Summer Reading for Kids That Parents Will Like, Too


By Jay Croft

School’s out, and that means block parties, ice cream trucks, and summer reading for kids.

Wait, what was that last one? Aw, man . . .

Come on, it’s not that bad! Building a list of classic and new kids’ books and planning activities around these works can make for a great summer of family memories.

Keep It Fun

Some kids already find diving into new kids’ books exciting and entertaining. If yours are that way—bravo! If they’re not, you might have to get creative. In this case, try choosing selections based on summer activities.

If you’re planning a trip to see your extended family, and your own father instilled a love of Hemingway in you, then inspire your kids to try The Old Man and the Sea so they can discuss it with Grandpa. It’ll make your children feel proud and connected to their roots.

Consider Their Interests

If your son has a budding curiosity in horses, consider planning a day trip to a ranch so he can explore in person. Then make a connection with summer reading for kids: Black Beauty has resonated with children for decades.

If your daughter loves baseball, find an age-appropriate biography of Babe Ruth or Jackie Robinson. For every book she reads, tell her you’ll make a family trip to see a local pro or college team.

What are their friends reading? The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is hugely popular. If something is already perceived as “cool,” then run with it. Toys “R” Us has the “Wimpy” books and accessories, along with toys and games associated with other books. If you’re not above bribery, promise a stuffed tiger if your kid reads The Jungle Book.

Insert Some Pop Culture

Parents used to scoff at kids reading comic books, but if there’s any enthusiasm around this type of summer reading for kids, nurture it. Publishers now offer graphic novels. Some are too graphic for kids, but others could be just right for the growing reader. If a trip to the multiplex gets them jazzed about space travel or science fiction, introduce them to the corresponding aisles of your bookstore or library. Check out the latest Hollywood titles and show times near you at Fandango.

Then, plan a family movie night for every book your children finish. Consider a points system, and if your family reaches a certain milestone, you could splurge on a TV, like this Philips 49” Google Cast 4K UHD Smart TV. Make some accompanying popcorn with this old-school Ziggy Pop Stovetop Popcorn Maker.

Stick Together

Read along with the kids on a book or two. It’s probably been years since you read and enjoyed The Hobbit, for instance—so talk about tackling it together with your kid beforehand, and then share your impressions each day.

Add reading into the mix rather than forcing it on kids as punishment or as something they “should be” doing instead of playing video games or texting their friends.

Summer reading with kids is a sweet way to spend the season, indeed.

Have you read any of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? Why not read one with your kids this summer?


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