Ways to Engage Kids’ Literacy Skills in a Semi-Quarantine Summer

Families and time spent at home always play a significant role in the development and maintenance of a child’s literacy skills. This year, the family and home are a much bigger part of everyone’s life, including our children’s education.

This summer, it’ll be particularly important to engage kids’ literacy development. Luckily, there are so many creative and fun ways to do this beyond just reading. 

Invite your kids to try out some of these activities to keep them busy and learning this summer and beyond: 

  • Practice reading aloud to family and pets.
  • Spend time in the kitchen reading ingredients, product labels, recipes, and anything else you can find.
  • Learn all the words to your favorite song and practice singing along or even doing karaoke.
  • Choose a book for the whole family to read and discuss together.
  • Listen to a book or story while making art inspired by it.
  • Move your body while listening to a story, book, or song.
  • Learn your family history, funny stories, and jokes from friends and relatives and practice retelling them.
  • Follow instructions for a new skill or craft, and teach a friend or relative how to do it, too.
  • Play vocabulary-based board games like Scrabble, Boggle, or Bananagrams.
  • Play verbal games like taking turns coming up with rhyming nonsense words or words that start with a certain letter.
  • Find a favorite picture or piece of art and practice describing it in detail to a friend or relative.
  • Create your own newspaper for your house or keep a journal of your daily experiences.
  • Write letters or notes to friends, relatives, neighbors, or even community representatives.
  • Listen to a podcast for kids (https://app.kidslisten.org/).
  • Learn to type.
  • Write your own story, poem, or book, leave it for a while, and then come back to revise and edit.
  • Research a topic you’re interested in and teach a friend or relative about it.

Meet the Staff: Ms. Mariam

In this installment of “Meet the Staff,” we get to know a little more about Ms. Mariam!

Ms. Mariam’s favorite thing about the library is the books! (That’s not a digital background in her photo: those are stacks of her own real books!)

She also really enjoys working with the other librarians to come up with fun and interactive programs.

Her favorite children’s book is Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty. Her favorite book characters are Elephant & Piggie, from Mo Willems’ very popular book series. In her spare time, she likes to read contemporary teen and middle-grade fiction, as well as fantasy and graphic novels.

Ms. Mariam has five sisters and a brother, and their family owns a big black dog named Frank, an English Bulldog named Rupert, and Princess Dale the cat.

Her hobbies include reading, volunteering, playing board games, and trying to cook and bake. She must be succeeding at that one, because she even started a kids’ cookbook club at the library!

She admits that she hated reading as a child, but enjoys it now, and loves being a librarian!

A few fun facts about Ms. Mariam:

  • She once met Matthew Lewis, the actor who plays Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies.
  • She’s been to the top of the Empire State Building in New York City and the Space Needle in Seattle. 
  • She threw out the first pitch last summer at an Akron Rubber Ducks baseball game.