Boosting Your Child’s Reading Skills: A Summer Guide

The summer season provides an excellent opportunity to enhance your child’s reading skills and foster a lifelong love for books. With school out and more free time available, engaging your child in enjoyable reading activities can be educational and entertaining. This article will explore effective strategies and practical tips to help improve your child’s reading abilities during the summer months.

  1. Create a Reading Routine: A consistent reading routine is critical to encouraging regular reading habits. Set aside a specific time each day for reading, whether in the morning, after lunch, or before bedtime. Consistency will help your child develop a sense of discipline and make reading a natural part of their daily routine.
  2. Visit the Local Library: Take advantage of your library’s summer reading programs and events. Libraries often organize reading challenges, storytimes, and workshops designed to keep children engaged with books during the summer break. Encourage your child to explore different genres and let them choose books that pique their interest.
  3. Set Reading Goals: Set achievable reading goals for your child, such as completing several books by the end of summer. This can motivate them and provide a sense of accomplishment. Break down larger goals into smaller milestones, and reward your child’s progress with praise, stickers, or small incentives to keep them motivated.
  4. Encourage Book Discussions: Engage your child in meaningful conversations about the books they are reading. Ask open-ended questions about the characters, plot, or their favorite story parts. This will improve their comprehension skills and promote critical thinking and analysis. Consider forming a small book club with your child and other friends or family members, where everyone can share their thoughts on a selected book.
  5. Incorporate Reading into Everyday Activities: Find creative ways to integrate reading into your child’s daily life. Encourage them to read recipes while cooking together, follow instructions for building a model or playing a board game, or even read signs and labels while on a family outing. Your child will see its practical importance and relevance by connecting reading to real-life situations.
  6. Explore Digital Resources: Utilize the vast array of digital resources to supplement your child’s reading experience. There are numerous educational websites, e-books, and interactive reading apps specifically designed to enhance reading skills. Look for platforms that offer a combination of engaging stories, comprehension exercises, and vocabulary-building activities to make learning enjoyable.
  7. Lead by Example: Children often mimic their parents’ behaviors, so ensure you are a reading role model. Let your child see you immersed in a book or share stories about the books you enjoyed as a child. Create a family reading time where everyone can independently sit together and read their favorite books. This shared experience will foster a love of reading within your child and strengthen family bonds.
  8. Engage in Multimodal Reading: Encourage your child to explore various reading formats, such as comics, graphic novels, newspapers, diy science experiment books, magazines, or audiobooks. These alternatives provide diverse reading experiences that cater to different interests and learning styles. Embrace their choices and guide them in selecting age-appropriate and engaging materials.
    Summer break offers a wonderful opportunity to boost your child’s reading skills while nurturing their imagination and curiosity. By incorporating these strategies into their daily routine, providing a supportive environment, and promoting reading as an enjoyable activity, you can help your child develop a lifelong passion for books and learning. Remember, reading is a gateway to knowledge, empathy, and personal growth, and the benefits will extend far beyond the summer months.

5 Fun Ways for Parents to Encourage Kids to Read During Summer

Summer is a wonderful time for kids to relax, explore, and have fun. While taking a break from school is essential, it’s also crucial to keep our reading skills sharp. Reading during the summer helps us improve our vocabulary, imagination, and critical thinking. Parents play a vital role in encouraging their children to pick up a book and embark on exciting literary adventures. This article will explore five fun ways for parents to engage their kids in summer reading, making it an enjoyable and enriching experience for everyone involved.

Create a Cozy Reading Space

Setting up a cozy reading space at home can entice children to dive into the wonderful world of books. Find a quiet corner in your house or create a reading nook by arranging soft pillows, blankets, and a comfortable chair. Decorate the space with colorful posters and string lights to make it inviting. Allow your child to choose their favorite books or take them to the library to select new ones. By dedicating a special place for reading, you’re providing a cozy retreat to inspire your child’s imagination and make reading a relaxing adventure.

