iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge: Wrapping Up

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

This Summer, my kids and I have been joining in with iVillage and PBS Kids for their reading program.  We’re wrapping up the Summer Reading Community Challenge.  We’ll be celebrating with a party at our library tomorrow.

However, our Summer reading experience is far from over.  We’ll be continuing the fun, and the book love, for the rest of the summer (and beyond).

Hopefully, the rest of you will be enjoying reading with your kids, too.

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Book Review: 15 Minutes Outside

The following post is by contributor Emily Carter of The Pilot’s Wife.

We are outdoor people, no question about it. The picture above is my 32 month old picking through a box of worms to help his Grandpa go fishing.

So far this summer we’ve enjoyed hiking, swimming, park playing, hitting up our local farmer’s market, and much more.  Summertime just begs you to get out of doors and revel in all that glorious sunshine, doesn’t it?

I have to admit, though, I sometimes struggle with finding creative ways to get our little family off the couch and into nature. Especially when the temperatures soar above 100 degrees or in the dead of winter when it seems so much more appealing to snuggle up under blankets and watch a movie.

When a friend recommended the book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids, I thought that sounded like a book I needed to read.

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My Summer Reading List

The following post is by Simple Kids editor Kara Fleck.

This summer I’ve been sharing with you some of the children’s books that my kids are reading as part of the iVillage PBS Kids Community Summer Reading Challenge.  I have really liked hearing what books you are enjoying with your kids, too.

I’ve mentioned to you before that I feel like one of the best gifts we can give our children to encourage their literacy is to let them see the adults in their life reading and enjoying books. Today, I thought I would share with you the books that you would have been able to catch me reading so far this summer.
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Weekend Link Love

The Best of Both Worlds: Bringing Our Favorite Indoor Activities to the Outdoors

The following post originally appeared on Simple Kids in May 2010.

Here in the Midwest, the warmer days are being ushered in with the return of bikes, trikes, skateboards, and wagons rolling down the sidewalks in my neighborhood.  While we have been experiencing our fair share of rainy days this Spring, when the sun is shining my children and I want to be outside as much as we can.

In addition to riding bikes and wagon rides, my kids enjoy simple outdoors pleasures like blowing bubbles and drawing with sidewalk chalk.

My family has happily discovered that some of the things we enjoy doing inside take on a new dimension of fun when moved outside.

Our favorite Indoor/Outdoors Activities:


Lunch is twice as nice when served outdoors as a picnic.  Pack up some of your child”s favorite portable lunch food, snacks, or finger foods, an old blanket you don”t mind getting a little dirty, and pick a spot to set up the scene. Even peanut butter and jelly seems special when served outdoors and your kids will be delighted!

If you don”t have a picnic basket, Muffin Tin Meals lend themselves especially well to outdoor dining – just pull out your muffin tin, fill each cup with something to eat, and carry the tin outside along with some drinks. There”s no need to worry about plates or silverware – just let everyone nibble from the tin. You”re all set for some picnic fun!

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