In this guest blog post, Rachael Walker of Reading Rockets offers inventive ideas that encourage summertime reading for kids, beyond the door of your Little Free Library.

Summer is a great season for heading outdoors, trying new things, and exploring interests. Pair summer experiences with books and you give kids the opportunity to both enjoy reading and learn more about their world. To help make the most of summer, Reading Rockets launched Start with a Book where parents and caring adults can find ideas and activities for fun and meaningful interactions around books and things of kid interest.

Here are three ways you can use average summer days to inspire a spectacular summer of reading and learning.

summer-jam-image-photo-credit-reading-rocketsSummer is the growing season and a great time for food-related field trips! Interesting experiences like a visit to a farm or farmers market give kids a broader framework for new information they might encounter in books.

You can also take advantage of all the print at the farmers market or grocery store by using it in ways to talk about letters and words and build knowledge about the foods we eat. You’ll find more Cooking and Food fun at Start with a Book, including Grocery Store Literacy printables in English and Spanish and a Bee Thankful smoothie recipe for those fruits you picked up at the market!

Longer summer days are made for more time outdoors and more time to learn about and appreciate nature. Channel kids’ natural wonder of nature into exploring and enjoying books about our green world. Head outside to the shade of a tree to read about trees! Talk about how to identify trees by their leaves, bark, seeds and branches and consider making a field guide to the trees in your backyard or local park.

This printable Reading Adventure Pack featuring The Lorax is all about trees and includes an art activity, nature journal ideas, and directions for getting the whole family or neighborhood involved in creating a poetree.

reading-in-tree-image-photo-credit-reading-rocketsSeize that special something in the summer air that sparks exploration. Neighborhood walks can lead to interesting conversations, observations, and investigations that build vocabulary and background knowledge.

Cruise your community or plan outings to special destinations—like Little Free Libraries, as part of a Little Free Library crawl. Track your adventures with this printable summer adventure tracker or make your own map. Check out all the Start with a Book themes that match your adventures and find lots of related books, activities and apps to extend the reading and learning fun this summer!

Learn more about how to start your own Little Free Library, or start planning a summer adventure using the Little Free Library map of the world to find book exchanges near you.

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