Organize Family Reading Time

Make reading a family affair by setting aside dedicated reading time daily. Choose a specific time when everyone can gather together and enjoy their books. This shared reading experience creates a bonding opportunity and reinforces the importance of reading in your child’s mind. Encourage your child to share their reading and ask questions about the story. Engage in conversations about the characters, plot, and favorite parts of the book. By actively participating in family reading time, parents can demonstrate their love for books and instill a lifelong passion for reading in their children.

Join a Summer Reading Program

Many libraries and educational organizations offer summer reading programs specifically designed to keep kids engaged during the break. These programs often include reading challenges, rewards, and exciting activities. Encourage your child to participate in these programs and help them track their progress. Set goals together and celebrate milestones achieved. Summer reading programs motivate children to read more and provide opportunities to connect with other young readers, attend book clubs, and explore diverse genres. This supportive community can enhance the reading experience and foster a sense of accomplishment.

Incorporate Reading into Everyday Life

Reading doesn’t have to be limited to books alone. Encourage your child to read and explore mediums like magazines, newspapers, or even websites sharing age-appropriate articles. Take advantage of daily activities to incorporate reading. For example, involve your child in meal planning by having them read recipes and choose ingredients. Have them read maps, brochures, or informational signs when going on a family outing. By integrating reading into everyday life, you demonstrate how reading is essential for acquiring knowledge and understanding the world around us.

Plan Book-related Activities

Make reading interactive and fun by planning book-related activities. Choose a book your child enjoys and organize a related craft or project. For instance, if they’re reading a book about space, create a solar system model using craft supplies. If it’s a mystery novel, organize a scavenger hunt with clues from the story. You can also watch movie adaptations of books and discuss the similarities and differences. Such activities make reading more exciting and help children develop a deeper understanding of the story and its themes.

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained All Summer Long!

 Summer is here; with school out, it’s the perfect time to create lasting memories with your children. Keeping them entertained throughout the summer can be challenging, but fear not! We’ve covered you with exciting and fun-filled activities to keep your kids happy and engaged. From outdoor adventures to creative projects, this article will provide a range of ideas suitable for children of all ages. Get ready for an unforgettable summer!

Explore the Great Outdoors:

One of the best ways to entertain your kids during the summer is to explore the great outdoors. Plan family outings to nearby parks, beaches, or hiking trails. Encourage your children to appreciate nature by playing games like scavenger hunts or organizing picnics. Camping trips can also be a fantastic adventure where kids can learn basic survival skills, set up tents, and tell stories around the campfire. Nature provides a world of wonder and excitement for children to discover, so take advantage of the sunny weather and create memories in the great outdoors.

Get Crafty and Creative:

Unleash your children’s creativity by engaging them in various craft projects. Set up a dedicated art space in your home and stock it with supplies like paints, markers, colored paper, glue, and scissors. Encourage your kids to create artwork, build models, or even try their hand at DIY projects. Crafting not only enhances their imagination but also helps develop fine motor skills. You can even organize craft-themed parties or invite their friends for an afternoon of creativity and fun. Display their masterpieces proudly around the house or gift them to family and friends.

Dive into the World of Books:

Encourage your children to embark on a literary adventure by introducing them to the enchanting world of books. Set aside specific reading times each day, where you can join them and discuss their favorite characters and storylines. Take regular trips to the local library to explore new books and participate in reading programs. To make reading more interactive, you can create a cozy reading nook at home with comfortable cushions, blankets, and shelves filled with their favorite books. Reading expands their vocabulary and nurtures their imagination and critical thinking skills.

Engage in Sports and Games:

Keep your kids active and healthy by engaging them in sports and games. Set up a mini soccer field or basketball hoop in your backyard, or organize family tournaments for games like badminton or volleyball. Please encourage your children to learn new sports and practice their skills. Additionally, board and card games can be a great way to bond as a family while stimulating their strategic thinking. Puzzle-solving activities, such as crosswords or Sudoku, can also be enjoyable and help develop their problem-solving abilities. Remember, the goal is to have fun and stay active!

