Summer Routines and Books We Love

Summer is the perfect time to start a reading routine with young children and the benefits will last long after those beach days are over. Besides being the perfect pastime on a hot day, reading with young children can help strengthen child-caregiver bonds and build cognitive and emotional skills crucial for school success.

Early Relationships

Shared reading is a great way for caregivers to build connections with young children. Snuggling together under a shady tree or in a quiet room after a long busy day are the small moments that can have the biggest impact on a child. Sharing a book is not just about reading the words on the page; it is about learning a language, sharing thoughts and ideas, and building imagination.


Reading routines can provide young children with the structure they need to feel safe and secure. This is especially important in the summer when most children don’t have the predictable structure of a school day. Before bed is the perfect time for a reading routine. When reading becomes a nightly ritual, children will crave the comfort of the routine and bedtime is easier for everyone!

School Readiness

Regularly reading to children prepares them for school in many ways. Research has shown that reading is an important way to build language skills. Reading helps children learn to use and understand new words, which helps them learn new information.

We know that children begin to understand language long before they can speak.  Reading, talking, and singing to babies is a great way to start building those language skills that set them up for later success in school.

Explore the world. . . in your own home

You don’t have to take a trip to show a child the world. Reading can transport children to worlds in their imagination without leaving the house. The best vacation for young children could be a break from screen time and an opportunity to use their minds to create images, and characters, solve problems, and practice empathy. All they need is a caring adult to adult, a quiet space, and a book. These are the summer memories that last a lifetime.

Summer Books We Love for Birth to Five

“When You Can Swim

In this exploration of what it truly means to swim, expansive vignettes introduce sandpipers, tannin-soaked lakes, and the feeling of a small waterfall on sun-soaked shoulders. But what about those who are afraid of the water’s mysterious ways and resist learning to swim? Painting a compelling picture of the many joys and surprises that the water holds, artist and author Jack Wong has delivered an empowering, poetic journey that invites children to discover their confidence within to receive the warmth and wonder of the natural world.

When You Can Swim

Why we love this book: We love the diverse group of children and families who are imagining all the summer activities around water. The story eventually reminds us of the importance of water safety, but the beautiful illustrations also inspire the possibilities available to us once we learn to swim. For a child who is unsure about the water or just finds swimming lessons tedious, this book can offer a glimpse of the joy that awaits them.

When You Can Swim is part of a curated collection of RORRI books from funding provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

This Beach Is Loud

Going to the beach is exciting. But it can also be busy. And loud. Sand can feel hot or itchy or sticky…and it gets everywhere! In This Beach Is Loud!, a sensitive boy gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and sensations at the beach. Luckily, this kiddo’s dad has a trick up his sleeve to help his son face these unexpected obstacles.

Why we love this book: The story is accessible, and the illustrations are fun and playful. This Beach Is Loud! gently offers practical advice for coping with new experiences to children on the autism spectrum and/or with sensory sensitivities. This is part of a series of books in RORRI’s special topics collection.

The Beach Is Loud

Beach Baby

It’s the perfect beach read for baby—and it’s indestructible!
Where are we going today? The beach!
What’s inside our beach bag? A bucket and shovel!
What will we play with? Sand! Water! Seashells!
We love going to the beach!
Why we love this book: Indestructibles is a series of books that are rip-proof, waterproof, lightweight, and safe for babies to chew, throw, shake, and do all the things we expect babies to do with books! The illustrations are colorful engaging and accessible to our youngest book enthusiasts.

Beach Baby

Can you help us expand our collection?

RORRI is committed to providing high-quality books that represent all children and families in our communities. We also seek to ensure that the books we provide to healthcare sites are accessible for all children birth to 5 years regardless of developmental level and abilities. Your donation can support our efforts in promoting early literacy and healthy early relationships throughout the Ocean State this summer.

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