Once summer vacation hits, children want to be playing outdoors so why not bring outside with them? Spending time reading each day is the best way to prevent the summer slide. Follow these five fun ways to bring reading and learning outdoors all summer long:

Tell Stories Around The Campfire

Children are always telling stories through their play. Storytelling comes naturally to them but can fade as they get older. One fun way to continue to nurture this skill is through the storytelling game Fortunately, Unfortunately. Begin each sentence by alternating between Fortunately or Unfortunately (e.g., Fortunately, I got a cake for my birthday. Unfortunately, it fell to the ground before I ate a slice).

Learn About The Stars

Sit out under the stars and point out the constellations. Then together with your child, head to the library or search for information online to learn their stories. Be sure to pick up some books about space, too! Summer is a wonderful time to let your child find out more about the night since bedtime may be more flexible.

Watch For Animals

You can look for animals day and night. Pick up a field guide for local birds and lie quietly on a picnic blanket to spot birds. Talk about what the birds look like and then turn to the guide book to learn more. Once nighttime arrives, spend a few evenings reading some fiction and nonfiction books about nocturnal animals. Head outside with a flashlight to see how many you can spot (or hear).

Learn About Life Cycles

Read about the life cycle of plants and then plant a garden with your child. Have them draw out their garden design and take charge of the layout. Consider doing more research about how to attract bees and butterflies to your green space. Take photos of the plants as they grow to create a simple slideshow or poster to admire once summer is over.

Create A Reading Nook

Set up a tent in the yard and stuff it with blankets, pillows, and books. Designate a quiet time each day where your children head to the tent for reading. Make the time extra special by sending them to Ooka Island with a tablet or your phone three times a week and encourage your child to reread books from our Popcorn Library. Enjoy this space in all weather-on a rainy afternoon pack a picnic lunch and crawl inside with your kids to spend a cozy hour or two enjoying stories and reading books aloud.

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