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 Seven: Nuts About Nature!

This week's Summer Challenge theme is nuts. Nuts about Nature, that is! Whether you are heading to the mountains for a week of camping or simply exploring your back yard, there's a lot to appreciate about the natural world all around you. We encourage you to read some nature-themed books and then head outside to explore.

Ideas for books to read:

  • Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jill Dubin. A charming book about exploring the forest, patterned after the song Over in the Meadow.
  • A Nest is Noisy by Diana Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long. Lovely illustrations and a simple, informative text about various kinds of nest. Read the sidebars for more detailed information.
  • Bear Island by Matthew Cordell. A story about a young girl grieving the loss of a pet, who finds solace and healing in nature.

Ideas for things to discuss:

  • What is something new you learned from reading this book?
  • Do you enjoy exploring nature? Why or why not?
  • What are some ways you can help take care of the environment?
  • Have you ever seen a deer while out walking? What other kinds of creatures have you spotted while out exploring the natural world?

Ideas for things to do:

  • Go for a walk on a nature trail. Take note of the different critters you see.
  • Participate in a neighborhood or park clean-up. Maybe organize one yourself!
  • Head out to the backyard with a magnifying glass. Take a close look at bugs, plants, fallen feathers--anything you find!
  • Visit a zoo or nature preserve.
  • Watch a nature documentary.
  • Get creative! Make leaf rubbings or a nature collage. 
Do you have a favorite book that fits this week's theme? Tell us about it in the comments. You can also share on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.


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