Thursday, June 24, 2010

How do you get your kids to embrace summer reading?



When Twittermoms and HarperCollins requested that I write a post about "How do you get your kids to embrace summer reading?" I jumped at the chance! Before I get too carried away with my post, I want to let you know that you may read more about their request here.

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I like to get my children excited about summer reading by getting them involved in local reading programs at our public libraries. As soon as school is out for the summer we start talking about summer reading. I remind them of all the fun that they have had there. We talk about books that they have read, activities that they have done and movies that they have seen at past summer reading programs. I find that my children feed off of my emotions and ideas. If I am positive and excited about summer reading then they will be too.

My kids and I really do look forward to Summer Reading. My daughter is turning six on June 29, and I remember how excited she was this year on the night before summer reading started. I was in my bedroom and she was taking a shower. I could hear her singing "Summer Reading, it's so much fun! Summer Reading, fun for everyone. o o o Summer Reading!" So now we sing this little song often. We all know it and we all love it. Even my 10 year old son can be caught singing it to himself.

We live in a small town that has a reading program once a week. It's on Tuesdays from 9:30 until 11:30 am and it runs for 4 weeks. This reading program has story time, arts and crafts and even a theme related snack. Our city library is ran by the Church of Christ ladies who volunteer. These ladies honestly love what they do and they give 100% to our summer reading program. They ensure that the children are safe and have a good time while they learn also. Summer reading programs teach that reading is fun!

On Tuesdays and Thursdays we also travel to the next town over for their summer reading program. On Tuesdays the children read independently from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. If the children are too young to read to themself then a parent or older sibling may read to them. From 2:00 until 3:00 pm the children move to an arts and craft area to create something to take home. This is really fun for the children. It teaches them that the library is a fun place to go. When I was younger I remember that we had to be really quiet in the library. We were shhshhed and reprimended for talking. It seems that those days are in the past. The libraries that we visit are open and ready to be enjoyed.

On Thursdays the children seperate into age groups and they have story time from 1:00 until 2:00 pm. At 2:00pm the children come together as a group and watch a movie. Drinks and snacks are handed out (yes in the library!) and the lights go out and the movie starts. Today they watched "Spies Next Door." Our library shows newly released movies that are kid friendly. Adults may sit in during the story and movie times if they wish but I normally choose to surf the internet while the kids enjoy their special time.

We have three more weeks of our Tuesday/Thursday summer reading program and we will truly be sad when it closes. To celebrate the ending of their summer reading program the library hosts an all night slumber party lock in. My children have never participated in this event but my oldest son sure does want to go this year. I am not sure how we will handle this yet.

How do you get your kids to embrace summer reading?

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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