Explore Science and Experiments:

Foster your children’s curiosity by engaging them in exciting science experiments. Countless simple and safe experiments can be conducted at home using everyday household items. From creating a volcano eruption with baking soda and vinegar to making slime with glue and borax, these experiments will entertain and educate your kids. Encourage them to ask questions, observe, and record their findings. You can also visit science museums or attend science-themed workshops to explore more in-depth scientific concepts. Who knows, you might be inspiring the next generation of scientists!

Entertaining your kids all summer doesn’t have to be daunting. By incorporating a mix of outdoor adventures, creative projects, reading, sports, and science experiments, you can provide them with a memorable and enriching summer experience.

10 Book Series Boys Would Love to Read During Summer.

I have parents who tell me their girls like to read but their sons do not.

A study showed that many reading assignments for school do not appeal to boys.

All children like books. They just haven’t found the right one.

Well I have a solution for you.

Today we will discuss 10 book series for boys to read during summertime.

All of these are chapter books!

I have parents ask me what books my son likes to read.

The books below are approved by my son and will get your child excited about reading.

They are for kids ages 7-12, depending on your child’s reading level.

Let’s get started.

The first one is EllRay Jakes by Sally Warner

Second is George Brown Class Clown by Nancy Krulik

Third is The Magnificent Makers by Theanne Griffith and Reggie Brown

Fourth is The Data Set by Ada Hopper and Rafael Kirschner

The fifth one is Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol by Andres Meidoso and Victor Rivas

Sixth is Track Field Take Down by Jake Maddox

This author has other books about sports.

Seventh is Big Monty Book Series by Matt Max

Eighth is Stink Book Series by Meagan McDonald

Ninth is Diary of a Wimpy Kids by Jeff Kinney

The last one is Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

You can find these books in your local library or Amazon.

I hope your son enjoys these book series for books

Word Game for Kindergarten | Fun and Simple Activity For Your Kids

We love to incorporate my son’s toys in his learning. One of his favorite toys is called BEYBLADE. It has energy layers that unleashes a fast spinning top. You can battle with another person to see whose top spins longer. It is a fun toy for kids. Therefore, we thought it would be fun to play a word game for kindergarten using BEYBLADES.

View the bottom of this post for reading gear!


In the game, you got a point for winning the BEYBLADE battle. You also received points for the amount of words you could make. The amount of points gained depended on the number of words you made.

I wanted to give my son, Cory, a challenge. Instead of putting letters together and have him identify words, I gave him random letters and asked him to make words. I participated by making words when he gave me random letters. He did a great job with this game. In fact, he identified some words that I missed when it was my turn.

We helped each other in this game. As a result, we competed against each other but worked as a team simultaneously.

Try this word game for kindergarten with your child. You can actually play it with children of all ages. You will have to adjust the game according to their level.

Below is a video showing you how to play the game. This video comes from my son’s YouTube channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please subscribe if you like what you see.

If you have a child that loves to read, check out the shirts below. Just click on the image. Adult sizes available too!

20 Fun Interactive Books for Kids

Those who have followed my blog know that my son learned to read at 21 months through PLAY. Reading interactive books grew my son’s interest in stories and literacy. Below in this post, I have listed 20 Fun Interactive Books for Kids.

Below is a video of my son sounding and spelling words at 21 months.

Many people ask me how this was done and the answers are in the book below, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. We also have an online course that gives a more detailed account of how he learned to read at an early age.

Click the link below to access the online course.

Click the link below to access to book on Amazon.

Children will become interested in reading when you make it fun. You accomplish this by building their interest in words and stories. This will come naturally by reading a variety of interactive books.

Reading a variety of interactive books exposes children to various vocabulary words, characters, plots, settings, problems, and resolutions. When Cory, my son, was a baby, I always borrowed books about the alphabet, colors, and numbers from the library. This is the main reason he knew these topics at nineteen months and could read at twenty-one months.

I also picked interactive books with colorful pictures. When reading, I would point to the characters and various objects on the page. Pop-up books are great to read to children because they create an element of surprise. It also gives them an appealing visual of what is happening in the book.

Lift-the-flap books are great because your child is anticipating the answer to a question. They are also engaged while reading these books because they are showcasing the answers with lifting the flaps. Cory has always liked to handle books; therefore, I taught him how to turn the pages at nine months. This was another strategy used to get him involved in reading as a baby.

