10 Tips to Stop the Summer Slide and Encourage Reading

GIVEAWAY: Don’t forget to enter the draw at the end of this post for a selection of Usborne Books.

When I think of a summer slide, I think of something like the picture above. But have you ever heard of “the summer slide” as it applies to your child’s reading and education? I only first heard of the term this summer!

Did you know that according to the U.S. Department of Education, that:

  • 100% of students experience summer learning loss if they don’t engage in educational activities over the summer.
  • 25% of academic learning is lost by children during summer vacation.
  • 4-6 weeks is the time it takes teachers to re-teach material that students have forgotten over the summer.
  • 2.6 months is the average learning loss per student in math and 2 months is the average in spelling.

I’ve teamed up with Cora Thiessen from Cora’s Cosy Book Corner to share tips on how to stop the summer slide! Cora has turned her love for reading with her two children, ages 5 and 3, into an income provider for her family (how cool is that!) She’s an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books Canada.

Cora says, “When my little girl was born, I decided going back to work wasn’t for me so I chose to stay at home. It has been a wonderful yet challenging, memory-making journey.”

I can so relate to Cora, which is why I love supporting fellow working-from-home moms. She has provided me with some fantastic tips for encouraging reading over the summer months, that I’m excited to pass on to you!

P.S: I have included a few links for you to check out. These are not affiliate links that I benefit from – I just like pointing out awesome options! I hope you’ll consider shopping with Cora if you’re in Canada, or supporting your own local Usborne Consultant.

My children are just starting school, but I want summer reading to be a regular part of my children’s lives from the get-go. Research shows that a large book collection at home has a bigger impact on kids’ reading and education than household income. What’s great about this is how easily accessible books are regardless of your budget (library, second-hand, or through a knowledgeable consultant like Cora).

10 Tips to Keep your Children Reading Through the Summer (and Stop the Summer Slide)

1. Let your children choose their own books.

Let your child pick a book to purchase or to borrow from the library. Picking their own book usually means they will want to read/listen to it. We’ve been having fun looking through Usborne’s giant catalog together!

2. Choose books to give them a feeling of success.

For children already reading, help them to choose books that will give them a feeling of success. It should be a reading level where they are comfortable with just a little bit of help. If you have a child who can’t read yet, consider “reading” a book together where he or she knows some of the words or can correctly identify shapes, colours, animals, etc.

Book suggestion: Check out Usborne’s “First Reader” series – there are 50 books in total!  

3. Turn reading into a game!

Get a reading Bingo sheet or checklist. When it’s all filled out, your child gets a treat that you both previously decided on. Some treat ideas could be going out for ice cream, going to the zoo, or a new small toy. I’ve made a colourful Summer Reading Bingo printable that can apply to various ages for you! Simply subscribe to my blog to get it in your inbox.

Share your e-mail with me and I’ll send you your free Summer Reading Bingo printable! Sign up here.

4. Choose topics that interest your children.

“In order to learn about ______ we should probably read this book to find out more.” (I’ll be reading about ants with my kids this summer, apparently!)

Or does your child adore a TV show like Paw Patrol, Thomas the Train, or Peppa Pig? Why not get some books or activity booklets about those characters to help balance out the screen time?

5. Take every opportunity to practice reading.

Reading doesn’t have to be formal. Turn every opportunity into a reading moment! For example, reading or writing out a grocery list, reading a recipe, instructions for Lego, ingredients on a cereal box, and more!

6. Tie an experience to a book.

We have a wonderful Usborne book called The Woodland Book, that shares different fun facts about forests animals and plants. We plan on taking the kids out to a forested area to see how many things they can find or see from the book. You could turn this into a scavenger hunt!

Or you could even keep it simple and stick to your own backyard and local parks. A PDF version of this printable is available too when you subscribe to my blog:

7. Read a series together.

Make it a goal to read a whole classic series together over the summer (eg Dr Seuss anthology, Robert Munsch anthology, Narnia by C.S. Lewis, or Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery). 

8. Have a beloved stuffed animal “read” the book.

I have fond memories of Bugs Bunny reading to us. This kept me quite entertained until age 7 or so. My dad did a great job with the voice! If your child is learning to read, they could read a book to their stuffed animal (who will be much more patient than a sibling, no doubt).  

9. Help your children showcase their books with pride.

Children are more likely to pick out a book to read if they can see the cover. You can get book racks perfect for little ones’ bedrooms or play areas. I love the ones from 3 Sprouts – it’s on our wish list for my son’s room! Or help your child display their books nicely in their own bookshelf. Here’s how we displayed books on my daughter’s shelf:

(As you can see, we’re aiming for a happy balance of classic, geeky and spiritual book themes, ha!)

10. Let your children see that you enjoy reading too.

This one is probably the most important of all: model reading to your children! When we normalize book reading, children are more likely to want to read too.

This is my fantasy right here (reading in the sun uninterrupted is what I am referring to of course!)

What books are you going to pick out for yourself this summer?

Discover More Usborne Books with Cora

Thank you to Cora for helping me compile these summer reading tips! You can shop Cora’s selection of books here. Please let her know that you were referred to her from my blog. Connect with Cora on her Facebook Business Page: @corascosybookcorner.

And don’t forget to subscribe to access the Summer Reading Free Printables:


This giveaway has ended! Congratulations to our winner, Aisling! Visit my Reader Specials page to view more giveaways.

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