Summer Reading Bucket List

Summer Reading Bucket List

The school year is almost over and if you are like me you have already started planning your family calendar for the whole season. Before you declare all the planning done take some time and plan your summer reading adventure!

Summer reading isn’t just for fun it’s the best way to prevent summer slide. Did you know that it’s estimated that teachers spend on average 4-6 weeks re-teaching material children have forgotten over the summer? Think of all the time that teachers could have for other things if we send our kids ready to learn new material instead of reviewing and re-learning . My kids and I brainstormed fun, silly and educational ideas for summer reading and came up with this bucket list. Follow the links to book recommendations .

  1. Read in a tent.
  2. Read a book about wild animals.
  3. Read a book in the bath.
  4. Read a book under a tree.
  5. Read a book about a city far away.
  6. Read at dinner.
  7. Read a magazine.
  8. Read as a family.
  9. Read a book about your country.
  10. Read in a blanket fort.
  11. Read a book about friendship.
  12. Read a comic book.
  13. Read at the park.
  14. Read a magazine.
  15. Read a book about art.
  16. Read a book that makes your laugh.
  17. Read a book with a flashlight.
  18. Read a book to a pet.
  19. Read at the beach.
  20. Read a book about space.
  21. Read a book in a funny accent.
  22. Read a book while having ice cream.
  23. Read a book then act it out.
  24. Read a book and capture it on video.
  25. Read a biography.
  26. Read a book with chapters.
  27. Read a book about bugs.
  28. Read a book without any words.
  29. Read an alphabet book.
  30. Read a pop up book
  31. Read at breakfast.
  32. Read a book you wrote yourself.
  33. Read an ebook .
  34. Read all summer long.

 

As you know together with Amy Mascott I write  all about family literacy for Scholastic Parent’s Raise A Reader blog .  On Monday night we will be taking over  Scholastic Parent’s Facebook page for a great kick off of their Scholastic Summer Challenge. This year is set to be the best yet and Amy and I will be answering questions to get you and your family ready for a summer filled with reading. Do not miss it!

 

summer-reading-facebook-chat

Organize Your Books with a DIY Book Crate

by Allison McDonald mod podge book crate craft for kidsI have been on a spring cleaning kick and when I was given the opportunity to make something for a sponsored campaign with  Mod Podge Washout  and Apple Barrel Paints I knew just what I wanted to make. While cleaning I was astounded by how many books we have. There are stacks everywhere and out shelves are full too. I wanted to make something useful that could help me teach my daughter to care for her books and that could make spring cleaning more fun. Now when my kids see the crate they are much more apt to put books back in it then back on the pile on the carpet. Having my daughter help me make this was really an important part of her taking ownership of keeping her books in good condition and so far it’s been working great. Here is how we made ours.

  1.  Gather your materials. You will need a wooden crate , Apple Barrel paint, some foam brushes, drop cloth Mod Podge Washout , some scissors , a dish for paint, and an old book you don’t mind cutting up.book crate mod podge
  2. Start by choosing which color to paint with . book crate box
  3. Paint your crate. One thing I love about acrylic paint is how fast it dries. I am so used to kid paint which takes forever. If you have an older child while they paint you can cut out the letters. But if your child is going through the “Let ME decorate the house aka draw and paint on things” stage wait until they are done. book crate 4I had to put the camera down too because she got too much paint on her brush and it splattered on me narrowly missing the camera. It washed off me no problem!book crate
  4. I doubled up the pages and drew the letters in pencil. book crate 7Cut and use the bottom letter so there are no pencil marks. book crate for book organization
  5. When the crate is dry it’s time for Mod Podge! The great thing about this Mod Podge Wash Out is that even if it’s dry it will come out in the wash. I have ruined plenty of clothes while crafting so it’s exciting to find a product that my kids can use and I don’t have to be right behind them wiping things up and off them. book crate organizer for children's books
  6. Start with a thin layer on the section where you are going to add the letters.book crate organizer for kids Add a letter and go over with more Mod Podge. Repeat for each letter.  As my daughter was doing this she was very angry that her initials were not being used. At 2 she can not read and while she recognized the letters she didn’t know why I’d chosen those. I felt terrible. In all my prep I didn’t explain to her what the letters said. So we took some time talking about it. book crate organizer kids room ideas
  7. After the letters are on add a layer or two of Mod Podge all over the crate. This gives the crate a finishing touch and helps smooth out any rough parts.  Let dry completely ( overnight is always a good bet) and add some books!book crate 1
  8. Since we made this our book crate has not budged from the hearth. She picks out books to look at alone, ones for me to read and my favorite ones for her brother to read to her after dinner. book crate for kids

Need books to put in your book crate? Check out our long list of book reviews .

Follow Plaid Crafts on TwitterLike Plaid Crafts on Facebook - Follow Plaid Crafts on Pinterest

Kids Crafts { Add Your Link!}

kids craftsAfter a long week with so much sadness and late nights watching the news I can’t wait to see what you have been up to. Every Sunday while I scroll through the links I am reminded how much I miss teaching and seeing what other teachers had planned for their class. You don’t have to be a trained teacher to share here ( although I know we have many) you just have to have something that helps someone else. So think of this as the staff room and share what you have done this week on your blog.

Also every Thursday on our Facebook it’s Throw Back Thursday and we welcome you to link up something old that deserves to be seen again ( and again) .



