4 Summer Reading Games for Kids

The summer months can be tough for reading—school is out, the sun is shining, and reading may be the last thing on your child’s mind. But reading doesn’t have to be a chore over summer break. In fact, with a few creative reading games, it can become a fun summer activity. Gamifying summer reading not only helps your child combat summer slide, but it can also help create a love and appreciation for reading—and some fun summer memories in the process!  

4 Summer Reading Games to Encourage Creativity and Comprehension 

If you are looking for reading games for 1st graders or reading games for 2nd graders, these gamification ideas offer something for everyone. 

1. Try the “Words per Week” challenge. 

A great and informal way to encourage fun light summer reading is by gamifying new words. Instead of creating reading games around how many books your child can read. Encourage comprehension by asking them to share new words they’ve learned each week. Create a ritual where sharing these new words becomes a point of pride for your kids. You can also encourage your child to create a journal where they can log these new words and their definitions.  

2. Set Up a Summer Reading Game Board. 

There’s nothing like a visual to spur some friendly competition! Create a poster with a unique twist alongside your child where they can track the books they are reading – instead of just tracking the number of books read, gamify by the type of book! For example, create a “BINGO” poster with each square representing a specific genre, a notable topic, or a particular author. This may encourage your child to read a “history” book, and then a book that incorporates themes of “mythology,” followed by a book by author Beverly Cleary.  

Better yet, encourage the whole family to participate! Mom, dad, siblings, or anyone in the house can create their own boards, and whoever gets to “BINGO” first, wins! Level up this challenge by suggesting family members provide suggestions for categories on each other’s boards.  

Summer reading bingo card

Download Our Summer Reading Bingo Cards

3. Create a Summer Story. 

Instead of checking out summer reading books from the library, give your children the idea to create fun summer reads for themselves with a “Summer Story!” Encourage creativity and help your child practice their writing skills by helping them develop a story of their very own over the course of the summer. Not only will this type of activity allow them to practice creativity, writing, and spelling at the same time, but it will also give them a project to work on for the whole summer. Maybe they will document their own summer adventures or they’ll write a fairytale—or some combination of the two—–the possibilities are endless!  

In addition, you can build the excitement for their story by creating a party at the end of summer where they can share their story with family and friends. Add a theme to the party to reflect what they have created and turn it into a true celebration of creativity! 

A girl writing her own story for fun light summer reading.

4. Find reading games for kids online. 

If you want to make staying engaged as easy as possible for kids, no matter where you are, you can always leverage the power of the Internet. There are so many great reading games for kids available online, from YouTube to the Connections Academy Online Resource Library and more. Check out some of our favorite online summer games and activities today! 

How to Choose Books Your Kids Will Love 

Creating reading games for kids is a fun and easy way to keep your kids’ minds active during the summer months, but it can be a struggle to keep them engaged in reading. Luckily, experts claim that even the most reluctant readers are more likely to finish books they themselves have selected. Check out our updated Ultimate Summer Reading List for grades 3–5 for suggestions. 

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