Hooray! Summer vacation is here! The kids have traded their backpacks and homework for bikes and baseballs. Hot, humid days mean swimsuits and ice cream.
Children will be meeting their friends at the playground and playing on the swings and slides. There is one slide they should avoid, however. That’s the “summer slide.” All those summer days without reading can cause kids to slide backward and lose about two months in their reading skills.
The Jefferson Public Library offers many resources to help your children keep up with their reading skills, including lots of books and the annual summer reading programs, for both children and teens. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate reading into your child’s summer adventures:
Consider your children’s interests or ask them about a favorite story they read. Notice the themes that emerge and plan a related trip. For example, if your children like archaeology, have them read “Dinosaur Dig” by Penny Dale, and then take a trip to the beach at Spring Lake. While they swim, bury “fossils” in the sand, and then hand them a small shovel and let them unearth all the treasures. If your children like to learn about heroes, read together “The Midnight Adventure of Kate Shelley, Train Rescuer.” It’s a short drive to the Kate Shelley Bridge west of Boone.
If your children like history, they may enjoy reading “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder and then visiting the local Greene County historical museum or Living History Farms in Urbandale. The library has lots of books about animals for children to read before or after a trip to the zoo.
Reading is portable. Before you leave on vacation, download free children’s eBooks from the WILBOR website or check out a book on CD and listen together as a family.
Perhaps your child is an aspiring detective. After he or she reads “Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective” or a Nancy Drew mystery, purchase binoculars, a fingerprinting kit and a magnifying glass and send your child off on a spy mission. Reading about an explorer might inspire a hike at Squirrel Hollow or a canoe trip on the Raccoon River. If your children like other cultures or geography, they may like to read about another country and then help prepare a family dinner serving foods from the country they read about.
These are just a few examples of ways to include reading into your child’s summer adventures.
Jefferson Public Library
200 West Lincoln Way
386-2835 Adult Dept.
386-4415 Children’s Dept.
Mon. and Wed.: 1-8 p.m.
Tues. and Thurs.:
11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday: 1 – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.