50 Ways To Teach Your Child To Read

by Allison McDonald 50 ways to teach your child to readLearning to read is not a crash course that kids take and are done with once they can read Dick and Jane without any help. Learning to read is developmental and starts when a newborn looks at you and hears you talking to them. Below are 50 pieces to the reading puzzle . 50 ways that you and your child can have fun knowing that they are working on early literacy development and learning to love books. This is not definitive checklist it’s a buffet of options to help support your child as they develop literacy skills and become independent readers. Find ideas that work for your family with your child and their current development. Click through the linked items for more details and how to do the activity with your child.

  1. Read to your child.
  2. Play rhyming games.
  3. Sing the alphabet song with them.
  4. Label things with their names from an early age.
  5. Go to the library even when they are at that loud voice only stage.
  6. Have non fiction books as well as fiction available .
  7. Tell stories.
  8. Have books all over your house.
  9. Teach the letter sounds by emphasizing the sounds in words they hear often from a young age.
  10. Provide fun and interesting books for them to read.
  11. Get a magazine subscription and read it together.
  12. Make play dough letters.
  13. Play the alphabet game on road trips.
  14. Read the mail together.
  15. Make a reading nook.
  16. Clap out syllables.
  17. Make letter crafts.
  18. Make reading play time .
  19. Notice letters in the environment.
  20. Learn about how books work and other concepts of print.
  21. Let them choose their own books at the library or bookstore.
  22. Leave them notes in their lunchboxes .
  23. Play with foam letters in the bath. Use bath toys to make up and tell stories.
  24. Make your own books.
  25. Play eye spy with letters and letter sounds. ” I spy something that starts with the letter B. Buh buh book!”
  26. Give your children books as gifts.
  27. Make up silly songs together.
  28. Ask them to read the pictures to you before they can read the words.
  29. Play library.
  30. Read the book then see the movie for a family treat.
  31. Play with word families.
  32. Read books with no words and share storytelling duties.
  33. Let them see you reading for fun.
  34. Read nursery rhymes.
  35. Explore and trace tactile letters.
  36. Play listening games.
  37. Retell and have your children retell stories after reading them.
  38. Ask your child questions about elements of the story as you read with them. This works on comprehension.
  39. Read books at lunchtime .
  40. Take books with you when you travel.
  41. Build with letter blocks or make your own.
  42. Do word searches.
  43. Play sight word games.
  44. Download an e-reader app on your smartphone and instead of handing them it to play a game make it a treat to use it to read.
  45. Read comics and graphic novels with them.
  46. Talk your your kids using regular words not “kiddie” words.
  47. Read them poetry.
  48. Get their bodies moving to learn letters.
  49. Read them their favorite book over and over and over even if it’s making you want to poke your eyes out.
  50. Make reading part of their bedtime routine from day one.
This post contains affiliate links.

8 Ways Parents Discourage Their Kids From Reading

by Allison McDonald ways parents discourage their kids from reading

No parent intentionally tries to discourage their child from reading. But sometimes our actions do just that. Kids may be resilient, but they are also really sensitive, and how we handle reading in our homes can work for or against our kids’ reading attitude. Once a child writes reading off, it’s much harder to reel them back in and get them to give it a second shot. Here are eight  things to avoid .

 

1. Don’t put down your child’s reading materials. Comics and books with crude humor often get dragged through the mud, as do character-driven books. Their choices may not be your favorite, but when you say no to a book, what your child may hear is no to reading. Instead of banning their beloved reading material , find a way to add in some more desirable books into the mix.

 

2. Don’t provide the wrong level material. No one likes reading something that makes them feel stupid. If the books are too hard they will frustrate your child. If the books are too easy, they will bore your little reader. You don’t need to know your child’s exact level; their interest will let you know. Go to the bookstore or library when you have a chunk of time and let them explore. Take out a bunch of books and try them out. Find favorite authors and read everything they’ve written, then start again with a new author.

 

3. Don’t use reading as a punishment. Saying things like  “Go to your bedroom and read!” or “If you do that again, I will make you go read.” sets kids up to associate reading as a negative thing. Keep punishments and reading separate.

 

4. Don’t forget to give your child  books as a gifts. Gifts are special, and starting at birth books make the best gifts – especially if you read them with the person who gave them to you. Book fairs at schools are a great place for kids to get excited about books, and we use them as treats!

 

5. Don’t explain to your child they aren’t really reading yet when they are only looking at the pictures. If we tell our children they aren’t readers, they will believe it, and to a child this isn’t as fluid as it is for adults. They don’t see that reading is developmental, and this blow to their confidence can really stick with them. If they aren’t decoding words yet, let them know that they can “read the pictures” and tell the story that way until they can read the words too.

 

6. Don’t forget to let your kids see you read for fun.  Studies show that kids with parents who read often for pleasure are more likely to read for fun themselves. So if you want a kid who loves to read, let them see you reading too.

 

7. Don’t over-correct and over-practice. It’s exciting when your child starts to read independently, but forcing them to read and reread text until they have it perfect is not the most effective way to encourage or instruct. Read with your new reader and help when they ask for it. If they miss a word but the meaning is intact, don’t interrupt. If the meaning of the sentence is all screwy, wait for a natural pause and ask them, “Did that make sense?” You can revisit the word if it didn’t. Use the pictures and the rest of the text as clues if the word is too tough to decode.  If you have to do this often, the text is too hard for your child. Choose something easier, or if they are insistent take turns reading so there is some fluency being modeled.

 

8. Don’t forget to read to your kids. Every day. Even those days when you just want them to go to sleep already!!
Check out Scholastic Parents Raise a Reader blog for more simple ways to bring literacy into your family. Together with Amy from Teachmama.com I share with readers  tips, tricks and tried and true ways to Raise a Reader.

This post contains an affiliate link.