You can take advantage of the extra time you’ll have with your child this summer by incorporating reading games into your everyday activities.  These times when you can help your child practice reading and writing are Golden Opportunities.  Here are 10 ways to make sure you don’t miss out.

  1. When waiting for a meal in a restaurant, ask your child to read items on the menu.
  2. When waiting at the ice cream shop, have your child try to read all the ice cream flavors. To mix things up you could ask them to read to themselves and then tell you all the flavors that include chocolate or a type of fruit.
  3. On a car trip, a great way to pass the time is to read bumper stickers and the sides of panel trucks.  See who can be the first one to spot a specific word or letter.
  4. If you go to a theme park or zoo this summer, let your child be your “tour guide.”  Depending on age and reading level, your child can read signs or the full descriptions from books and brochures.
  5. Let your child write a list of things to take on vacation. They can then check off the items on their list as they pack.
  6. Similarly, your child can make a summer activity to-do list.  Let them post it on the refrigerator and make tally marks of the number of times they did particular things at the end of the day.
  7. Summer is the perfect time to make cool collections of things you find outdoors—bugs, rocks, flowers, etc.—and make custom labels.  Older kids can look up the objects in their collection in library books, while younger kids can fill out their labels with simple descriptions.
  8. As a family, send post cards to friends and relatives even if you don’t leave town.
  9. A new notebook can serve a number of purposes for your child: a diary or travel journal, a field notebook or collection of short stories.
  10. Start a scrapbook with pictures and captions of summer fun.