If school is not already over in your part of the country, it will be ending soon. Soon to follow is the flurry of parents working to actively keep their kids busy for the summer.
It’s no surprise that reading is a huge part of our summer and I know that is also the case with many of our readers. At Jump Into a Book we are always looking for ways to encourage families to “pull books off shelves and stories off pages.”
Books can be more than print on paper.
They can be invitations to new worlds and lively adventures,
and ones that can be enjoyed as a family unit.
The following is a short, simple list of tips, ideas, activities, and booklists to help reinforce summer in a fun, interactive, and family-orientated way.
The Leaves of the A-Z Book Jumper Tree
A. A summer of reading starts with a SHELF: Start a summer reading bookshelf filled with great books for summer.
B. Bake up some sunshine:Spend some quality time in the kitchen with this sun-kissed recipe for Happy Sun Bread while reading Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven
C. Challenge yourself: Challenge yourself and your family to walk in the woods and just “be” like Henry David Thoreau
D. Dig into a Delightful Diorama! A few month back during our Family Book Festival, friend and fellow writer Sara Merkel Wilson created an activity that, to this day, is one of more popular posts: Building The Hobbit diorama of Smaug’s Mountain
E. “bEe” grateful! Be grateful for what nature provides! Check out books like The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco and all the fun bee-related activities that go along.
F. Fairy Houses: Discover books like Tracey Kane’s Fairy Houses and create your own backyard Fairy Hideaway. When my girls were little we use to watch this movie called Kristen’s Fairy House. Oh how they would watch this and then go up into our own garden and create a fairy garden just like Kristen.
So what IS a Fairy House?
Fairy Houses are small structures for the fairies and nature’s friends to visit. Sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, seaweed, pine cones and nuts are just some of the natural materials used. Ranging from rustic to intricate ‘Fairy Mansions’, these whimsical habitats are built by children, families, gardeners and nature lovers reflecting their creativity, joy and pride.–FairyHouses.com
G.Go Rediscover the Library: Check out your local library and sign up for kid’s reading hour.
H. Have a fort building adventure and create a new cozy “book nook” for your readers.
I. Investigate a good mystery! There are so many wonderful “mystery-themed” books out there for Middle Readers. Series like Capital Mysteries, 39 Clues, Haunted Histories, Encyclopedia Brown, The A-Z Mysteries Series books, and even vintage Hardy Boys Mysteries can stimulate your child’s imagination for hours of fun. And just for good measure, here’s a Secret Codes, Mysteries, and Adventures download from Jump Into a Book!
K. Kids and Patriotism: Here’s a great Booklist to help your family celebrate The 4th of July!
L. The Land Long Ago is a worthy adventure along with a side order of some tasty dragon bread.
M. Magazines: Don’t forget magazine! There many high quality magazine for kids available. Magazines are great for reluctant readers and even easy reading during family road trips. You can find a lengthy list of good kids magazines HERE.
N. Nature, Nature, Nature: There are soooo many amazing books for kids about nature! Here’s some of my top picks:
O. Organize a book swap. Or create your own Little Free Library. Your friends, family, and neighbors can all round up their already-read books and trade with your family for some fresh new titles!
S. Step into Someone else’s Shoes: The Book Same Sun as Here is a story about an unlikely friendship between a boy from Kentucky and a girl from India who has recently immigrated to the United States. Through their letters and emails via a pen pal exchange, Meena and River realize they have more in common than not. Take the time to learn about other cultures and people, and walk a virtual mile in their shoes through the stories in a book.
T. Tangrams! Ever wondered how to tell a story in tangrams or how the legend of tangrams came to be? Here’s your chance.
V. Virtual Book Club for Kids! I can’t even imagine what the world would be like without Pinterest 😉 I found this wonderful Virtual Book Club for Kids profile on Pinterest. 20+ bloggers host a monthly Virtual Book Club for kids. Each month we choose a specific author to spotlight. We read the book with our kids, do book related crafts and activities, and then we share them on our blogs. An endless source of book lists and activities!
W. World Atlas by Barefoot Books: Embark on a mind-expanding journey across the planet. Your guide is earth enthusiast and TV presenter Nick Crane. Your map-maker is artist David Dean. Divided by geographical region, the Barefoot Books World Atlas looks at the way in which communities and cultures across the world have been shaped by their natural environment, and at the ideas and initiatives which are shaping the future. An atlas for the twenty-first century, it shows how all parts of the planet are interconnected and looks at the challenges which face us all in creating a sustainable future.
X. eXplore: Take the time to eXplore a new town, city , or state and read about it’s history.
Y. Your Imagination: Are your kids writers or young authors? Encourage young mind to create their own stories and adventures. We found some excellent resource for your budding author HERE.
Z: Zombies! Zombies seem to be all the rage these days and there’s plenty of “kid-friendly” Zombie fun to be had. Check out books like Zombie Kids by Julia Dweck, Zombie Chasers, The Zombie Zone (A to Z Mysteries), How to Speak Zombie: A Guide for the Living and The Zombie Zone (A to Z Mysteries)
What book inspired fun are you working on this summer?
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