with kids losing about two months of skills when school's out. Try these five fun ideas for raising great readers, even during the dog days of summer.