Summer offers children many opportunities to discover new hobbies, new books, and just how exciting it is to read just for fun. Summer is also a great time for hands-on explorations that connect kids to their environment. This helps build background knowledge and ensures that children are ready for the challenges of the new school.

Some fun activities that may spark a child’s interest in reading might include: 

  • Visit the Storybook Gardens of Three Lakes.
  • Read a book while sitting in a tent or laying in a hammock.
  • Observe a flower or vegetable garden and keep a journal of your observations. Draw pictures of what is growing in the garden to go along with your writing.
  • Swap books with a friend. Keep sharing books throughout the summer.
  • Take a walk. Write about or draw the things you see that show summer is here.
  • If you are going on a family vacation this summer, read about your trip. Mark your travel route on a map.
  • Find something small enough to put in your pocket. Write or tell a story about it.
  • Look for shapes and designs in the clouds. Draw them.
  • Make a list of words to describe fireworks. Write down all the things that you can think of that are red, white, or blue.
  • Visit a museum or historical building with friends or relatives. Write a list of things you see that you didn’t expect.
  • Make your own joke book. Collect jokes and riddles from your family and friends.
  • Write the steps to making a sandwich, and then have an adult help you make it.
  • Read a non-fiction book and make a list of facts from the book.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt around your house. Find an object for each letter of the alphabet and write it down
  • Go on a nature walk and take some pictures. Write a story about all the magical things that you were able to see.
  • Listen to some music and draw a picture of what the music reminds you of. 

Find loads of hands-on activities at startwithabook.org  Just choose from one of 24 topics (art, music, dinosaurs, bugs, detectives, flight, sports, stars, planets and the night sky … and more) and start exploring.