Summer Reading Bingo
by Thomas Hoffman
It can be tough to get kids to read over the summer. With any luck, the Summer Reading Bingo game will add a little fun to keeping kids reading from June to August. Kids can choose any set of boxes they want (as long as they’re five vertical, horizontal or diagonal) to win bingo. If you have several kids, you can encourage them to compete for completing Bingo first. And the prize for winning Bingo? Let them buy a book of their choice!
Once they’ve won Bingo, encourage them to go for every single box on the sheet. Kids often gravitate to one or two genres and fail to explore unfamiliar ones. This Bingo sheet encourages exploration in all the major genres—a great reading adventure to try out different types of stories and styles.
Fun and games aside, it’s critical that kids read throughout the summer. When they don’t, we often see the “summer slide.” Children arrive at school in September with much weaker reading skills than they had when they left in June. This has the effect of slowing down the reading curriculum considerably, as teachers need to reteach skills before they can move into the instruction they’d planned for the year. Over time, if children fail to read summer after summer, they fall significantly behind their peers.
So break out the Bingo, visit the library once a week with the kids, and model summer reading yourself! It really matters.