Caroline Fernandez: Activity Mummy


Three Ways to Make Reading a Family Activity

The TD Summer Reading Club

Of all the awesome activities I can recommend for kids this summer, joining the TD Summer Reading Club is high on the list. It’s a summer tradition in our family.

"What is it?" you ask.

The simple answer is this: it's a fantastic free activity that encourages reading and entertains kids.  

The TD Summer Reading Club runs in partnership with the Toronto Public Library and Library and Archives Canada; helping children across Canada build reading skills (and a love of reading). Running from mid-June until Labour Day, go visit your neighbourhood public library to join the reading club. There's no cost and your kids will receive an activity kit and poster — my kids always love them! The TD Summer Reading Club welcomes readers from pre-schooler to teen.

Here are a few books picks from the Survive theme:



Title: The Little Hummingbird
Author: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Age Group: 4-8





Title: Naomi's Tree
Author: Joy Kogawa
Age Group: 6-9




Title: The Daring Book for Girls
Author: Andrea J. Buchanan
Age Group: 8-12+



The TD Summer Reading Club is a weekly destination and on some summer days you just need a kid-friendly, air conditioned, destination. It’s a great library activity—listen to stories, do a craft, read a book. And again, it’s FREE. It is a great way to get kids reading through the off-school months.

The club is drop-in so you don’t have to worry about missing a week because of camp or vacation—kids can read anywhere/anytime. It’s also a really easy kid activity—get a book, read a book.

Here are a few books picks from the Explore Far theme:



Title: Fly High, Fly Guy
Author: Ted Arnold
Age Group: 4-8





Title: Travels with My Family
Author: Mary-Louise Gay
Age Group: 8-11





Title: The Vacation
Author: Polly Horvath
Age Group: 10-12+



Here’s how I customized the TD Summer Reading Club to my family…

All the kids participate in the reading club—from toddler to tween—it's a whole-family activity

No, my toddler isn’t old enough to really participate but he loves reading books and the big kids love reading books to him. So I encourage everyone to have 20 minutes of reading every summer day (read to yourself or read to your brother). It’s a part of our family summer routine which encourages reading skills while entertaining the kids.

Read books in both English and French

You know I’m raising bilingual kids and keeping language skills strong through the summer can be a challenge (we get lazy and talk Franglais). So, I have the kids choose an English book and a French book when we are at the library. It’s a great way to get them exploring different areas of the library as well as keep that brain skill of switching between languages strong.

Show yourself reading

I do my part to join the TD Summer Reading Club by putting the remote down and picking up a book myself. Not only am I showing the kids how to be a reader — I find I am a happier mom when I read. I love re-charging my brain with a good book.

Click to find out more about the TD Summer Reading Club.

Want to inspire a love of reading in your children?

Check out some great ideas and more stories by moms on our Get Kids Reading page.

And to find out more about TD’s Children Literacy initiatives visit