We recently hosted a PBS Kids Summer Reading Party at my daughter’s summer camp (it’s a fantastic private school near our home). Once again, I’m pleased to partner up to help children in my community to learn and read this summer.
I Can Read! Books and PBS KIDS are partnering to promote reading for children and address the summer learning slide. This is the second annual I Can Readathon, and the 2015 kits includes PBS KIDS summer learning materials.
I’ve hosted a few of these summer reading parties over the last four years and have really enjoyed myself. I love to read and I hope to inspire my children and their friends to enjoy their time with books. My two older kids are reluctant readers and my son (who will be 10 at the end of September) finally enjoys curling up and losing himself in a book. My daughter, who’s 7 is not as into it. Which is why I held the summer reading party with her group. If you are wondering why the kids are wearing princess dresses… it was costume day.
PBS KIDS sent a whole shipment of books and activity booklets. I was excited to see that Flat Stanley was included and there are more books in the series now, aimed at younger readers. I read “Flat Stanley Goes Camping” (which was appropriate considering it’s camp). Then as a response activity, since my daughter’s class is going into second grade, I wanted them to draw and then write about their pictures. I had bought big pieces of construction paper and I distributed it to the children, who made themselves as “flat” versions. I asked the children to pretend that they were flat and to think about what they would do at camp during their day.
The children had fun designing and coloring their “flat” selves.
As they drew, they told their tablemates about their day in camp as a “flat” person.
Then they wrote a few sentences about their day at camp, as their “flat” selves. One boy wrote about playing sports like basketball as his “flat” self. It was great to see imagination at work.
The kids had fun and really got into it. I made up gift bags using resources that PBS Kids sent. We had some snacks after (not pictured) — it was a great day!
In the gift bags were:
Summer Safari Activity book (the little green booklet shown above)
Summer Safari Bookmarks
Summer Safari Reading Charts
Books from Harper Collins Children’s books (each child got a book)
“I Can Read” Reading Journal
“I Can Read” Activity Book (download here)
PBS Kids Activity Sheets
“I Can Read” Readathon Certificates (download here)
WordGirl Super Summer Fun Book (download here )
Here are some great tips for raising enthusiastic readers adapted from a post from Laura Colker at RIF.org:
Books + Activities Go Together
As a family you do lots of fun activities, such as going to park, seeing movies, hitting the beach, visting fun museums. Have your kids read books about these activities and discuss on the way to or from that activity. Example: If you are taking your child to the circus, find a book like Curious George Goes To The Circus.
The Library Rocks
If your child doesn’t have a library card, sign up for one. In addition to a wide selection of books to borrow, many libraries have fun, child-friendly summer reading programs. Plus, most libraries have ebook borrowing programs and may have children’s books available to lend.
Want A Reader? Be A Reader Yourself
Let your child see you reading — but make it more than just reading your iPhone. Read the newspaper, pick up an actual book, or even read on your Kindle (we know just about everyone has an ereader). Read for fun and enjoyment. There’s nothing wrong with letting your kids see you getting into a book.
Talk About Your Love of Books
Tell your child about books that have impacted your life – I loved A Wrinkle in Time and I tell my kids why. If you talk about why you love a book, your children may share about the books they love. My oldest child is really into Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books now.
Leave Time to Read
Today’s kid has so many activities — which is great, but don’t over schedule. Leave time each day for 30 minutes of reading. It’s a great downtime activity. Even before bed or breakfast works.
Read Aloud with Kids
Even if you have a bigger kid, take time to sit and read with them, even if it’s 10 minutes a day. Find out what your child is interested in and get them a book. My daughter loves fashion, so we read the history of fashion to her. We read science books our my almost 10 year old. We both read books about trains and animals to our 5 year old, because he’s into that.