Eight Tips for Helping Young Readers Bloom

Spring is here, so many people are planning and prepping to work in their gardens. In many places, spring flowers are already blooming or daffodils and other spring bulbs are poking up out of the warming soil. Given the right conditions and care, gardens can be thriving, vibrant places full of life. And the same is true for young readers! So, to celebrate spring and gardens and reading, here are ten tips to help your young readers bloom and thrive, along with some garden photos for some garden inspiration. 1. Just like flowers, budding readers blossom in their own time. Encourage them, but let them grow at their own pace. 2. Gardens need the right nutrients to grow, and this can vary depending on the plant. The same is true for young readers. Fertilize young readers minds with consistent, nutrient-rich mind food. In other words, offer a variety of books! But remember, not all growing readers will respond to the same books the same way.  Cone flowers and black-eyed Susans in Rebecca'

Summer Challenge Week Two: Together Time

It's WEEK TWO of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge! This week's theme: Together Time. It's all about being intentional about spending some quality time with the people in your life, whether that be friends or family or both. We hope that you will read some books in which family and friendship feature prominently, and then plan a special activity (or a few) to do together. It could be a game night, a picnic, a game of backyard baseball. Just get together and have a good time!

Some recommended reads:

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. This is a delightfully warm book about a traditional Native American food and how it connects Native American families across the country.

In a Jar by Deborah Marcero. This book is an endearing and magical story about making friends and creating memories. 

A Couch for Llama by Leah Gilbert. This may not seem like a family story at first glance, but it is! It's a funny story in which a family has to solve an unusual problem when their new couch falls off the top of the car while they are driving home.

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson, illustrated by Tara Calahan King. This is a funny yet poignant story about friendship.

Discussion ideas:
  • What are some of your family's favorite things to do together?
  • What makes your family unique and special?
  • Have you ever had to solve an unexpected problem with your family or friends?
  • Tell about a time when you made a new friend.
  • What are some fun things to do with a group of friends?
Ideas for things to do:
  • Make a new recipe together.
  • Read a book, then watch the movie together. Some possibilities: Mars Needs Moms, Boss Baby, Shrek, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Cat in the Hat.
  • Host a game night. 
  • Do a group art project.
  • Go outside and play catch, ride bikes, or play at the park.
  • Check out the Summer Challenge calendar for more ideas.
Let us know how you take on this challenge by leaving a comment and/or sharing with #RDDSummerChallenge on social media. Have fun during your Together Time! And remember: You don't have to do these challenges in order. Just have fun reading, discussing, and doing together.