School will be out soon so many parents will be looking for fun, educational activities for their child. If a Summer Reading Camp is not in your child’s future, you may consider pitching a tent outside, or in the living room, so that you can host your own two or three day camp. Listed below are a few creative ideas for an at home Summer Reading Camp.
Summer Reading Camp Themes
-Create a geocaching treasure hunt
-Place fun Amazing Race Detour activities within pages of the book your child is reading
-Study other countries and cultures
-Set up a Limbo stick and periodically play a Hawaiian tune during reading time. Whenever the children hear the music they are to jump up start the Limbo -Give your children a Hawaiian Glossary of words so that they can practice their decoding skills
-Use this theme to reinforce writing and spelling skills. Encourage your children to write wild and imaginative stories – complete with illustrations.
-Each day children will research and then act out a character or animal of their choosing – Lion, Clown, Ballerina, Chef, etc.
Knights and Princesses
-Send the knights on a quest using written clues so that they can find Merlin, Excalibur or a dragon egg.
-Ask princesses to write their own “happily ever after” story.
Stars and Stripes
-Read and review the electoral process. Hold an election for a camp president.
-Study the Revolutionary War.
The Mighty Jungle
-Hide a play monkey in a tree for each child. Each time a reading goal is met – like number of pages – the monkey move down a limb until it reaches the winning reader.
Under the Sea
-Visit a local aquarium so that children can take digital pictures. Once home, print out the photos and have children produce their own storybook.
Additional Summer Reading Ideas & Tips
Read the same book that your child is reading and discuss it together. This is the way to develop habits of the mind and build capacity for thought and insight. Let kids choose what they want to read, and don’t turn your nose up at popular fiction. It will only discourage the reading habit.
Buy books on tape, especially for a child with a learning disability. Listen to them in the car, or turn off the TV and have the family listen to them together.
Take your children to the library regularly. Most libraries sponsor summer reading clubs with easy-to-reach goals for preschool and school-age children. Check the library calendar for special summer reading activities and events. Libraries also provide age appropriate lists for summer reading.
Subscribe, in your child’s name, to magazines like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights for Children, or National Geographic World. Encourage older children to read the newspaper and current events magazines, to keep up the reading habit over the summer and develop vocabulary. Ask them what they think about what they’ve read, and listen to what they say.
Ease disappointment over summer separation from a favorite school friend by encouraging them to become pen pals. Present both children with postcards or envelopes that are already addressed and stamped. If both children have access to the Internet, email is another option.
Make trips a way to encourage reading by reading aloud traffic signs, billboards, and notices. Show your children how to read a map, and once you are on the road, let them take turns being the navigator.
Encourage children to keep a summer scrapbook. Tape in souvenirs of your family’s summer activities picture postcards, ticket stubs, photos. Have your children write the captions and read them and read them aloud as you look at the book together.
Reading is fundamental to success in school and life. Don’t leave this important skill to chance. You can help your child improve their reading ability up to three grade levels in only 60 hours of online practice!