Start your child’s fun reading journey by reading interactive books. I have listed 20 below.

Let’s Get Started – 20 Fun Interactive Books For Kids

Alpha Bugs: A Pop-up Alphabet by David Carter

This book is all about bugs. It is a great resource for practicing sounds.

Birthday Bugs: A Pop-up Party by David Carter

This book celebrates birthday bugs. It has a different bug popping out of the presents.

The Wide-Mouthed Frog (A Pop-Up Book) by Keith Faulkner and Jonathan Lambert

This frog loves finding creatures outdoors and eating them. However, he was stumped when there is another that likes to eat wide-mouthed frogs.

Pop-up Peekabook: Under the Sea by DK

This is a baby book that introduces children to colorful underwater scenes and characters.

Pop-Up Dinosaurs: A Pop-Up Book to Get Your Jaws Into

This rhyming book has facts about dinosaurs. There are five big dinosaur pop-ups that jump from the pages.

The Jungle Book: A Pop-Up Adventure by Matthew Reinhart

This is a great retelling of a classic. Children are exposed to battles of good over evil and the importance of family.

The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings by Anna Llenas

This sensitive book gently illustrates common emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and calm.

A Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes: A Classic Collectible Pop-Up by Matthew Reinhart

This book is a classic storytelling of Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes.

Brush Your Teeth, Please: A Pop-up Book by Jean Pidgeon

Children will learn proper dental hygiene in a fun way. They will see chimp brushing and a shark flossing!

Pop-Up Peekabook! Things That Go: Pop-Up Surprise Under Every Flap

This interactive book has bold pop-ups that make diggers, trucks, and cars jump from the pages when the flaps are lifted.

Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell

Children will try to find the perfect pet with this book. They will lift flaps and see a monkey, lion, and an elephant.

Where’s Spot by Eric Hill

This is a great bedtime book where children will delight in trying to find Spot.

Playtown: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Roger Priddy

Children will learn about busy scenes from around the town. This includes the airport, the hospital, and shops. 

Lift-the-Flap Tap Farm by Roger Priddy

In this interactive book, children will learn all about the farm, from animals to crops to farm machines. 

What’s in My Truck by Linda Bleck

Children will learn about various trucks making deliveries to different places. They can peek inside these fun trucks and see what’s inside.

First 100 Animals Lift-the-Flap: Over 50 Fun Flaps to Lift and Learn

 This book will help babies and toddlers learn all about their first animals. There are over 50 flaps to lift that reveal hidden photographs of animals.

Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon

This is a simple and rhythmic book. Kids will happily imitate all kids of animal sounds after reading this book.

Do Crocs Kiss? by Salina Yoon

This book has fun text and colorful illustrations. Children will see lions, tigers, and bears, as well as snappy reptiles and other favorite creatures.

Peek-A-Who? by Nina Laden

This book has colorful pictures and simple rhyming texts. Children will delight in the anticipation of what’s hiding on the next page.

Winnie the Pooh’s Giant Lift-the-Flap Book by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard

Winnie-the-Pooh has an adventure involving shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and how to tell time.

Have Fun Reading These Interactive Books!

Playful Reading and Literacy Activities from Infants to Preschoolers

My Discovery

From my research, I concluded that doing playful reading and literacy activities with my son would be beneficial to his development. If you have been following my blog, you probably know that my son learned to read at a very early age. This accomplishment was NOT my intention. My intention was to expose him to as many words as I could so he could communicate his wants and needs. I did not want him to be a late communicator.

As a play therapist, I often found that children who were last communicators would resort to hitting or kicking. They were simply frustrated that they could not tell others their desires. This can be frustrating for adults as well. I could only imagine how a child who experiences this feels.

Seeing the Interest

I saw that my son was interested in reading, letters, and language at a young age. Therefore, I started to expose him to the alphabet, phonics, sight words, and blending sounds in a playful manner. He seemed to like how I was interacting with him daily, so I kept introducing him to reading and literacy.

