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



By Mindy Baker

The Twelve Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Jake Parker is a playful story that will spark your child’s creativity. With only two weeks before Christmas, Santa’s sleigh needs some repairs. The elves decide to have a build-off competition to see who can create the best new design. They teams work feverishly with pulleys, levers, gizmos, and gadgets, and Santa has trouble choosing between the dragster, the big rig, the floating ship, and many other fabulous designs. In the end, nothing is quite as right as his own restored classic sleigh. This book is a perfect choice for all those future engineers, and is the perfect spark for a day of inventive play. 

READ: The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker 



  • What was your favorite sleigh that the elves built?  

  • What did you like about it? 

  • Do you like to build and create things?  

  • What is something that you have created? 

  • How do you feel when you make something unique? 


DO: Make a Sleigh 


You will need:  

  • A small cardboard box 

  • Two candy cane shaped tubes  

  • Wrapping paper 

  • Tape 

  • Scissors 


Optional: Stickers or other decorations to give your sleigh a unique style. You can also add stuffed animals to either ride in or pretend to pull the sleigh. 

  1. Cut the box into a sleigh shape and wrap with wrapping paper.  

  2. Tape the candy cane tubes onto the bottom of the box to form the “runners.” 

  3. Decorate your sleigh into your own unique “style.”