07/02/2014 09:50 EDT | Updated 07/02/2014 09:59 EDT

Summer Of Reading: How To Keep Your Kids Reading Once School's Out

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To kids, summer break is a fun-filled respite from the gruelling demands of teachers and their dreaded homework. But to parents, this unwelcome break in a much-needed routine disrupts all of the good work done during the school year. This summer, don’t let your child put reading on hold — encourage your kids to keep up their reading with these tips, or with the TD Summer Reading Club!

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Find time for reading

Between playdates and summer camps and various activities, summer schedules can be hectic. That’s why it’s important to try to build ‘reading time’ into each day. The easiest way to achieve this is by swapping TV time for reading time, but build a schedule that works for your family without making kids feel like they’re missing out on something else.

Ask for recommendations

Before school’s out, ask your child’s teacher if they can recommend some summer reading to help your child get a head-start on the new school year. But don’t be too rigid about it — setting strict deadlines and reading goals will take the fun out of it by making your child feel like they’re still in class. Connect with other parents and your local library to see if they have any recommendations on fun and exciting books that won’t feel like a chore to read over the summer.

Make reading a treat

If your child sees books as a chore, it’s time to flip that attitude around and make reading a reward. For instance, instead of rewarding your child with ice cream when they clean their room, allow them to pick out any new book they likes at the bookstore. Give books as gifts (alongside the usual toys and treats) during birthdays and special occasions. And rather than extending bedtime by half an hour so they can watch TV, promise an extra 30 minutes of reading time instead.

Talk about books

Have conversations with your child about the books you’ve both read, and share your thoughts on the stories to get them excited about their current reading material. You could also consider starting a book club with other kids in the neighbourhood — when reading becomes an activity your kids can do with their friends, they’re sure to make it a priority.

Let them choose the books

Regular visits to the library should be part of your child’s summer schedule. Connect with your local library to see what kinds of activities they have for young readers, and allow your child to ample time to browse books and find ones that they can feel excited about taking home. On top of that, local libraries offer several reading-oriented group activities over the summer to help parents and their kids fight learning loss.

Build your home library

If you build it, they will read. Make sure you stock your book shelf at home with plenty of colourful, interesting, age-appropriate books for your child to peruse. You should also purchase a few “older” books for your child to “grow into” so that they have something to strive to as they mature.

Practice what you preach

Building healthy reading habits in your kids means more than just reading to them; make sure you’re reading in front of them as well. Showing off your own love of books teaches children that reading can be fun. So instead of zoning out in front of the TV after dinner, let your little ones see you with your face buried in a book.

Start early

Build a lifelong love of reading by reading to your children as early as possible and making it a part of your everyday routine. A nightly reading ritual not only shows your child how magical books can be, it also gives the two of you quiet time to bond before bed.