Below is a video presentation I did for my alma mater, Davidson College. It outlines and gives tips on how my son learned to talk, blend sounds, and read at 21 months. There are various videos of my son as a baby showcasing his journey from talking to reading.

The presentation is a little over 50 minutes long. However, it gives a ton of resources and tips on how to stimulate your child’s brain and various methods to develop a love of reading and language. The steps are easy and fun to do with children.

This presentation is based on my online course and book, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. Click the image below to learn more about the course. There is currently a $97 discount on it.

Here is the presentation! Enjoy!

Check Out Simply Outrageous Youth’s Favorite Products!


Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.


Sight Word Games and Activities

Baby and Toddler Brains are Amazing

I am a big advocate for exposing kids to words, language, and reading at an early age. Children’s brains from the ages of 0-3 are growing at a fast rate. This means that their learning rate is extremely rapid during this time.

When my son was a baby I exposed him to a lot of language through books, singing, talking, and telling stories. My purpose was for him to learn to talk. I didn’t want him to be a late talker because sometimes children can become frustrated and resort to hitting when they want something but can’t express it. I wanted my son to communicate his wants and needs as early as he could.

Added Bonus

My plan worked! He started talking in full sentences around 18 months and sounding out words at 21 months. The ability to read was a surprise to me. It was not my intention but I didn’t complain that it happened.

There were 10 steps that I used to get my son to talk and read…

  • Familiarity with Language
  • In-Depth Learning
  • Learning the Alphabet
  • Phonics
  • Blending Sounds
  • Sight Words
  • Experience
  • Digital Media
  • Reading a Variety of Books
  • Strategic Structure of my Day

All of these steps are discussed in detail in my book Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. This book has over 130 activities/games, tips and resources. It is available on Amazon. Click the image below to access it.

Sight Word Games and Activities

Today we will discuss sights words. In the video below I explain what sight words are and how I used playful methods to expose my son to them. I DID NOT USE FLASH CARDS. Although effective at times, I think using flash cards are an isolated way of exposing a child to sight words and this is explained in the video. I also provide better teaching alternatives.

The video comes from my Online Course, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. This course shows you how my son learned to read through playful activities. He didn’t know he was learning because we made it fun. It takes you through his learning-to-read journey with videos of him as a baby up to three years old.

Click the image below to learn more about our Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play Online Course.

Back to Sight Word Games and Activities

I explain how my son learned sight words in three videos.

You can access the other two videos in our resource library by clicking this link or completing the form below.

I hope this helps! Enjoy the sight word journey!

Check Out Simply Outrageous Youth’s Favorite Products!


Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Writeand “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.


“My Child Hates Reading!” – Three Questions to Ask Yourself

“My child hates reading!” I hear this a lot from parents. When I was a child, I did not like reading either. After finishing graduate school, I grew a love for reading. When I was single, I would spend Friday and Saturday evenings in my local Barnes and Noble reading books. It was the most comfortable and relaxing environment.

When did my sudden desire to read come?

My desire to read came from having the freedom to finally indulge in material that interest me. In school, we are given reading assignments from text books and paperback books suggested by teachers and professors. Most of those reading assignments were boring to me. It gave me the mindset that all reading was boring.

Furthermore, while growing up, my mother encouraged us to read. However, the only books I remember having in the house were adult Bible stories, Encyclopedias, and novels. Again I found those boring. We did have one local library in our hometown that was located about 25 minutes from our home. We didn’t get there often because 25 minutes was considered a long way in my small hometown.

We had a school library that I could have easily borrowed books from. However, my mindset was all reading was boring so I only stepped foot in the school library when I had to.

Graduate School

While in graduate school, I started a business where I would go out to local elementary schools and teach financial literacy. My work was funded through a grant and I got paid $100 every time I taught a class. The MBA students were helping me teach those classes as well. This experience got me really interested in business.

I started reading financial literacy, self help, and business books by Robert Kiyosaki, Jack Canfield, and T. Harv Eker. Reading a book a week was nothing for me. The secret to my love for reading was finding books that could teach me what I wanted to learn.


