Why Summer Reading is Important [+6 Good Summer Books for Kids]

Are you wondering why summer reading is important? Early literacy experts agree on numerous reasons why summer reading is essential. Most notably, summer reading helps reinforce the literacy skills your child has learned during the school year. In addition, reading over the summer helps children build upon their reading skills. In fact, if your child doesn’t do summer reading, it can cause them to regress in their reading abilities! 

To help parents better understand the benefits of summer reading and how to encourage reading over the summer, we’ve put together this article. Below, we’ll discuss why summer reading is important, how often kids should read during the summer, and strategies to encourage summer reading. Plus, we’ll share a summer reading list that includes six good summer books for kids.

Reasons Why Summer Reading is Important

So, why is summer reading important? Here are the top reasons your child should read over the summer.

Summer Reading Helps Build Vocabulary

Children are exposed to a vast number of words by reading for just twenty minutes a day. This exposure helps kids expand their vocabulary!

Fascinating Fact: According to TeachHUB, children who read for twenty minutes a day at home are exposed to approximately 1.8 million words per year! In contrast, children who read for 5 minutes per day are exposed to 282,000 words yearly. Finally, kids who read for just one minute per day at home are exposed to only 8,000 words. Thus, the more a child reads at home over the summer, the better their vocabulary will be.

Supports Social-Emotional Development

Summer reading also allows children to explore social dilemmas, emotions, and emotional regulation strategies. Children can learn about these concepts and skills by experiencing new situations through the eyes of different characters. For example, summer reading can support the development of empathy by exposing kids to differing perspectives.

Looking for summer books for kids that teach social-emotional skills and other life lessons? Check out these ten meaningful children's books that teach life lessons.

Builds Background Knowledge

Another reason why summer reading is important is that it helps children better understand the world around them. This knowledge can then be applied to other areas, such as science, math, social studies, etc. Thus, summer reading can assist children in learning other important subjects.

Summer Reading Offers a Fun Alternative to Social Media

Summer reading also provides a fun activity that doesn’t involve mindlessly scrolling through social media. Best of all, with a kids reading app like Booka, your child can take their favorite stories wherever they go!

Looking for more summer activities that don’t involve social media? Check out our list of fun and brain-building things to do instead of social media.

Helps Maintain and Improve Reading Skills

Last but not least, summer reading is important because it helps children maintain and improve the skills they’ve learned during the school year. By reading over the summer, kids can practice their newly acquired reading skills and build new ones. 

The benefits above demonstrate why summer reading is important and showcase the reasons parents should encourage summer reading. But what happens if kids don't do summer reading? Will they lose the literacy skills they’ve learned? Let’s take a look.

why summer reading is important

What happens if you don't do summer reading?

If kids don’t do summer reading, they may experience what’s referred to as ‘summer slide.’ This term is used to describe regression in reading and other academic skills

Summer slide occurs because children need to consistently practice the skills they’ve learned to become proficient. Thus, if they don’t do summer reading, they may lose the literacy skills they’ve developed during the school year.

Many researchers have studied the effects of the summer slide phenomenon. Let’s look at some statistics to help you better understand the impact of neglecting summer reading.

Importance of Summer Reading Statistics

A study conducted by the University of Tennessee Knoxville found that:

  • Children who don’t do summer reading lose approximately two to three months of reading development.

  • Kids who read at home during the summer gain a month of proficiency.

Based on these statistics, it’s easy to see why summer reading is important! But how often should kids read over the summer to ensure they maintain and improve their skills? Here’s what you need to know.

How often should kids read over the summer?

Kids should read at least twenty minutes per day over the summer to ensure literacy development. This reading can come in many different formats. For example, exploring books on a kids reading app, reading cookbooks and magazines, examining songs and poems, or even reading captions as they watch tv! This daily reading could even include a family read-aloud. 

How to Encourage Summer Reading - Tips for Parents

Now that you know why summer reading is important, you’re probably wondering - how can I encourage reading over the summer? Here are some tips to help you inspire your child to read at home during the summer months.

  • Create a special space in your home for reading, like a reading tent, corner, or nook. This will help motivate your child to read by creating a fun environment.

  • Help your child find a book that interests them. For children, selecting a book is one of the most exciting aspects of reading. So, be sure to let your child choose the books they read! That said, it’s essential to help your child find a book that interests them and that they can successfully read on their own.

  • Propose a summer reading challenge. Summer reading challenges and activities are a great way to make reading fun!

Here are 10 great summer reading challenges to help you get started

  • Read aloud to your child. Alternatively, check out Booka’s Read To Me feature, which will read aloud to your child while they follow along with the words.

  • Read your own books at home. Reading in front of your child demonstrates that you value reading. It also models how reading can be a fun activity to engage in.

  • Incorporate technology. Kids reading apps, like Booka, provide access to hundreds of books on endless topics. This makes reading fun and convenient. Plus, Booka offers unique features that will keep your child reading for hours! 

Looking for good summer books for kids to help you encourage summer reading? Here’s a list of some of our favorites.

6 Good Summer Books for Kids - A Summer Reading List

In addition to discussing why summer reading is important, we thought we’d share some good summer books for kids. The summer reading list below includes six summer books that will keep your child entertained and encourage them to read more! Best of all, these good summer books for kids can be found on the Booka reading app.

Sweet Summer

Sweet Summer explores the season of summer and the exciting activities summer brings!

Reading Age: 3 to 7 years

ABCs at the Beach

ABCs at the Beach explores all the letters of the alphabet - from A to Z. Challenge your child to find as many letters as they can in this book’s beautiful beach illustrations.

Reading Age: 4 to 8 years

Chef Kate’s Burger-and-Fries Surprise

In Chef Kate’s Burger-and-Fries Surprise, your child will join Chef Kate as she grills burgers for her diners. But that’s not all - Chef Kate’s guests are in for a big surprise - a pool she’s set up behind the restaurant!

Reading Age: 4 to 8 years

Little Hoo Goes to the Beach

Little Hoo is feeling anxious about going to the beach. He wonders about sharks, seaweed, and crabs that pinch! In Little Hoo Goes to the Beach, your young reader will join Little Hoo as he realizes that the beach can be a fun place - despite his fears. 

Reading Age: 2 to 5 years

Emma Just Medium: The Beach Dilemma

Emma Just Medium: The Beach Dilemma follows Emma, a middle child, as she spends a week with her family on a beach vacation. Being in the middle, Emma feels misunderstood. So, she decides to take on a new role. But will acting BIG work for Emma, or will this new role create a dilemma!? 

Reading Age: 5 to 9 years

Facing the Wave

Facing the Wave follows Jude as he overcomes his fears and learns to surf. This kid’s book is about trying new things and the power of encouraging words.

Reading Age: 3+ years

Ready to start reading? You’ll find these good summer books for kids and more on the Booka reading app!

Make Summer Reading Fun with Booka

Booka is the perfect tool to help promote summer reading! The Booka reading app for kids offers access to hundreds of exciting stories. Plus, Booka’s interactive and captivating design will keep your kids coming back for more! Best of all, with the Booka app, your child can take all their favorite books wherever they go.

Help your child benefit from summer reading by downloading Booka!

Sign-up today, commitment-free, and get a 7-day free trial.

Why Summer Reading is Important - Key Takeaways

Here’s a quick summary of why summer reading is important.

  • It helps children practice and build their vocabulary.
  • Summer reading supports social-emotional development.
  • It helps children learn about the world around them and develop background knowledge that they can use in other academic areas.
  • Summer reading offers a fun and brain-building alternative to scrolling through social media.
  • It helps improve reading skills and prevents ‘summer slide.’

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