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


Marshmallow Friends: A Read, Discuss, Do! Craft

Submitted by Mindy Baker

Most Marshmallows,
written and illustrated by Rowboat Watkins, is a simple picture book about…marshmallows! It depicts activities that “most marshmallows” do…things like going to school, celebrating birthdays, and watching T.V. However, some marshmallows secretly know that all marshmallows can be anything they dare to imagine! This book can lead you to discuss what makes your child unique, and dream together about what he or she could accomplish in the future. Plus…it is the perfect segue leading to a fall family bonfire with s’mores! 

READMost Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins

DISCUSS: What makes you extraordinary and what do you dream about accomplishing in the future? 


  1. What are some of the things that most marshmallows do in the book?

  2. Do you do any of those activities, too?

  3. What are some of the extraordinary things that the pictures depict some marshmallows doing at the end of the book?

  4. What are some things about you that make you unique and extraordinary? What are some of your talents?

  5. What is something you would like to do in the future? Is there a specific job that sounds interesting? (Share with your child about an accomplishment or about how you came to have the career you have, if appropriate. You could also share with them something that you are still dreaming to accomplish.)



DO: Decorate some giant extraordinary marshmallows! 

You will need:

  • 1 package giant marshmallows

  • Markers

  • Glue gun

  • Googly eyes

  • Variety of “bits and bobbles” for the hair and accessories of your marshmallow.


1. If you want, use a marker to color your marshmallow.

2. With a glue gun, attach the googly eyes. A low temp or cool melt glue gun is best.

3. Use bits of yarn, fabric, sequins, chenille stems, or other bits and bobbles to make the marshmallow into a unique friend.

Option: Use frosting or other edible decorations if you prefer

4. What makes your marshmallow extraordinary? 

5. If marshmallows could have jobs, what job do you think your marshmallow would have?