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Summer reading is imperative for students to maintain and strengthen their reading abilities. Some students love to immerse themselves in books over the summer, but others want to just check out and take a break.

Children who read throughout the summer will increase their reading skills, start the new school year with a better understanding of language and the world around them, and discover the joy of reading. The more they like to read, the more they will read. Here are three ideas to help motivate your children to read throughout the summer.

Think outside the box

If you have younger children, get creative. Have your child read on a tablet, Kindle, or computer. If your child is too young to read, try a website that reads books to them. Changing things up can motivate your child to develop a love of reading. Many of these websites below will encourage comprehension through games and dialogue.

Read to Me features popular children’s books being read by famous performers. This free website is adapted to common core standards.

Abcya has short stories that are read aloud. Even for students who can read, it’s good to practice listening comprehension. This site is a great resource for grades K-5.

Many local libraries have children’s computers available for educational games and help with reading and reading comprehension.

Play games

Let’s face it—sometimes it takes an external motivator to encourage kids. One of my favorite incentives for reading-aged children is a money reading-tracker. I choose a number on the chart and put it in a hidden envelope. For every 15 minutes a child reads, the child gets to pick a number on the chart. We put an X on each incorrectly guessed number until the child chooses the correct number.

I usually have a monetary prize when they guess the correct number, but you could use anything your child is interested in—toys, treats, or special activities. This chart works really well to instill motivation to read because your child gets another guess for every 15 minutes of reading!

Establish a routine

Make reading a priority. As you schedule swimming lessons, summer camps, and vacations, schedule reading time into your day. Have read-a-thons or family reading parties. For my children, reading time happens during breakfast. For some kids, bedtime is a perfect time for reading. Do what works for your family and stick to it. Consistency is key and readers will reap a lifetime of benefits.