Summer reading week 2 (and a call out for recommendations for 10 to 12 year olds)

It is week two of the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge.  There is still a month of fun left if you and your kids would like to sign up for the free six week program here at the website.  Once you sign up you’ll begin receiving daily emails with literacy tips and activities from Scholastic and PBS Kids. To add to the fun there are daily contests and prizes, too.

What we are reading

This week I thought I would share with you some books that Lucy, my four year old, and Max, my six year old, and I have been enjoying reading together.

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And now he is six (want, need, wear, read)

My son Max is now six years old.  Six trips around the sun.  Six birthdays. Six years of amazement, silliness, and sweetness.

The only brother, surrounded on all sides by sisters, Max is shy, quiet, and curious about the world around him.  I hope you’ll allow this mother to gush as bit, because I have a few things I want to share about my Max.

My Max

Max is our miracle boy, the pregnancy we spent three difficult years hoping for, the news that we were having a son coming not many weeks before my father-in-law, John, passed away from lung cancer in 2005.

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Weekend Links and SKClean15

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Summer reading challenge: week 1

The iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge kicked off this week.  You and your kids can sign up for the free six week program here at the website.  Once you sign up you’ll begin receiving daily emails with literacy tips and activities from Scholastic and PBS Kids. To add to the fun there are daily contests and prizes, too.

Canadian readers:  a Simple Kids reader let me know about a great free Summer reading program for you, as well.  Steph says, “If you are in Canada, you can also sign up at any public library for the TD Summer Reading Club.”

Our Summer reading so far …

On Jillian”s list (age 10)

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine  In Jillian”s words, “I thought it was really good.  I like princess books where the princess isn”t just a normal princess but where she goes out and takes her life into her own hands.  The book was kind of like the movie, which I like, but there were more forest creatures in the book and more details.  I read the book in two days because it was so good I wanted to see what happened next.”

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Morning activities: start the day with play!

The following post is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore.

What’s the mood like in your house in the morning? My girls happen to wake up early most days, ready to go. I, however, am not nearly as perky as they are. I’m not big on plopping kids in front of the TV first thing in the morning (at least not every day), so I needed an alternative for my bright-eyed and bushy-tailed girls.

When my girls were preschool age, I started setting out an art, exploration, or play activity at night before I went to bed. I chose very simple activities that the girls could play with independently, often using toys that had been tucked away or art supplies we hadn’t used in a while. The set-up time was always under 5 minutes.

When we got up in the morning, the girls could jump right in and start playing. They were always so thrilled by the surprise of seeing a project first thing in the morning – even if it was just a bin of Legos spread out on the table or a stack of forgotten coloring books and new crayons. I could sit with them, have some morning conversation, and wake up over a cup of tea or coffee.

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