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8 Steps to Setting Summer Reading Goals for Kids (and Yourself)

Summer is a time of endless sun, and it can also be a time of endless books! Set summer reading goals for your family and bask in the rays of adventure, love, and endless fun.

Setting summer reading goals for kids is a magical way to keep their minds engaged, their creativity soaring, and their love for reading blossoming during the break. Whether your child is an avid bookworm or still discovering the wonders of storytelling, the summer months offer the perfect canvas to cultivate a lifelong passion for reading.

But how do you do it and still make it fun? We have all the answers right here. Just don’t be surprised if your family can’t put their books down when summer ends.

Why Should My Family Set Summer Reading Goals?

Summer reading goals aren’t just a fun way to pass the summertime. They’re a fantastic way to foster a love for reading, create lasting memories, and strengthen family bonds.

For kids, setting reading goals encourages them to stay engaged and continue their learning during the break from school. It helps combat the “summer slide,” where academic skills can decline over the summer months. By setting goals, children establish a routine of reading, which strengthens their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills.

Additionally, having reading goals provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-confidence as children work towards and achieve their targets. It opens up a world of imagination, introduces them to diverse perspectives, and fosters a lifelong passion for books. Ultimately, summer reading goals empower children to embark on a literary adventure, where they can explore new worlds, gain knowledge, and create lasting memories through the magic of books.

For families, summer reading goals also offer a chance for quality bonding time, as parents can participate in reading challenges, discussions, and recommend books to one another. It’s an opportunity for parents to model reading habits and show their children the value and enjoyment of books. Through shared reading experiences, families can broaden their perspectives, enhance communication skills, and develop empathy by delving into different characters, cultures, and themes.

Moreover, setting summer reading goals as a family instills a sense of accomplishment and pride as everyone works towards and celebrates their reading achievements together. It creates a supportive environment where reading becomes a cherished shared activity that strengthens family bonds.

How to Set Summer Reading Goals

Summer reading goals are similar to any other goal. They’re a way to engage in and track your child’s and your own enriching reading experiences.

To make accomplishing your family’s reading goals easier, here are the steps to get you from planning to reading to having fun. Get ready to unleash a summer of literary exploration and embark on a thrilling journey through the pages of captivating books!

Step 1: Involve Your Child in the Process

To make setting summer reading goals enjoyable and engaging for kids, involve them in the process. Sit down together and discuss the idea of summer reading goals, emphasizing the benefits and the excitement of exploring new stories and ideas. Ask your child for their input and preferences, and consider their reading level and interests when planning.

Step 2: Set Achievable Goals

It’s important to set achievable goals that match your child’s reading ability and age. Take into account their reading level, attention span, and the amount of time they can dedicate to reading each day. Set a realistic target, whether it’s a specific number of books, a certain number of pages, or a reading challenge tailored to their abilities.

Step 3: Create a Reward System

Kids thrive on incentives, so create a reward system to motivate them to achieve their reading goals. It could be as simple as a sticker chart, where they earn a sticker for each book completed, leading to a special treat or a small prize when they reach a specific milestone. The reward system encourages their progress and adds a sense of fun and accomplishment to their reading journey.

Step 4: Curate a Diverse Reading List

Curating a diverse reading list is key to keeping kids engaged and fostering a love for reading. Consider their interests, hobbies, and favorite subjects when selecting books, and include a mix of genres: fiction and nonfiction, age-appropriate classics, and contemporary children’s literature. You can also visit libraries, bookstores, or online platforms for some fun recommendations.

Check out our huge collection of children’s books (fiction and nonfiction) to make this summer fun!

Step 5: Establish a Reading Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to developing a reading habit. Establish a daily or weekly reading routine that works for your child. It could be a designated reading time each day, a cozy reading corner in their room, or a family reading hour in the evenings. By incorporating reading into their regular routine, it becomes a natural and enjoyable part of their day.

Step 6: Encourage Discussion and Reflection

Reading is not just about consuming stories but also about reflecting on and discussing them. Encourage your child to share their thoughts, feelings, and favorite parts of the books they read. Engage in conversations about the characters, plot, and themes. This not only enhances their comprehension but also strengthens their critical thinking and communication skills. You can also make this a fun activity where kids draw their favorite scenes or create a small play for the family to participate in.

Step 7: Explore Reading Activities and Events

To make the summer reading experience even more exciting, explore reading activities and events in your community. Check if local libraries or bookstores are hosting reading challenges, book clubs, or author events for children. Participating in such activities can create a sense of community, foster a love for reading, and provide additional opportunities for your child to share their reading journey with others.

For more event ideas, check out our article “Reading Programs: A Fun and Easy Way to Entertain Your Kids This Summer.”

Step 8: Lead by Example

Children often imitate the behavior of their parents or guardians. Be a reading role model by reading alongside your child and sharing your own reading goals and experiences. Show enthusiasm for books, discuss your own reading choices, and let them see that reading is a lifelong adventure. Your positive influence will encourage and inspire them to embrace reading as a pleasurable and valuable activity.

Make Summer Fun and Meaningful

By following these steps, you can help your child set meaningful summer reading goals, ignite their imagination, and cultivate a lifelong love for books. Together, embark on a summer filled with delightful stories, unforgettable characters, and endless learning opportunities.

And the best part is that all you have to do is sit back, relax, and read.

For more book recommendations, read our article “12 Kids Series Perfect for Summer Reading.”

Books That Make Summer Fun

Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.

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