This summer, don’t let summer slide affect your kids! PBS KIDS is providing families with a variety of free and educational resources to encourage young learners to continue learning and exploring over summer vacation. To combat this summer slump, PBS KIDS has developed 10 weeks of special on-air programming, a variety of online resources, and partnerships with Pottery Barn Kids, Education.com, Scholastic and Grandparents.com.
Thanks to PBS KIDS, we threw a summer reading party for my oldest son’s first grade class right before school ended this week and boy, did we have fun!
We were sent a kit full of books (Word Girl, Cat In The Hat Knows A lot About That), plus a few additional books from Martha Speaks and Dinosaur Train and DVDs. There was also bookmarks and reading charts and craft supplies.
For our reading party, we read I Love the Nightlife from Cat In The Hat Knows A lot About That and made Animal Tales Books, using a printable book from Scholastic.
The class had a great time! While we only had time to read a book and do one activity, there’s so many more things you can do when you have one! Here are 3 more fun activities that you can do from Education.com’s free DIY Summer Reading Camp.
Let the kids at your party each create 1 or 2 bugs so you have numbers from 0 – 9. Then have them work together to create easy math equations, put the numbers in order from lowest to highest (the highest to lowest), count by twos, etc. etc. To make this activity more about reading literacy than math literacy, have the kids make letter bugs and then work together to spell simple words. We’ve provided all the materials, you’ll only need to provide scissors.
I Spy Alphabet Bottle
This alphabet bottle is fun to make and a great activity to keep kids busy so the grownups can chat. Start saving water bottles before the event, or use bottled beverages as refreshments during the party so kids can recycle their bottle into the craft. We’ve provided the other materials, but you’ll need to provide 1 small plastic bottle per child, optional Corn syrup (1/2 cup per child), Water (to fill bottles)
Word Girl Synonym Salad
Big and little party guests work together to create and play a game that depends on synonyms. We’ve provided the materials, but you’ll need to provide Salad bowl, one salad plate per player, stop-watch, Dictionary, Thesaurus
Looking for more literacy activities this summer?
PBS KIDS is working with Pottery Barn Kids this summer to highlight the importance of reading through the Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge. From now through August 26, families can find activities and tips from PBS KIDS, including a “PBK Favorites” booklist, certificate of completion and bookmark, in stores and online at www.potterybarnkids.com/read. Children that complete the list and bring it to a Pottery Barn Kids location will receive a free book, or parents can enter their child into an online drawing for a backpack full of books. Additionally, PBS KIDS will be providing tips to help families create a literate home at participating Pottery Barn Kids retail locations and on the Summer Reading Challenge website. For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge and related activities, visit www.potterybarnkids.com/read.
Families can visit Summer Reading Adventures hosted by Education.com to access a number of summer reading resources, including a “Do-It-Yourself” Reading Camp. “DIY” Reading Camp includes everything parents need to host 10 weeks of learning fun right from their own living rooms and backyards. Each camp week includes a dozen projects and activities, including specially selected PBS KIDS content, for parents and kids to do together. PBS KIDS and Education.com will also encourage families to read over the summer months with the “We’ll Read 10” pledge – which offers families the chance to win one of five Kindle Prize Packs. To take the pledge or learn more about DIY Summer Reading camp, visit www.education.com/read
As the national “Ambassador of Summer Reading,” WordGirl is challenging kids to read every day this summer through Scholastic’s Summer Challenge. The Scholastic Summer Challenge™ is a free online reading program where kids can log their reading minutes to earn rewards and help set a new 2013 world record for summer reading to beat last year’s record of 95,859,491 minutes.
Grandparents can help kids with reading, too. PBS KIDS is working with Grandparents.com to offer resources to provide grandparents with ideas and literacy-building activities that they can do with their grandchildren over the summer break.
Online and Mobile Resources
Select episodes and clips will also be featured on PBSKIDS.org/video and on the free PBS KIDS Video App. Additionally, each week a special episode will be available as a free download on iTunes.
Online, parents and caregivers will find free, downloadable activity guides and printables to host reading parties and more on PBSPARENTS.org/read. Literacy-focused games and activities will be available for kids at PBSKIDS.org/read. PBS KIDS also offers more than 25 educational mobile apps available on iOS and Android to help kids build key skills for learning.
Thank you to PBS Kids for sending our Summer Reading Party Kit. I am a PBS KiDS VIP Ambassador.