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 Six: Wild Waters

Welcome to Wild Waters Week. It's week SIX of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge, which means we are more than half way through this adventure. We hope you have been enjoying following along. And if you're just joining us, you're in for a treat!

My 18-month old grandson will hold a spray bottle and squirt himself in the face while laughing with glee. If your kids are anything like him, they probably enjoy a little fun in the water too! What better way to encourage summer play than to head to the pool or drag some water toys out of storage? We have some great water-themed book ideas for you to read, discuss, and pair with whatever fun water shenanigans your kids are into. 

Ideas for things to read:

  • Watersong by Tim McCanna, illustrated by Richard Smythe. This book is a feast for the ears and the eyes, as the story about a Fox seeking shelter from a storm is told mostly in onomatopoeia.
  • A River by Marc Martin. A lyrical book about a journey downriver in a little silver boat.
  • When the Rain Comes by Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Kim La Fave. Another lyrical, poetic book about a girl and an ox caught in a sudden storm.
  • Puddle Pug by Kim Norman, illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi. A fun story about puddles, pugs, pigs, and friendship!
For more water-themed book ideas, check out this book list!

Ideas for things to discuss:

  • In what ways do you use water every day? 
  • Where do you see water besides in the kitchen and bathroom?
  • Have you ever been outside while it was raining? Storming? What was it like?
  • Do you enjoy playing in the water? What is your favorite way to play with water?
  • What kinds of creatures live in water?

Ideas for things to do:

  • Take a walk or a drive to a local stream, river, lake, or other body of water. While you're there, look for animals that live in or around the water.
  • Have a water gun or water balloon battle. 
  • Run in the sprinkler or visit a splash park.
  • Do some water science experiments
  • Spend a day at the beach. 
  • Water the house plants or garden.
  • Paint with watercolors.
  • Make infused water. Here are some recipes you could try.
Are you reading water books and playing with water this week? Let us know in the comments. You can also share on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.