The 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting team has provided some great ideas for summer. Megan Stone recommended making academics fun for the summer to fill in missing gaps, jumpstart the next school year, and continue overall learning. Kirk Weaver shared his tips and passion for summer Bible studies with children. I have an idea for your family that worked really well for my boys which focuses on reading, Book Bingo. The summer months are a great time to dig into books, just for the joy of reading, to keep up with skills for the upcoming school year, and to share the love of reading with your children.
What better way to spend sultry summer afternoons than with a good book in a backyard hammock? Add to that the research indicating the benefits of parents reading with the kids, especially dads, and it’s an activity families cannot ignore. “One activity that fathers can engage in with their children that has been consistently linked with better school performance is reading” writes Stephen Green, Assistant Professor and Extension Child Development Specialist at Texas A & M in Extension Journal, Inc..
Moms and Dads parent differently. Kids need both. According to the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network research study summarized in The Benefits of Fathers Reading to Their Children: Tips for Fatherhood Programs and Dads, “An evaluation of the Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) program found that fathers who participated in the 4- week reading program for fathers and children were more involved in their children’s education, felt like better parents, and reported a better relationship with their child than before they participated in the program.”
Last summer I recommended Book Bingo to get kids motivated to read. A few parents have recently requested more information, so here’s the scoop.
• Make a list of reading material from a variety of genre, books, newspapers, and magazines as well as books of the Bible. This can be a great faith building exercise too!
• Print the agreed upon choices on the bingo board. Determine the prizes for attaining “bingo”. Prizes can range from a picnic lunch or extra playtime at the park to small rewards like pencils, gum, stickers or gift cards. Modify the prizes to accommodate age and interests to be an incentive to complete the entire book list.
• Post the Book Bingo boards where everyone can see.
• When a book is completed, the reader gives a quick summary of what he read and the bingo square is highlighted.
• When BINGO is achieved, a predetermined prize is awarded. The rewards continued each time an additional BINGO was completed, across, down, and then the entire board. The final prize can be a trip to the local bookstore to choose a book for each child’s personal library.
I’ve included a PDF to download of a Book Bingo Board to get your family started. Happy reading, Rockin’ Readers!
Jesus did many other things as well.
If every one of them were written down,
I suppose that even the whole world would not have room
for the books that would be written.
By Becky Danielson, Christian wife, mom, licensed parent and family educator, and the co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.
You can find her on the new website, FaithFirstParent.com. She writes for Hooray for Family, an online and print magazine and facilitates the Parent and Family Education program at a Christian preschool in the Twin Cities.
Becky is also the co-author with Lori Wildenberg of Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love, both with Study Guides. Contact Becky to schedule a workshop or retreat for your church or group.