Ten Reason Your Kids Should Participate in a Summer Reading Program

by Rebecca J. Gomez When my kids were young, summer reading programs were a sure thing. For the most part, my children were avid readers, especially my girls. A summer reading program wasn't necessary to encourage them to read, but we participated because it was a fun addition to summer. And the free pizza, books, and water park tickets definitely didn't hurt! There are lots of reasons to participate in a summer reading program or challenge, and here are ten of them: 1. Many summer reading programs offer prizes. And while we all know that reading is its own reward, some kids haven't figured that out yet. For those kids, a prize is just the incentive they need to stick their noses in a book now and then over the summer. 2. It's a fun way to reward those kids who will be reading no matter what! 3. For some families, trips to the library may help break up summer monotony.  4. Summer reading programs promote reading together as a family, especially for those with very young

Highlights from the Summer Challenge

 We are continuing the celebration today with some highlights from the Summer Challenge. If you participated in the challenge, and even if you didn't, we'd love to hear from you about how you connected with your kiddos with books and activities this summer.

Enjoy these highlights, and be sure to come back on Monday for some easy art projects to pair with your future story time reads.

Our own Rebecca J. Gomez enjoyed the book
Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis, then
enjoyed some ice cream her hubby!

What goes better with ice cream than cake?

Salem didn't get to play in the dirt, but he 
did hear a story about a worm who lives in the dirt,
and that's good enough for us!

More dirt-themed book recommendations!

A great story time idea for the setting sail theme!

Mindy Baker recommends this fun, interactive
picture book!

For the red, white, and blue theme, Rebecca
United Tweets of America by Hudson Talbott

Some books about fireworks: 
Lion of the Sky: Haiku for all Seasons by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Merce Lopez
The Fabulous Firework Family by James Flora
Red, White and Boom! by Lee Wardlaw, illustrated by Huy Voun Lee

Mindy Baker shared a wonderful review of 
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall for the pool theme,
complete with story time discussion ideas and a craft!
Here's a link to the original post

Some activity ideas for a night time story time:
toast marshmallows, play hide-and-go-seek in the dark,
make shadow puppets, look at the stars,
sit around a campfire, explore with flashlights,
listen for night sounds, make a starry sky art project.

Sharing a book and a zoo trip with the grandson,
just not on the same day!

It's not just about picture books! Mindy Baker
recommended this book for older readers as part 
of our wilderness theme.

Rebecca recommends a family favorite for back to school!

This is a great book to foster discussions about
wasteful habits, plastic dependence, and recycling.

 Julie (@365learnandplay on Instagram) made 
sand art (including this unicorn) on the beach
with her family. She recommends
Sandcake by Frank Asch.