10 Tips to Stop the Summer Slide

Learning shouldn’t stop just because school is out. In fact, stepping too far away from the books can result in a learning loss, often called the summer slide.

However, research has shown that encouraging kids to read just six books, or 20 minutes a day, over the summer can help prevent the summer slide.

Seriously…. just 20 minutes a day! We do that easily at bedtime.ย 

The key to fighting the summer slide is finding ways to make reading fun, combining education and entertainment for an activity kids can truly enjoy, according to Kate DiCamillo, a two-time Newbery Medal Award-winning author and the 2016 Collaborative Summer Library Program National Summer Reading Champion.

Be sure to check out even more of my helpful parenting tips, too!

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10 Tips to Stop the Summer Slide

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty, but rather as a gift that emphasizes the fun of opening a new book and celebrating the satisfaction that comes from reading another story,” said Kate, who is also the 2016-17 Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program literary partner.

My regular reading of Mommy Evolution know what book hounds we are!

I just installed a second hammock (that’s right… 2nd!) in the backyard to encourage my boys to head outside, relax with a good book and fight that summer slide!

It’s my summer ulterior motive, and they couldn’t be more excited.

Summer reading fb
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

10 Tips to Stop the Summer Slide

Summer schedules can get busy, but with a little creativity it’s actually quite easy to fit in those 20 minutes a day, even when you have other activities planned.

Take a book.

The best way to get your kids reading is to have books available, so take them with you, whether it’s in the car, at the beach or waiting at the doctor’s office.

Summer recharge.

Plan ahead for a fun reading-related trip midway through the summer to reignite the love of books and reward kids for reading.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; the trip could simply be camping like a character in a favorite book.

Explore hobbies.

Reading is extra fun when the subject matter involves your favorite things.

Look for books that match your kids’ personal interests, such as dinosaurs or gymnastics.

Magazine madness.

Plenty of popular kids magazines can be delivered to your home for an exciting surprise in the mailbox that makes an excellent reason to flip it open and start reading.

Our personal favorite is National Geographic Kids, which also released some awesome books.

Road trip reading.

A long car ride is the perfect opportunity for the whole family to enjoy an audiobook together.

You can discuss the story over lunch breaks and fuel stops to engage even further with the book.

Some audio books we’re really excited to enjoy this summer include The Fourteenth Goldfish, Escape from Mr Lemoncelloโ€™s Library, and Call of the Wild.

Pen pals.

Work with other parents to set up pen pals for the summer and have kids write letters back and forth to practice their reading and writing skills.

Act it out.

Encourage kids to gather some neighborhood friends and create a play based on a favorite book.

This helps kids understand the characters and story lines by bringing them to life.

And talk about an awesome summer activity for the neighborhood! It could become a complete “evening at the theater” for everyone.

Take direction.

Ask kids to read the directions for a classic summer project, like setting up a tent or making a snack for a picnic.

Whether they are directing you or doing it themselves, reading and understanding directions builds important skills.

Head to the library.

Most libraries offer fun and interactive summer reading programs for kids that include incentives, activities and structure to help get kids excited about reading all summer long.

One summer we did a library challenge and visited a different library in the area every week. It was awesome!

Tap into tech time.

If you’ve committed to limiting screen time for the summer, consider a compromise that lets kids use devices for productive activities, such as reading e-books.

We use iPads and Kindles in our house to encourage the kids to get reading.

FarFaria is one of our favorite iPad apps.

The sooner you start a habit of reading every day, the better your child will be prepared when school – and the annual BOOK IT! Program – kicks off again.

Learn more about the program and find more summer reading tips and activities at bookitprogram.com.

Summer reading lists FB


Don’t miss out on some other awesome resources to stave off summer brain drain for your kids and keep that summer learning going all season long!


  1. Summer is a great time to let kids explore their own interests, instead of what they “have” to learn during the school year. These are great tips!

  2. My favorite way to stop the summer slide is definitely participating in the library’s summer reading program. My daughter hated reading last year in school, but when I signed her up for the reading program last summer, she learned how much she loved it! She was the top reader for her age group ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That’s awesome! I even signed up my boys for the summer reading program before they were reading. (Leave it to me to get a move on.) The boys loved that there were goals and would ask for that “extra” story to get in their reading time ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Summer should be the right time for parents to help children love reading. They should know that reading is a fun thing rather than a duty. I completely agree with this. Thank you very much for sharing in Family Fun Friday.

  4. 20 minutes of reading a day is definitely do-able. Great tips! Thanks for sharing on Toddler Fun Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. We like to head to the library before a trip to try to find storybooks or non-fiction books about the places we’ll be visiting on our vacation.

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