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

12 MORE Story Time Activities that You Can Do Anywhere

by Rebecca J. Gomez

The focus here at Read, Discuss, Do! is to help people extend the magic of story time beyond the last page, and what better way to do that than to share story time activities that can be done anywhere, any time, and without any supplies besides a book and your brains? Last fall we shared 12 Story Time Ideas that You Can Do Anywhere. Today, we've got 12 more! 

Whether you are on a road trip, in a waiting room, or snuggled in bed, some of these story time ideas are sure to work for you.

1. After reading and discussing the story, ask "what if" questions about the plot and characters.

2. Have a child summarize the story for you. 

3. Brainstorm ideas for other stories based on the characters.

4. Compare and contrast the book's characters with people you know.

5. For a group of kids that can read independently, re-read the book "readers' theater" style.

6. Choose an illustration from the book and make up a new story based on what is happening in the picture.

7. Play "I Spy" with one of the book's spreads. An especially detailed illustration would work best for this.

8. Take a look at your surroundings and find one item that relates to the story.

9. Play "20 Questions" with characters and objects from the book.

10. For younger readers, go through the illustrations and have them describe characters' emotions based on the facial expressions.

11. Imagine it's one of the characters' birthdays. Plan a pretend party for them!

12. Play the alphabet game, picture book edition! Challenge kiddos to find a word or picture for each letter of the alphabet.

Have a happy story time!