There’s nothing better than relaxing in the sun with a good book propped open during the summer. But unlike us tired and busy adults who could use some R&R, kids are bustling with excited energy when the last school bell rings, officially commencing their summer break. There’s a fine balance between encouraging kids to continue reading through the summer, while also ensuring they have an opportunity to be active. 

It’s a good thing that movement can actually go hand-in-hand with reading (who would’ve thought?). Combining literacy and movement, teaching both in tandem, engages with that mind-body connection we all have and makes learning fun. Tonya Perry, professor in the UAB School of Education, says, “The combination of both reading and kinesthetic activities… can be transformational to students as they develop their own independent approaches to interacting with texts”. Movement helps the brain learn faster and better. How, you might ask? Well, integrating movement in teaching literacy can…

  • Increase student engagement.
    Movement sends impulses to the brain that informs us on changes in position and location – engaging with movement while learning will help students remain focused.
  • Promote learning retention.
    Exercise helps build new brain cells to better store information. Movement boosts the ability to remember, recall, and understand new vocabulary.
  • Stimulate creativity and stabilize mood.
    States of stasis don’t promote creativity. When our bodies are moving, our thoughts begin to “flow” (i.e., more likely to come up with more ideas, brainstorm with ease). Exercise also has a mood-enhancing effect as it is an established adjunct treatment to depression.

Feel convinced but don’t know where to start? No sweat  – here are a couple ways you can incorporate movement (with Hiveclass!) into your 2023 summer reading program:

  1. On and Off Literacy and Movement Program
    The easiest way to utilize this approach to student learning is to simply do both, on and off. Spend one hour hosting a free-read session, and spend the next learning the basics of a new sport from one of our Hiveclass videos. Do and repeat!
  2. Summer Recess
    Take advantage of the fine weather in the summer and use Hiveclass to promote spending time outdoors. A great tip is to have a picnic and give kids free reign over how they want to spend that time, i.e. go for a Mindfulness walk, read a book in the sun, practice dribbling a soccer ball, have outdoor dance parties. Just don’t forget sunscreen!
  3. Virtual (Themed!) Fitness Challenges
    Who doesn’t love themed events? Host fitness challenges throughout the season that tie into your summer reading theme. For an example, for an “Under the Sea” theme you can promote the Hiveclass aquatics unit encouraging children to learn different swimming skills every week. The patron with the most challenges completed could win a special prize!
  4. Sports Books
    Finally, kids can read about movement and feel inspired to get active. Promoting books that revolve around a sport or activity is a trouble-free way to incorporate movement into literacy. Patrons can check out “Reading Hive” to see a list of books on sports for a variety of children age groups. When kids read a book about yoga, they can then go do it with Hiveclass! This is also a helpful way to have kids include non-fiction books in their reading logs.

As you can see, the benefits are numerous. Incorporating movement into summer reading programs not only keeps kids active but also enhances their learning experience. By embracing this dynamic approach, children can have a summer filled with movement, adventure, and a love for reading that will last beyond the vacation months. For more ideas on how to incorporate active movement into your library programming you can also download our programming guides HERE! So let the pages turn and the bodies move!

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