In this post I will be chatting about how to inspire kids to enjoy summer reading, and I have included a free printable Nautical Summer Reading Log to help challenge them to read widely.
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The Importance of Summer Reading
Summer is here! In our homeschool, we take a solid two-month summer break each year. We have so much to do: swimming, gardening, travelling, and generally enjoying the great weather. Thus, we are far too busy to be hitting the books.
However, I am a true bookworm, and books are my constant companions. In order to help foster a love of reading during the summer with my kids, I try to make reading a pleasant experience.
I do want to motivate them to keep up with practicing in the summer months, though. Learning to read, and read well, is a long and sometimes arduous process. Therefore, some kids need a little external motivation.
Enter: Summer Reading Log
As you may know, I have all boys. In our house, the element of play and even a slight competitive edge is always hanging around. So, I decided to foster this last year for my kids’ summer reading!
To encourage summer reading, I designed some fun BINGO cards with all different types of reading challenges. I decided that if they complete a line, they get a small treat, and if they complete their whole card they get a special one-on-one outing with a parent. It was fun!
If you want to grab that printable, go here.
This proved to be a very good motivator for my kids, but this year they are a little older and capable of a little more. I am going to bring back the BINGO cards but add a summer reading log too!
The fun, nautical design of these summer reading log printables make the kids feel like they are ship captains on a grand sea adventure. And isn’t that what reading really is?
Why Is Summer Reading Important?
You probably already know this, but reading for leisure is extremely important for our kid’s cognitive development. In fact, with screen time at all-time record highs for kids and teens, this may be the most important summer yet to encourage reading.
Simply put, just like our bodies need nourishment and movement daily, our brains need food an exercise too!
How to Foster Reading Habits in Kids
Here are some tips for helping foster reading habits over the summer:
1. Schedule reading time into the day. Consider using my Waldorf-inspired daily rhythm printable to give just enough structure to the day and make special times for reading. Examples of reading times may be time to read aloud and enjoy a book together, or group reading such as DEAR time (stands for Drop Everything And Read!) when everyone grabs a book and reads on their own for 15 minutes. You could even get your Alexa to play music at a certain time of day to remind you.
2. Model reading. Read a real book, too, off screen so they know what you’re doing!
3. Create down times with no screens or other distractions where they can pick up a book. It doesn’t have to be one activity to another all day. A little boredom, a lull, can really inspire reading or creative pursuits.
4. Leave books out, especially facing outwards. Strew them on a coffee table!
5. Visit the library.
6. At the library or a bookshop: allow them to choose their own books (within your boundaries of course!).
7. Purchase some new or used books that may entice them. I love to do a Book Outlet haul at the beginning of each summer.
8. Allow audiobooks. They count, especially if they allow your child to read more complex language and syntax then they can eye-read!
9. Magazines, comics and graphic novels count too!
10. Use a summer reading log or summer reading tracker. Handy that I made one for you and it’s down below! My Book Bingo from last summer is a great option, too!
11. Encourage journaling of summer adventures. Yes, that’s writing, and yes, it counts!
Nautical Theme Summer Reading Logs
Summer is a great time for beach adventures, travel, imagination and fun. I wanted to make summer reding logs to reflect that. So, I made these nautical themed Ship Captain’s Reading Logbooks.
I thought they would draw attention to the fact that children can have amazing adventures in books!
I have included several logbook pages with a space for:
- 0-5 Sea Star Rating
- And whether or not they would like to read it again sometime!
And also, a couple of pages for drawing the covers of their favourite books they read (print as many of these as they need!).
I also included some drawing and colouring activity pages, including:
- Drawing their own treasure island map
- Colouring in a treasure chest and drawing their own treasure
- Drawing a stormy sea for their ship
- Making sea creatures into pirates!
I had so much fun doing these nautical activity pages, and my own kids have so many additional requests, that I may have to do a separate nautical-themed colouring pages download!
These printable pages include a couple inspiring quotes for kids following along with the nautical and book theme.
To help inspire adventure lovers to read widely:
From Little Women, this fantastic sailing quote by Louisa May Alcott:
How to Use this Nautical Kid’s Summer Reading Log
There are many ways you can use this nautical kid’s summer reading adventure logbook printable:
- Homeschooling during the summer
- To keep kids busy on long car rides
- To keep kids motivated to read
- Place on a clipboard and put in a common area
- Help children keep up their reading and writing all summer
- However you want!
How to Access the Reading Log
- Drop your email in the box below.
- Check your inbox and click through to the PDF.
- Save it to your computer or phone.
- Print it off at home or at your local printer.
- For personal use only, thanks! Email me if you’d like added permissions.
- Watermark free version available on my Etsy shop.
Need a great nautical book to go with this printable?
Thanks for reading!
I hope you enjoyed these tips and that your kids love filling out their summer reading logs.
While you’re here, check out my 5 must-dos for the end of each homeschool year that help set you up for a strong start in the fall!
Let me know in comments what else you’d like to see.
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