Summer Reading Calendar – FREE Printables

summer reading ideas ofr kids This summer I want to mix it up. For the past few years we have run our own Summer Reading Challenge but this year instead of just asking readers to read read read I want to support them as they do. To keep summer reading fresh I have created summer reading calendars packed with reading prompts and simple literacy ideas to keep reading all summer long. That’s not the best part though. The calendars are only half of the fun, every day on our Facebook Page  you can dive deeper checking out resources and book recommendations for whatever is on the calendar for the NEXT DAY starting May 31st. 

Every day on Facebook I will post the next day’s mission with links to book titles, activity ideas, and more. Here is an example:

may31

 

These calendars are geared towards reading picture books but in the extension activities posted daily on Facebook I will include a variation for chapter books as well. summer reading calendar june small

I wanted to start promoting this now even though it’s 2 weeks before the program starts because I want you to have time to reserve books that your local library, pick up a few that might work for your kids and get ready to read until the very end of summer.

reading july small

You can print out the calendars below and pick and choose which activities work for your family or faithfully follow along every day. Do what works for you and your family. I just want to offer up a huge buffet of ideas to keep kids reading this summer. reading august small

 

Are you in? Join in the fun and keep the reading fun all summer long.

Print the calendars :

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

 

Sight Word Game

sight word gross motor game for kids

It’s been beautiful here and I wanted to get outside for a little learning. This gross motor sight word game is fun and was a cinch to adapt to very different ability levels. My son worked on sight words and my daughter on letter recognition. When we played this the first time my kids were not very into it. It was almost dinner, we’d been busy all week , and it was just bad timing. A few days later we played again and it was a huge hit! Smiles, words being yelled out , letters flying into the pretend recycle bin… so I thought my reminder to myself would be a good reminder for you too. Timing is everything and don’t give up if an activity flops. Give it one more try before giving it the ax.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some ping pong balls, a container, sharpies ,and some painter’s tape if you want to turn your container into a recycle bin like we did. sight word game for kindergarten
  2. Start by writing out sight words and/or letters for your child on the ping pong balls. A quick google search will provide leveled sight word lists for your child.sight word gross motor game
  3. Add the recycle sign on your container.sight words recycle game
  4. We went outside and I pretended to be a litter bug throwing recycling ( the ping pong balls) all over our yard. I really spread them out. The rule was that they had to call out the word/letter before running it back to the bin to clean up the yard.sight word recycling activity
  5. Off they went!  sight word and letter gameThey played well but the next time we played it was all giggles and rushing – you can tell in this picture that my son was tired . He hoarded as many balls as he could then ran up to the bin read them all to me and ran back to get another handful. sight word game readingThe next time he’d find one, run it over and run to the next.  My daughter was overwhelmed with how spread out I made it. The 2nd time we played I kept them in a much smaller space which made a huge difference for her.sight word game for kindergarten and preschool

Books About Recycling For Kids

plasticbottle

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches is awesome!  The book takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text.

why do we recycle

Little Pirate: Why Do We Recycle?  by Innovative Kids is a really fun book about recycling with a pirate theme. Yes a pirate theme. Readers learn about recycling, composting and garbage along with two young pirates who need to clean up their ship. The pirates ask questions about different waste and the wise parrot fills them into the facts like the best bag to use while shopping is a cloth one, and what happens to the metal, glass and paper after we put them in the recycle bin.

Gabby and Grandma go green

Gabby and Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington is another wonderful book from one of our favorite authors. In the book Gabby and her Grandma spend a day together  dedicated to going green. First making a great reusable bag and then using it all around town. I love that they go to the library and that is portrayed as a way to go green as well as a place to learn more about environmental efforts. Also showing ways to make a difference at the grocery store is perfect for young kids who are often tagging a long with parents on these errands. I can’t end the review without also mentioning the baby sibling who is sleeping in a sling at the end of the book , I love seeing baby wearing in books!  This is a great environment themed book that works all year round not just for Earth Day.

