May 21, 2012

Summer Reading Activities

Summer Reading Activities
While I'm not a fan of regimented learning programs for kids over the summer, it's important to keep their brains engaged to they don't slide back so far along their learning path.  Since reading is most near and dear to my heart, I'm starting here with the first post.

Maybe you have a child who hates to read, maybe one who needs some improvement in basic reading skills, maybe your child reads everything in sight.  Whether you need a motivator or a reward, there are a ton of great ways to keep your children reading over the summer.  Most are free, some even offer freebies for you and your children.  Not only that, but they are fun ways to get out of the house and DO something.  What could be better?

The focus here will be local for me, but I am also trying to provide some nationally-based programs for the non-local readers.  As always, a quick google (or swagbucks ;) ) search will find similar programs in your area if these aren't local to you.
Public Library
  • First, the Ames Public Library summer reading program.  They have TONS of reading groups for all age groups from birth up through high school, and they offer them several times a week so they will be sure to fit into your schedule.  Our family favorite last summer was the family craft story time.  It is made to be a little more multi-age, so you can take several siblings together.  It's an hour long, which includes stories, songs, dances, and a make-and-take craft.
  • The Nevada Public Library, while much smaller, has some great activities geared a little more toward the school-aged set.  These usually involve magic shows, science demonstrations, etc.   It looks like they are continuing the activities on Wednesday afternoons.  There are also some age-based story times listed.
  • Obviously, your own library will have something similar.  Just looking around during my research, I found many fun and interesting themes and incentive programs.  Both of our local libraries offer summer reading programs where children are rewarded for reading a certain number of books or attending library programs.  

On Your Own

Are you wanting to do it all on your own in your house?  There are still many great resources available to you, and most are free or very low cost.

  • The CSLP offers more great resources for parents, kids, and educators.  Browse around the site to find the information that is relevant to you.
  • This page looks to be a more commercial site, but they have tons of free resources available.  Just clicking around, I found some great information and advice, along with printable activities and reward charts.

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