While traveling or just hanging around the house this summer, kids and adults can build their writing and reading skills together. The following word games and activities can be a fun way to spend idle time, especially when you share the learning with family or friends. All you need is a pencil, paper, some creativity and a cool glass of refreshing lemonade.

"This Is Me" poster: On a large sheet of paper or poster board, write your name in block letters going down the left margin. After each letter, list two or three things about yourself that begin with the letter. For example, if your name is Lisa, after "L" you might write, "Love - I love my family and they love me." After "I" you may write, "Ice cream is my favorite food."Or, you might decide to simply write a single word after each letter to describe yourself and draw a picture next to the word.

Encourage family member to share additional attributes or characteristics about each person and add those to the lists.

Words in a word: Here's a challenging word game that can be played by older children. One person should say a long word with at least seven letters, such as "education." Each player writes "education" at the top of a sheet of paper, then lists as many words as possible with at least three letters using the letters in the long word: cat, date nut, cute, one, tin aid. Try another word like "imagination," "friendship" or "holiday" to get you started.

Readathon: Invite friends over for a readathon. Participants can bring stories, books, poems, articles or compositions they wrote themselves and "perform" through a dramatic reading.

Bedtime ABCs: In the evening, play a rousing game of Scrabble or Boggle. Both are word games that require quick reading and spelling skills. Keep the dictionary handy to check spelling!