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Start with a Book

Ricky Rocket

Books and activities for summer reading and learning from Reading Rockets

Start With a Book: Books and activities for summer reading and summer learning

More Literacy Resources

a mother and daughter lying on the ground reading a book with a sheet tented over them

Lear more about building background knowledge, choosing great kids' books, reading fluency, strengthening vocabulary and word knowledge, and how to encourage children to write.

You'll also find links to our summer blog and how to sign up for our mobile learning tips during the summer.

Building Background Knowledge

When kids have lots of experiences to draw on, they have a better chance of making a connection with what they read! Help children build background knowledge this summer with these tips and activities. See Building Background Knowledge section >

Choosing and Using Kids’ Books

Delight, educate, and inspire the kids you care about with children's books! Below are ideas on how to build a great home library, tips on how to choose books for your child, links to themed booklists, and more. See Choosing and Using Kids’ Books section >

Reading Fluency

Fluency is a critical skill for a young reader — evidence that he is comfortable "decoding" the words on the page and can read aloud with expression. If your child is struggling with fluency, there are simple things you can do at home to help build confidence and skills. See reading Fluency section >

Vocabulary and Word Play

Building a large "word bank" is one of the best ways to help children with reading comprehension. Get tips and ideas for strengthening children's word knowledge and sense of play in learning new words. See Vocabulary and Word Play section >

Summer Writing

Summer is for exploring, reading, listening and … writing. Give kids a chance to exercise different writing muscles — from poetry to persuasive writing. We’ve put together a number of fun, simple writing activities to do with your child or as a group activity with friends and neighbors. See Summer Writing section >

Summer Reading Tips to Go

Our summer learning tips provide ideas to jumpstart reading, writing, and simple science activities for you and your child. You'll receive 3-4 text messages each week, all summer long. We hope these tips will help you and your kids have a summer full of learning and fun! Sign up for summer reading tips >

Summer Blog: Read. Explore. Learn!

Summer is for exploring, reading, listening and … writing. Give kids a chance to exercise different writing muscles — from poetry to persuasive writing. We’ve put together a number of fun, simple writing activities to do with your child or as a group activity with friends and neighbors. Read our summer blog >

Washington DC for Kids: Places to Go

DC is a great place for kids. So get out and explore the city and its museums, zoos, parks, festivals, and more. There are lots of opportunities for hands-on learning, and most stuff is free. See Washington DC for Kids section >