While pregnant with my son, I started reading books of prominent male leaders such as Malcolm X, Bill Gates, Congressman John Lewis, Frederick Douglas etc. My purpose was to find out their mother’s roles in their lives. I wanted to know if their mothers were strict, lenient, nurturing, supportive, entrepreneurs, submissive etc. I found the mothers to have all sorts of personalities, roles, and traits. However, the one theme that stood out in each book were the men were avid readers.

So when my son was born, I wanted to ensure that he liked reading. To this day, he loves reading. We visit the library once or twice a week (pre Coronavirus). He is five-years-old and reads on a 4th grade level. He started blending sounds at 21 months.

Here is a video of my son reading to my brother when he was 25 months.

Click the image below to learn more about our ONLINE COURSE, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. It has a $97 discount.

Click the image below to learn more about our BOOK, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. It is available on Amazon and has over 130 Games/Activities, Tips, and Resources.

There were three things I did to grow my child’s interest in reading. These tips are in the questions that parents should ask themselves when their child does not like to read.

Let’s Get Started

The first question: Are you giving your child books they are interested in?

As previously mentioned, I usually visit the library once or twice a week (pre Coronavirus). During my visits, I am always perusing the shelves for books on various topics. Whatever topic your child has an interest in, there is a book about it. There are books on video games, wrestling, superheroes, cartoon characters, animals, sports figures, princesses, dinosaur poop, farting, arts and crafts, etc.

If your child expresses interest in a topic, get some books on that subject matter. It will make the process of reading easier and more interesting.

Remember those boring adult Bible stories we had growing up? Well I have plenty of children’s bible story books with colorful characters and writing that my son loves to read.

I know many children, have reading assignments from school. Try to use weekends or evenings to dive into books that fit their interest (thats if they are not in the school books).

The second question: Is your home literacy rich?

When my son was three-years-old, he spent the night at a family member’s house. He had a wonderful time playing and getting attention from loved ones. One of his first statements, after picking him up, was our family member didn’t have any books. I could tell he was shocked by this. I was surprised that my three-year-old had this observation in someone else’s home.

I then realized that he was used to seeing books and words all over our home. We have a book shelf on each level of our home. On the third floor, my son has a book shelf in his room that is filled with at least 50 library books plus others we own. Our second level contains a shelf with over 200 books that my husband and I have accumulated over the years. Our basement also has a book shelf. Books are everywhere!

Not only it is great to have books in the home, but take it a step further by reading those books to your child at least 15 to 20 minutes a day.

Books are not the only way to make your home literacy rich. I have made a list of 30 Ways to Create a Literacy Rich Home.

Sign in to our FREE Resource Library to access the list of 30 WAYS TO CREATE A LITERACY RICH HOME.

The third question is: Do your children see you read?

I often hear the phrase that children do what we do more than what you say. When I became a mom, this saying became evident to me.

We constantly tell our children to read. Many times they are thinking to themselves, “I never see you read, so why should I?” Often our children see us, in our free time, watching television, on our phones, or on the computer. There is nothing wrong with this but we should let them see us pick up a book, especially if we are encouraging them to read.

My son has been read to since he was in the womb. I would go to the library and check out children’s books to read to him while I was pregnant.

When he was born, I continued to go to the library and get at least 25 books at a time. Now that number has increased to 50 books. It would probably be more if the library allowed me to check out more books.

My realization

I remember talking to my mom on the phone and telling her I just borrowed a lot of books to read to my son. My mother replied “How many books did you check out for yourself?” My answer was “none.” I was so focused on getting my son books, that I didn’t choose any for myself. The next time I went to the library, I checked out books for myself.

This action made a difference. When my son is playing independently, I will often read a book. On long road trips or during times to myself, I am turning the pages to a book. Sometimes, my son will stop playing to sit beside me and ask what I am reading. Once he asked why I WASN’T saying any words while reading. I told him I was reading silently. Soon after this encounter, I saw him sitting in his room reading silently to himself.

So, these are the questions you should ask yourself if you have a child that does not like to read. Ponder over them.

I hope this helps!