The magic of summer appears on our doorstep every May as the school bus deposits my children for the final time until August. My kids wake each morning with a wild-eyed eagerness for the next summer adventure. Meanwhile, I’m exhausted to the core as I climb in to bed each night and I groan aloud as I hear the twist of my door knob each morning when they pile in to my room to wake me.
Now that my kids are older, they’ve learned so much during the school year that it’s become even more important to keep that knowledge and not fall victim to the “summer slide” where kids lose as much as 1.5 months of learning they attained during the school year. Half Price Books is partnering with families to help keep kids reading through their free Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program. Kids 14 and under can participate and earn a $5 Bookworm Buck to purchase books, dvds, gifts and toys at Half Price Books.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Half Price Books. The opinions and text are all mine.
Participate in Group Reading Opportunities
You’ll find community story times in various places all summer, join in! Half Price Books is kicking off their summer reading program with The Biggest Storytime of the Summer on Sunday, June 2nd at 2pm. Visit your local Half Price Books for this fantastic event! Tell your friends!
Create Incentives for Reading and Learning
Set goals for your kid’s summer reading or learning and then create an award system. The Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program awards kids in June and July for reading 15 minutes each day. Fill out the summer reading log and turn it in to your local Half Price Books store and your kids can earn a $5 Bookworm Buck during June and another $5 in July (must be redeemed on or before August 29, 2019).
Find a Book That Fits Your Adventures
Our summer calendar is full of adventures that we’re all looking forward to; Day Out with Thomas the Train, workshops at the LEGO store, visits to see the Paw Patrol exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. There are books out there for each of these things, as well as many other adventures that we’ll be taking. Select a book that builds the anticipation about the adventure, plus they’ll typically be packed with information that will help the kids enjoy the experience even more!
Read the Movies
There are some fantastic movies coming out this summer and Half Price Books has books about the movies. Check out their comic book collection and peruse the huge DVD selection to find related works. We’re looking forward to the Lion King and Toy Story 4, and there are books related to these movies out on the shelves now! You KNOW we already saw Disney’s Aladdin, my girls were so thrilled to see a book with the Aladdin story.
Another way to read the movies would be to find a DVD for a book your children are already enjoying. My daughter is obsessed with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, while we were at Half Price Books, we grabbed the three DVD set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid AND found a copy of the Long Haul. We’ll be watching these on our trip once she’s finished the books that correlate to them. We’ve done the same thing with the Harry Potter movies; my daughter reads them and then we watch the movie at home.
Take Books and Educational Games on the Road
It seems like we spend a lot of time in our car during the summer — traipsing from this pool to that splash pad, waiting for our Click List groceries (my grocery trips DOUBLE during the summer months), taking a weekend road trip, visiting relatives. Make sure your center console is stocked with books and games from Half Price Books, you’ll save a lot of money when you buy them at a discount.
Revive or Remodel Your Bedtime Routine
As my children have gotten older, our bedtime routine has sort of changed or fallen by the wayside, my oldest kids prefer to read to themselves than participate in a story time meant for our littlest ones. Summer time is a great time to establish a new routine, especially with the daylight hours being extended. We’ve remodeled our bedtime routine to include stories that my husband and I enjoyed when we were in grade school; the Ramona series, Boxcar Children and others. My kids are all loving them! When we’re reading a book meant for the littles, we ask our older kids to read it aloud for the kids. It’s going really well!
Learn Something From a Book and Do It
My daughter wants to plant her own garden this summer, but she doesn’t really know how. My son wants to learn origami, but he doesn’t know how. My other daughter wants to get better at Minecraft, but doesn’t know how. Half Price Books has a huge collection of books that can help each of us learn something new this summer. Between the learning and doing, I think our summer will be full of projects and fun!
Find Books Representative of Current Events
My kids have been goo goo gaga over all of the babies being born in to the royal families. They cannot believe that princesses really exist and aren’t just characters in their books. We’ve been capitalizing on their interests and reading books about princesses, books that teach you how to behave like a princess and biographies of princesses. You wouldn’t believe the fun facts my kids know about princesses from history and current princesses.
Take a Literary Vacation
One of our favorite family vacations was one that I’ve looked forward to ever since I read the Little House on the Prairie books. My kids were very young, Lulu had just finished Kindergarten and was a voracious reader, but she hadn’t attempted the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I wanted to see the Ingalls homestead in De Smet, South Dakota. We spent the day dressed in prairie fashion, making corn cob dolls, mowing the wild grass with an antique push mower, driving the horses to the school house and learning on slate boards. It was such a magnificent experience, my kids could not wait to learn more about Laura’s life. This is how my Kindergartner started reading at a 4th grade reading level. She devoured those books over and over again!
Likewise, my son is very interested in heavy machinery and things that go. His bookshelves are full of books about trains, trucks and tractors. Last summer we took him to a theme park called Diggerland, where children can operate tractors and machinery. It was fantastic! Half Price Books has a huge collection of children’s books, many that would be the perfect complement to any trip you have planned this summer!
Make Reading Interactive
Help your child turn their favorite stories in to a puppet show or a play. Create food items that relate to the story or the characters. Half Price Books has a collection of toys and games that partner really well with the books they sell. We found several sets of puppets to use during our story times.
There are so many ways to maintain the balance of summer fun and learning, do you have any ideas to share?
I hope you’ll join us at the Half Price Biggest Storytime of the Summer event and pick up your summer reading log and get started on earning those Bookworm Bucks. Or download a copy of the log online. Let’s get reading!
The Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program was designed as a way to preserve reading and comprehension skills learned in the classroom during the school year. From June 1 through July 31, kids and teens are rewarded for reading at least 15 mins a day. Once they’ve read 300 minutes, parents and kids can visit the nearest Half Price Book location to turn in their completed reading log and earn a $5 Bookworm Buck to redeem for books of their choice. Reading logs are available in-store or for download online. Additionally, all Half Price Books locations will host The Biggest Storytime of the Summer (June 2 at 2 p.m.), a special event to kick off the Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program.