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  • Writer's pictureKara C White

6 Tips for Successful Summer Reading

Help your family enjoy reading all summer long with these strategies!

Summer is a wonderful season for soaking up the sun, enjoying some frozen treats, playing at the park, and, of course, reading a good book! After the challenges of the past school year for kids and parents alike, it may feel like too much to keep kids pouring over a book, but the benefits of summer reading far outweigh any drawbacks. Read on for my 6 tips for successful summer reading that will work for your whole family-- and a special offer for a FREE printable!

  • Mix Old & New Books. Just like a varied diet keeps mealtime from feeling boring, give your children a variety of book options during the summer months. While new-to-them books are always a good choice to capture kids' interest, summer is also a great time to revisit old favorites. During the school year, kids are usually encouraged to spend time on books they haven't read before and that help them advance their reading level. Summer can be a chance to go back and re-read books they loved, even books they've "outgrown." These books are like comfort foods to your children.

  • Read Aloud. This is the fastest and easiest way to make summer reading time a family affair! Get involved in reading time by lending your voice to the story. This isn't just for preschoolers and toddlers! Older children also benefit from family read alouds. Or ask a child to read aloud to you while you're fixing a meal or doing some other household task. Just 15 minutes a day (or most days) is enough for meaningful time together. I have more tips for read aloud time here.

  • Take it Outside. Reading can happen anywhere! As the weather allows, send the kids outdoors for their daily dose of fresh air, sunshine, and reading time. Better yet, join them! My family likes to grab a cool drink and a snack, then head out to the back deck with our books. A blanket in the grass works just as well. If the afternoons are too hot where you live, try reading outdoors after dinner. Early evening reading can be a nice way to slow down after a busy summer day.

  • Go to the Library. Many public libraries offer some form of summer reading programs for patrons of all ages. Check out the in-person and/or virtual options in your area. Taking part connects your children to other young readers and to the wider community. Also, a trip to your local library is a FREE adventure for your family! Plus, library summer reading programs may help combat the so-called "summer slide."

  • Listen Up with Audiobooks. Yes, this still counts as reading. Audiobooks simply offer a different kind of reading experience. You can listen to wonderfully narrated performances of classic books and new releases. Use audiobooks as one alternative to screen time. Audiobooks are also a great option for long road trips or short rides around town because the whole family can listen together.

  • Turn Kids into Book Reviewers. When kids finish a book, don't just ask them to tell you what happened in the story. That's a book report. Instead, create a book review! Get kids thinking critically about what they read by asking "why" questions. Why did they like, or not like, the story? Why did the characters do what they did? Why do they think the author wrote the story that way?

You can also use my FREE Reading Tracker Printable! This tool works for kids or adults; maybe it will even spark a little friendly family competition! To add this tool to your summer reading plan, just sign up for email alerts here on my blog. You'll get the link to my FREE printable sent right to your inbox (check the spam folder if it doesn't come through right away)! Click on the Log In/Sign Up button at the top of the page to get started today!

If you need some book suggestions to put on your family's TBR, check out my posts 10 Summer Reads for Middle Grade Readers or 9 Reads of Summer for adults.

What advice do you have for successful summer reading? I love hearing about what works for you and your family. Feel free to share your thoughts and book recommendations in the comments. Until then, best wishes for further reading!


I'm so grateful to all of my new readers! If you'd like updates whenever I post something new, use the Log In/Sign Up button at the top of the page to receive email alerts. You can follow me on Instagram @kara.c.white. I share frequently about new blog posts and all things bookish! I'd also be grateful if you'd share my posts on your social media platforms. Thank you!


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Elena Wiggins
Elena Wiggins
Jun 16, 2021

What a great post! These are all wonderful and easily applicable tips for the whole family! I have a toddler, so I can't apply all of them, but we definitely love our read alouds, and now that we have read a ton of books, he has old favorites that I mix in with new books from our neighborhood library. We love reading outside when it's cool enough (I bring a stack of books and puzzles and a snack, lay it out on our picnic blanket, and we have so much fun!) Linking my recent reads, if interested!

Kara C White
Kara C White
Jun 16, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much! Toddlers are a fun, but sometimes challenging group, for read alouds. A picnic with books sounds like a wonderful summer day! Best wishes for further reading!

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