Summer Activities Link Up { add your post! }

kids crafts

 

How have you been staying busy this summer? Do you have great ideas to share with No Time For Flash Card readers? Add a link or two to your fun activity posts, kids crafts, and book recommendations. If you have never linked up to Link & Learn before don’t be shy. The more the merrier so jump right in.

Every summer I focus much of my time and energy on summer reading. Monday night you can join me and Scholastic for a fun Twitter chat talking about how you can re-energize summer reading with your kids.  We will share tips, tricks, and of course ask parents what works for them. Check out the invite below and don’t miss my literacy focused articles and activities over at Scholastic Parent’s Raise A Reader blog. reenergizesummerreading-v2



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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Last Day Of School Party & DIY

last day of school partyStart your summer off right with a fun celebration that includes books and motivation for summer reading. Just because school is out does not mean that your kids are going to turn off their brains until it’s back in. Let them celebrate and have fun but know that summer is going to be about more than extra TV time.  Even if your last day of school has already passed you could use these same ideas for a kick off to summer reading.

This celebration is somewhat hypothetical for us because school isn’t out here for another 3 weeks! But this is my plan and I can’t wait!

5 Steps For A Simple Celebration

1. Prepare the sign.  We are using our easel . It will be blocking the door so when we arrive home from the bus it’s waiting for him to start the celebrations! You could also use banner paper covering the front door, side walk chalk on the driveway or spell it out in balloons!  No matter how you do it make it big enough so in their excited state they don’t miss it.

2. Prepare the treat . I know you don’t want to reward with food but this is a celebration and for us that means cake! Here is how we made this easy peasy 2 minute DIY mini banner.  You will need some construction paper, double stick tape, a pipe cleaner, 2 kabob skewers, scissors and a marker. summer party bannerStart by folding your paper in two and cutting a strip about an inch from the folded edge. Cut it into triangles. Some will be folded some won’t. Make sure you have 6 folded ones. Write summer on the folded ones one letter per folded triangle. Add double stick tape to it and fold over the pipe cleaner. Make sure there is enough pipe cleaner on either edge to wind around the skewer. After all the letter flags are on secure it to the skewers and add to the cake. last day of school 2 minute cake banner

 

3. Prepare the gift. Books are a must. You don’t need to buy them, you can get a stack out from the library but you need to make it clear that they are special and will be read during summer break. If you need a great guide for books try our book gift guide , book lists or try Scholastic’s Book Wizard .  I included some books for my husband and I to read with my son, some picture books for him to share and read to his sister, some early chapter books he can read solo or with us and some non fiction too!

books for summer reading

4. Summer Reading Bucket List – print it out ( email me for a high res version) and include it with your books. last day of school party

 

5. Summer Coupon Book ( click here to print our version) . These are little treats like staying up later to read, getting to decide on what movie we watch for family movie night and S’mores! Nothing huge just some fun things to look forward to. last day of school party

As a parent I struggle trying to balance making milestones fun but not making them too over the top. I don’t want to set my kids up for the expectation that everything they do , especially things we expect them to do deserves a huge celebration with lavish gifts. I do however want to encourage summer reading, learning all year long and I think this simple celebration focuses on that.

Do you do something special for the last day of school? Tell us about it in comments.

 

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

Summer Reading Challenge – Ends Tomorrow

Did you see that people are recognizing all our hard work ? Our Summer Reading Challenge was featured on the blogging news site  ShePosts.com  last week . As you may know we have already passed our 25,000 book goal ( presently at 26058) but our challenge isn’t over yet. You have until tomorrow at 8pm PST to enter your tally of books read and get entered for a chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card.

What will the final tally be?

Thank you so much for taking the time away from a busy summer to read with your kids. It’s never wasted even when they bring you the same book for the 500th time that day. I hope you have found some great new favorites this summer and continue reading all year long.

If you have just found us you can still join in. All the details are here including FAQ.

If you know what to do enter your tally here .

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. 1 winning participator will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Sunday August 26th 2012 at 8:00pm PST. The winner will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift card valued at approximately $50. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their email address to send the gift card 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.