iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge: Week Two, A Mouse in Our House

The following was written by editor Kara Fleck.

Our family is joining in with the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge.  This is our second week on the challenge and we’re having a great time reading together!

To go along with the challenge, we’re using (and loving) Life As Mom’s Summer Survival Guide and following  the weekly themes that Jessica suggests.  This week, there was a mouse in our house. (Okay, not really, but it sure made for a fun theme)

Here is what we’ve been up to this week:

In Our Book Basket

I loved the books we read together this week! Good Night Moon and Stuart Little are favorites from my own childhood, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was a book that Jillian requested over and over as a toddler.  It was neat to be able to share these with the kids and to see them fall in love with them, too.

As I did last week, I made an effort to ask my pre-reading kids questions about the images in the books and about the characters. “What do you think happens next?” was a question that led to some discussion about the books and I think really engaged them in what we were reading.

Beyond the Page

One of my favorite things is to incorporate some simple art projects and crafts to go along with what we’re reading.  We had a good time exploring color through crayons and water color paints, inspired by the Mouse Paint book.

My husband and my oldest daughter had a special mid-week father/daughter “date” to the library. I loved that when he announced where they were going she was as excited as if he had announced they were going out for ice cream.  I also loved that they came home with a bag full of books and then they both immediately got down to the business of reading.  Fun!

I have been having some fun with food to go along with our themes, too.  We made these Strawberry Mice for a snack.  I served them with cheddar cheese wedges. Very cute and very tasty!

Let Older Children Read to Younger Children

We discovered that our library has a  collection of “seek and find” books, which was a real treat for the little kids.  Jillian got to practice her reading out loud skills by reading the books to Max and Lucy (which the two of them loved – positive attention from big sister is soaked up like a sponge around here).

All three of the kids got pretty silly together and it quickly has become a much anticipated morning tradition for Jillian to read to them.  You can bet we’ll be looking for more of these seek and find books on our next library trip.

Let Your Kids See YOU Reading

I think it is important, not only to make sure we read to our kids, but that our kids see us loving books and reading, too.

My hope is that we are setting an example for the kids that a love of learning and reading isn’t something that ends with childhood, but that can be a life-long joy.

Make Reading Together a Priority

This has been a pretty busy week for us.  I had a a few doctor’s appointments and we had some errands to run in preparation for the Father’s Day weekend ahead.  It has been a little hectic, to say the least.

But, we still made time for reading.

It was really nice to be able to connect with the kids by making sure we got one on one reading time with each of them and also to have time to read together as a family. I think those moments in this past week helped to anchor us and I’m thankful we kept it a priority.

How is your Summer reading going? Read any good books with your kids lately?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. I love your blog posts! I rarely comment, but always look forward to Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday when new posts arrive. My 7 year old son and I are reading Mouse and the Motorcycle this summer. I also have a 15 and 12 year old and my 15 yearold is reading the Harry Potter series to her siblings. Enjoy your summer reading!

  2. my toddler is really loving my kindergarten by rosemary wells

  3. My DS enjoys the “If You Give” books, and right now is requesting “Good Night, Moon” in Spanish with some frequency. The rhymes get more or less lost in the translation, but the illustrations at least have no language barrier.
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  4. Michelle W says:

    I came across your blog from 2 other blogs. We have 1 child, 7 yrs old, who is somewhat reluctant about reading aloud. I am constantly looking for ways to encourage with love. We have a bed time routine that incorporates story time but sometimes we miss it and I feel awful when we do. Thank you for the information on ROUTINES.

  5. They are such sweeties, i think that reading to younger siblings has so much value and creates a bond that they will remember for life
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  6. Summer is still a week away for us (school officially ends on Friday) but I am gearing up for summer reading! Love the idea of a weekly theme…I”ll have to check it out.

    Search and Find books are a fave here in the Wellburn house. We have a nice collection of Usbourne seek and find books and then also often get their puzzle books out of the library for G. (He loves anything to do with puzzles and logic) So glad your three are enjoying some reading time together! (and yes, positive oldest sibling attention is much sought after here too!)
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