As some of you might know, I work at the public library three times a week at the circulation desk. In the two years that I have worked there, I have learned a lot of tips and tricks about the system that I didn't know as a patron. So, I thought it would be fun to add my insights and knowledge to the blog...hopefully once a week.
For my very first tip of the year, I'm going to talk about the Summer Reading Program. This program is actually happening nationally. However, each library will have their own unique activities, prizes, etc. I'm sure you're wondering why this would even be a tip?! Once school lets out we see huge increase in users of books and DVDs but many of the parents aren't aware of the reading programs available.
A common complain from parents is that kids stop reading or learning during the summer. The reading program is a great way to get kids to read for prizes while on summer break. We break it down with ages 0-12 and then 13-18. The younger group follows a "path" on a worksheet. After being read to for 20 minutes or reading alone for 30 minutes, you get to mark off a square. One square is allowed per day. For teens, it's a lot easier. Read a book and finish it. Once finished, mark your name, the books name and author on a scrap paper and place it in a box. Super easy!
Prizes are offered after every 5 boxes marked off for kids and the teens have a prize drawing at the end. Read more, get more entries for the drawing.
So, here are a few tips to make the reading fun this summer for your kids.
- First check to see if your library has any programs available. We're signed up for Dino Dig that's presented by the Science Museum of MN. My kid is totally geeked our for this. We also have sign-ups for the tweens on book arts...creating animals out of books.
- Audio CD books count as reading. So, if you have to drive somewhere and don't think you can read for 20 minutes that day to your kid, grab an audio disk. Some of ours also comes with the actual book so kids can read-along with the disk. Have a long driving trip planned? Grab something with more disks like the Harry Potter series.
- iPad book readers also count. This may sound confusing so I'll try to describe it correctly. Disney has this app that reads and highlights the word as it's read. They're over 20 books available for the app. If you're busy trying to get dinner made and your kid from one activity to another, this is a great resource. It counts as reading and your kid totally thinks they're getting more TV that they are. This is my go-to on super busy days. E loves the music and pictures that play with the books. I love that the words highlight so she can see them.
Finally, I wanted to leave you with a fun activity for your family to try over the summer. The "book fairies" came to the library to visit for the opening of the reading program (I'm on the right). This activity is very easy and cheap to make. Plus, if it gets destroyed, you don't feel too bad since you can make another.
Here's the link where I found how to make the fairies. I might also add a tip for the costume making. Take an old t-shirt of your child and stretch it out a little. Cut it down so it's a 2-3" round band and then you can stable or glue gun from there. I found this easier to get on my child (picture listed below). Also, a straw works just fine for the inside of the fairy wings instead of a stick.