Summertime Reading Fun

Summertime Reading Fun

Summer is a great time to encourage kids to spend time reading. Not only is it entertaining but studies have shown that over the summer months, students typically lose many of the reading skills that they have worked so hard to gain throughout the school year. Parents can prevent this by making sure that there are plenty of opportunities to read. Even reading for just 15-20 minutes a day can make a big difference.  It’s so important that the state of Georgia has issued a summer reading challenge designed to keep kids engaged in reading.  You can read about it here.

There are a lot of great books out there too that are not only exciting adventures but wonderful messages as well.

Young adult author, Martha Orlando has a  trilogy that is packed with action, humor and inspiration. For a young adult book that is a real page turner pick up A Trip, A Tryst and a Terror, Children of the Garden and  The Moment of Truth.

My friend Erin Casey, has penned two terrific young adult books in her Zany Zia Hats To Where series. In the first book, An All Knight Adventure, Evan Tanner is transported to a castle in the middle ages where he conquers his fears in order to battle dragons and bullies. In Lost in Comanche Country, Marianna bravely navigates between Indian warriors, hungry mountain lions and cowboys out for revenge, while learning that despite all our differences we still have much in common if we will but take the time to get to know each other.

Jordan Crowl, author of Ed’s Journal is a talented author and illustrator who has written a series of character education books which allow the reader to determine possible choices and consequences.  These books make for great discussions between children and parents, as well as a wonderful lesson too. Check out all the titles in this interactive series.

For the younger set, my favorite author is Helen Lester.  Her books are humorous, clever and teach an important lesson as well.  A couple of my favorites are Hooway for Wodney Wat  and Listen Buddy.

Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns About Winning

Finally, I just have to mention my own series of books about Wyatt the Wonder Dog.  In the first book, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns About Good Manners, Wyatt learns what to do about a bossy friend who doesn’t use his manners. In the second book, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns About Being Organized, Wyatt learns how to plan ahead and organize his day, a skill that I’ve had many adults tell me they need to develop as well!  In the third book, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Goes to Kindergarten, Wyatt learns that adjusting to change can often be very rewarding.  the fourth book has Wyatt wondering what he will get for Christmas in, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Giving.  And new out this summer, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Winning.  In the latest book, Wyatt learns what it takes to be a winner after the disappointment of not being chosen for the traveling baseball team.  Happy Summertime Reading!

 

 

Story Time at Foxtale Book Shoppe was GRReat Fun!

readingFoxtale

foxtale1

foxtale2What a great time I had at Foxtale Book Shoppe Saturday reading Wyatt’s latest book about winning.  We made puppy dog ears and played with puppets.  Julian our youngest member was the winner of the bucket of summer time fun.  Let’s get together again soon!

 

Me and Nickolas

Kids Love Wyatt’s Book Signing at Three Sisters Gifts and Home Accents Shop
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  3sistersgirl

 What a great time I had at the Three Sisters Gifts and Home Accents shop in Canton, Georgia.  They got the word out that Wyatt was coming and there was a steady stream of little guests.  The children listened (sort of) to the new story, played with the puppets, made some puppy dog ears and even got a goodie bag provided by Carolyn at the shop.  It was truly a fun day hosted by three of the most generous sisters you’ll ever meet.  They even gave ME a gift when I left.  Look what I found in the bag when I got home and opened it:

my little hero

I suspect you might just be seeing more of this theme in the next book, which by the way I’m researching right now.  It will be about cooperation and sibling rivalry so I’m looking for examples both of siblings getting along and NOT getting along.  So if you have one to share, please do so in the contact me section below.  Happy Reading!

3sistersElijah

Three Ways to Slay the “I’m Bored” Dragon

Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns About Winning

A fellow teacher and friend reported to me that her frustrated child told his dad, “Quit getting your nerves on me!”  We’ve all been there haven’t we?  Summer is a time of relaxation and freedom.  It’s unstructured days and late nights;  movies and picnics, wild roller coaster rides at the theme park and lazy days poolside.  But eventually something will probably rear it’s ugly head.  It’s the dreaded “B” word. My kids would usually bring it up after a particularly eventful day spent at Six Flags or Stone Mountain or some other amusement park, where we had been on the go from dawn to dusk.  Just as we get home and I collapse on the sofa, they whine pitifully, “I’m bored.” Made me feel like saying… “Quit getting your nerves on me!”

In our fast paced, always tuned in and turned on world, I believe we’ve created our own monster. Kids nowadays expect nonstop entertainment and often we as parents believe that we are responsible for providing it.  We enroll our kids in camps and classes, go on family vacations and visit local attractions.  By the end of the summer, we are all exhausted.  Instead of being refreshed and renewed, we are tired and frustrated.

What if being ‘bored’ is a good thing?  What if instead of providing constant activities and structured events, we created an oasis of time for creativity and  free play?  For many kids this would be a novel concept but for those of us in my generation that is what summer was.  It was long days of creating forts and riding bikes.  We roamed the neighborhood or played in the backyard. We played board games and read books (seriously-books). There was of course no technology to keep us indoors.  Saturday morning cartoons and Sunday night Walt Disney were the only times we were glued to the television.

Teaching children to manage their own free time and create their own activities is an important skill.  When we don’t learn to do this as children, we grow up to be adults who expect to be entertained as well.  Know anyone like that?  Here are some great ways to encourage children to develop an independent mindset while taking responsibility for their own time management and entertainment.

 

Use a schedule

Even young children can understand a printed schedule that identifies such activities as bedtime, TV or video game time and free time.  Then define what free time is:  a time to use their own imagination to create opportunities for play. Once they understand that this is their special time, most children will look forward to it rather than look to the parent for guidance.

 

Brainstorm a List of Activities

Help your child develop a list or a notebook of activities that they could review to give themselves ideas as to how to fill free time.  Make sure there are lots of activities that don’t require someone else, a friend or you to participate.  Children need to learn to entertain themselves without always needing someone else to play with. Here are a couple of more resources to get the creative juices flowing:

Watch how this imaginative nine year old filled his summer days at his Dad’s auto parts shop:


Read a previous post on fun writing activities your child can do for the summer:

Ten Fun Summertime Writing Activitie

Expect Some Resistance

If you’ve been providing constant activity or resorting to video game babysitters when you are tired of it all, you can expect some whining and resistance to having to develop their own sense of imaginative play.  This is a good thing and a sign that you are working in the right direction.

Enjoy your summer while you slay the “I’m Bored Monster”!  Let me know in the comments below how it’s going.  What is your biggest summertime challenge with the kids?

Need some great books to share with your child for summer reading?  Check  out the Wyatt the Wonder Dog Book Series, children’s books with an empowering message.

Live in the Canton Georgia area?  Come see me at the book signing for the newest Wyatt book:

Book Signing

Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Winning

Three Sisters Gifts and Home Accents

6205 Hickory Flat Hwy Ste #106

Canton, Georgia

June 26, 2014

10:30-12:00

Fun for the kids!

Story time, refreshments and crafts