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Paint & Read { and sound it out }

learn to readTwo skills children need to master in their journey to independent reading are segmenting and blending sounds. Segmenting is breaking a word apart into individual sounds and blending is very simply the ability to combine the sounds together smoothly. When we tell a child to sound it out , this is really what we are asking them to do.  This activity was designed for my son who is a great reader but who will often read so quickly that if he encounters a word he doesn’t know he simply guesses and continues. If I ask him to sound the word out he will  still often guess and get frustrated at me for asking instead of slowing down and doing it even though he is perfectly capable of doing so.  I had to come up with a playful way that would force him to chill a little, slow it all down and focus on the sounds.  This activity can be adapted for any level even single sounds or sight words. We did a similar one for toddlers exploring letters here.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white paper, white wax crayon, dark water color ( container is you need one) , a little water and a paint brush. I also used a clipboard to keep the pages secure while painting. reading
  2. Start by writing out the words you want your child to stretch out. I used a book we’ve recently read to help me think of some words. Many of the words I chose were not a challenge to read , the challenge is to get him to slow down and stretch them out. For new readers you will want to do words like cat, dog, ball, map, off, snap etc…  but know that older children and more proficient readers can still work on this skill with more complex words. paint and read early literacy activity for kids
  3. Next I popped the black water color into the jar and added just a little water. To do this well you want a lot of color but not too much water .
  4. I invited my little reader and explained that he needed to paint over the words SLOWLY and read as he went, then to read the whole word normally. I had to emphasize that the goal was not to guess the word after painting over the first few letters, that the right way to do it was to carefully say each sound then put the word back together. paint and read learning to read activity for kids
  5. The activity was an instant hit. paint and read learning to read activity for kindergartenIt really did get him to slow it down and pay attention to all the sounds in the words instead of just guessing. I was happy to find a tool for him to keep working on these skills without making him feel like I was giving him a remedial task.  paint and readQuick activities likes this one can be thrown together easily with some really fantastic benefits to your child’s reading ability. paint and read early literacy lesson for kids

 

Summer Reading Challenge Update!

summer reading This summer has proved to be my busiest yet but I wanted to pop in and update everyone about our Summer Reading Challenge. As you can see we have read over 7500 books so far which is awesome but not awesome enough if we want to reach our 30,000 book goal.  So you have to help by reading with your kids!

How it works 

1. Read. You can read to your kids or if your kids can read they can read to you or independently. It all counts!

2. Come here and fill in how many books or chapters you have read per family. Just enter the number no need to write out titles. You may enter no more than once per day or you can use our tally sheet printable and track your books read and enter less frequently. We count complete chapters as equal to one picture book because we want to celebrate all readers and know that chapter books can take a long time to complete.

3. Every time you enter your books and /or chapters you will be automatically entered into our Summer Reading Challenge Sweepstakes.

What You Can Win

1. Monthly Book Prize Packs !  On June 15th, July 15th and August 15th I will draw an entry and that person will win a prize pack to say thanks for participating. The books will be chosen based on age of the children in the winning family. Each will contain 4- 6 books handpicked by me based on your child’s age and reading level. The prize packs are worth approximately $20 each.

 

2. Grand Prize  $50 Amazon.com Gift Card to buy books, craft supplies or a pair of cute boots for the fall ! I will draw one winner from all the entries on September 1st 2013 using random.org

 

The real prize is reading with your children!

 

summer reading entry form

 

FAQ:

 

Q: If I have more than one child do I enter the number of books we read as a family or do separate entries for each child?

A: Please enter as a family. So if you have 2 kids that read 4 books each enter 8 books for that day.

 

Q: Can I do this if I am doing other Summer Reading Challenges?

A: Absolutely! I highly encourage you to participate in ones at your local library and Scholastic’s Summer Challenge too!

 

Q: If I forget to enter my books for one day can I add them the next?

A: You can add your book tally as often as once per day or as infrequently as you like. Some people add them in big chunks others a little at a time. All we ask is that you do not add them more than once per day.

 

Q: If my child reads the same book 10 times in one day do I count it as one  or ten?

A: TEN! We know that kids love to re read their favorites and this is all about enjoying reading so if they enjoy the same book ten times more power to them! It counts as 10.

 

Q: Who is sponsoring this? Are you getting paid for this?

A: I am sponsoring it. I look forward to this all year long and am excited that I can add a few more prizes this year. No company or publisher has any part in it.

 

Q: My child is not reading yet does it count if I read to them?

A: 100% yes!  Most of our readers are parents with children who are not reading independently yet. This challenge is all about getting families to read. Children do not need to be reading solo yet to participate. If you read a book to your baby that counts too! We want to get families to make reading a habit and have fun doing it.

