Start the summer with a special event. The only rule: Kids get to read whatever they want (within reason). And you get snacks.

By Jane Borden
Updated July 17, 2017
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1

Books are better by flashlight, right? Pitch a tent in the backyard. (Alternative: Build a fort in the living room and turn out the lights.) Make s’mores, stay up a little past bedtime, and include some age-appropriate scary stories. Big kids can read to little siblings.

2

Pack a blanket, a picnic basket, and lemonade, and head to the park. (Stop at the library on the way.) Or make it a hike and read at the destination point with trail mix. Add a sense of mystery, Pam Allyn, founder of LitWorld and author of What to Read When, suggests, by saying, “Let’s not tell one another what we’re reading until we get there.”

3

Put on PJs and let everyone in your bed just this once. Keep it silly—no frozen-undies pranks, “but maybe a basket full of joke or riddle books, nothing too serious,” says Allyn. Or have a theme: Cook a French dinner and then read Madeline or The Hunchback of Notre Dame.