School will be out for the summer very soon. The past few years Tyler has looked forward to participating in the summer reading program at the local library both here in Mobile and in New Orleans before the hurricane. While writing an article about this year’s summer reading program, I realized that Tyler might not be able to participate. I’m still trying to get my house together and you can’t imagine the setbacks I have had. We will probably spend a lot of time between Mobile and New Orleans this summer so I am wondering if signing up for the program makes sense. As far as reading the required number of books is concerned that’s not the issue. The problem is he will probably miss some of the special events that take place each week. That’s one of the great perks of signing up for the program. Then it occurred to me that we could plan our own summer reading program. He can still sign up for the program here in Mobile and attend the events if we are in town but we can also have our very own special program.
If your local library does not have a summer reading program why not start one with your kids, young family members, youth church group or neighborhood kids? It does not have to be elaborate but it can be a lot of fun.
You can plan some simple activities to entertain the kids. Get some of the older kids to help out. You can have puppet shows, magic shows or plays. Look for some reading-related fun games that get kids up and moving. See if you can get any local performers to come by and perform free or for a nominal charge. Go on field trips but first read about the venue you are visiting.
You can also decide on a theme and plan all the activities with that theme in mind. Also, have the kids select books based on the theme. You’ll need to offer treats at each weeks’ special event and end the program with a grand finale. Finally, make sure you give the kids a certificate of completion for reading the designated number of books. And that’s about all there is to it!
Creating your own summer reading program can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your kids. Start planning now and you will be ready when the final school bell rings.