 
Official Rules
This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must fill out this form as stated above. 3 winning participators ( 1 per month)  will be drawn at random, using Random.org on June 15th ,  July 15th and August 15th by 8pm PST on that day . The winner will receive a book pack prize valued at approximately $20. Grand Prize : 1 winning participator will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on September 1st 2013 at 8:00pm PST. The winner will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift card valued at approximately $50. After the winners are notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their email address to send the prize to,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 
 

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Writing Books With Your Child { Guest Post}

Writing Books with Your Child

by Becky Spence { This Reading Mama }

When kids are first learning to read, one of the things they need are some basic sight words under their belt. My son {age 4.5} has learned about 25 sight words this past year through the PreK reading curriculum I created for him. This summer, I want to expand and review that sight word learning without being too structured.

One way we will do this is by composing emergent readers together about him and the things he loves. There are many reasons why this concept works well. For one, it is all about the child. The majority of readers, even reluctant readers, will stick with something longer when the topic is of high interest to them {and what is more interesting to a child than a story about himself?} Secondly, this idea is highly adaptable to meet the developmental needs of the child {most writing activities are}. I will include some of those adaptations at the end of the post. But for now, I want to share how we made our first emergent book of the summer.

Steps to Writing Books with Your Child

Take Photos of Your Child Doing What He Loves | This Reading Mama

1. Ahead of time, I chose the predictable sentence I wanted for this particular book: “I like to…”. {For young readers, predictable text like this works well because of the repetition of words.} I asked him to pick several things he liked to do and he did them. While he was doing them, I took pictures of him. Painting, jumping, playing his favorite bird game, coloring…you name it.

2. I saved all the pictures to our computer. He chose the pictures he wanted to use and I printed them each onto a separate piece of paper to create a book.

3. I modeled the first sentence, “I like to color”. He listened as I talked through my sentence. It’s great for kids to hear us think out loud as we read and write. This is one way they gain the strategies they need to read and write with independence. An example of what I said, “I’m going to start writing over here on the left side of the paper because that’s where you start with reading and writing.” Think basic. Think simple.

Writing Books with Your Child

4. We worked on the other sentences together. “I like to jump.” “I like to play.” And so on. I let him take the lead and write as much as he wanted. When he didn’t want to write any more, I helped out. To keep him active in the writing while I had the pencil, he continued to help me sound out words. Writing books with kids is a great way to model spacing, capitialization, listening for phonemes {sounds in words}, and other foundational reading and writing skills.

5. Once all the sentences were written {this took two days}, we worked on the title page; made from colored construciton paper of his choice. Coming up with a title was a bit tricky for him, so I offered him several choices. He picked, “Things I Like to Do”. He added “by {his name}” to the title page as well.

6. We stapled the book together and he used our recycled bubble wand to read it to me. The book now has a home in his independent reading bin {a bin of books he can read himself, mainly from Reading the Alphabet}. If you don’t have a bin, displaying the books your child has written among the other books on the shelf or in a special space shows him you value his work as a writer.

Adaptations for Writing Books with Your Child

  • Instead of taking photos, ask your child to illustrate the pictures. This works particularly well for those children who love to draw.
  • Adapt the predictable sentence based on the words your child already knows or needs to know. Start simple. Sight words need to be introduced slowly with children just learning to read.
  • Use life experiences to create your sentences. For example, after a trip to the zoo, you could write the predictable sentence: “I saw a…” filling in the different animals your child saw that day.
  • Make it as long or as short as you’d like. Our book was five pages long because that’s all his attention span could handle.
  • Break up the activity into different segments. The entire book does not have to be completed in one sitting. Break it up over a few days, especially if you’re asking your child to do most of the drawing or writing.
  • For children who are not ready to do the writing, do it for them. But require that they be your helper, listening for sounds {phonemes} in words, helping put the space in between words by placing their finger there as a space holder, or drawing the period at the end of the sentence. Sometimes children just aren’t ready to write the entire sentence. Ask them to write the letters they do know how to write.
  • For more advanced readers/writers, mix up the sentences a bit instead of making the book totally predictable. For example, “I like to jump./I can jump very high./I jump the highest on my trampoline.” etc.

Predictable Sentence Starters

As a head-start, here are a few sentence starters that work well for writing predictable books with young readers, based on early sight word lists:

  • The _______.
  • A ______.
  • I see the ______.
  • I see a ______.
  • I can _______.
  • I like _______.
  • I like to ______. {example I used}
  • I saw a ______.
  • I am _______.
  • My _______.
  • Look at the ______.

 

Becky @ This Reading Mama

Becky Spence is a homeschooling mama to four little blessings. She is passionate about teaching, specifically literacy. She is the author of This Reading Mama, where she shares reading and writing activities as well as literacy curricula and printables. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.