4 Tips to Make Summer Reading Fun for the Whole Family

May 20, 2021 by Tracey Hecht
Tracey Hecht, the author of The Nocturnals, is posing with her son in a bookstore.

It’s summer! Time to let go and enjoy—especially this summer. It hasn’t been the easiest year. Parents and kids both deserve to have some fun. But there’s also a lot of talk about "learning loss" resulting from pandemic year accommodations, not to mention the normal summer slide that can happen any year. Here are some tips to help make summer reading with the Tails & Tales theme more exciting not only for kids but for the whole family.

1. Read Aloud! Don’t put pressure on your kids to always read alone. For children, it can feel daunting to face that 30 minutes of scheduled reading time all on their own. Whether you’re a parent, sibling, caregiver, or librarian, help kids enjoy books by reading aloud to them. We enjoy screen-based entertainment together, so why not build routines where you can do the same with books?

2. Reading Comprehension Matters! Focus on comprehension as much as you do on word acquisition and decoding. Comprehension is the key to enjoyment and advancement with books, so talk about what you are reading together. This can be part of the scheduled 30 minutes of reading time. Sharing stories is one of the best ways to make them more valuable.

3. Read Any Level! Don’t be afraid to let your kids read a bit below their reading level for some of their books. Your child doesn’t need to climb a reading level with every book. It can be wonderful to grab an old favorite your child remembers and loves. Familiar stories are great for confidence-building, and these nostalgic books remind kids why they like to read. All kinds of reading are beneficial, even rereading.


4. Explore Books Around Town! Head to your local library or neighborhood bookstore and pull books from the shelves. Books are wonderful to touch and explore. The more you interact with them, the more you’ll want to read them. On the next rainy day, instead of pulling out a tablet or digital device, head to your local library or bookstore.

Most of all, make reading relaxing. Reading is about enjoying. Let your child pick their own books, talk about their choices, and do activities together. Books open up entire worlds—let them do the same for your family this summer.

Tracey Hecht
is a writer and entrepreneur. The American Booksellers Association chose The Mysterious Abductions—the first book in her critically acclaimed middle grade series The Nocturnals—as a Kids’ Indie Next List pick. In partnership with the New York Public Library, Tracey created a Read Aloud Writing Program that she has since conducted—both in person and virtually—in over 150 schools, libraries, and bookstores across the country.

Click here for The Nocturnals Tails & Tales Summer Reading Kit.