This article is posted in partnership with the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library.
For many families, summer means time to take trips, and whether that means a day trip to hike the trails at Clinton Lake (and earn some points for your Take a Hike Badge), a days-long road trip around the country, or anything in between, it’s easy to turn car time into quality reading time.
In our family, some of the library books never seem to make it out of the car. After a library or bookmobile visit, it just makes sense to let my kid dive right in, while the excitement of a new book is still fresh. We especially enjoy read-alongs for the car, which let my early reader follow along in the story with a signal for every page turn. She’s become adept and carefully removing the CD from the back pocket so I can put it in the CD player, and I can easily pass it back to her to put back when we’re done with that story. (Fortunately, I have a small car. This might not work as well in a minivan or SUV.)
I also keep a kids book loaded onto my smartphone using the OverDrive app, so we always have something available to listen to together. A recent favorite of ours was Arthur’s Audio Collection, with six short stories just the right length for a trip across town. Sometimes we talk or listen to music, but by being prepared, I’m able to squeeze in 10 more minutes of reading here and 20 minutes there, which adds up to several hours over the course of a month. On a longer trip, having books and audiobooks available is a requirement for a peaceful ride! Don’t forget to log those minutes for summer reading!