Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer Fun : Keep Your Kids Reading and Learning


It is almost summer time.  The school year is coming to an end in Minnesota.  My youngest son has had another wonderful school year.  We were blessed with another wonderful teacher this year that helped to instill a love of reading in our little guy.  Trust me, this “bookworm mama” is very happy about that. 

He has discovered a love of mythology through Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.  He also discovered that a book *is* better than a movie through J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.     He and the neighborhood boys run around with sticks as wands exclaiming spells to each other.  I might have to sew him a cape yet.  Isn’t it amazing what a book can do for a child’s imagination! 

In our house we have always tried to promote reading and learning over the summer.  With my older kids we would have reading contests even when they were in middle and high school.  I would compete with them and sometimes their friends too.  The prize would be $20 and who ever read the most pages won!  That was a lot of fun and we would post the results on the wall and keep an eye on our competition. 

My hubby and I have always felt it was important to maintain the learning environment over the summer.  Here are some activities or places we have or plan to visit over the summer to continue the learning environment with our family.  Plus having a “bookworm mama”, she loves any excuse to do anything related to reading and learning! 

Summer Activities and Learning:

Guided Tour of St Paul Central Library ( bookworm mama’s pick)

Science Museum – King Tut Exhibit – 3rd grade learned about mummies this year so T is excited about this!

Wild Rumpus Bookstore – Minneapolis

The Landing – Minnesota River Heritage Park, - formerly Murphy’s Landing (part of the Museum Adventure Pass Program)

Geocaching – this is not a place …it is a scavenger hunt you do with a GPS to look for the hidden cache. They are hidden all over.

Chaska Valley Family Theatre –  Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka is the summer 2011 performance.  A family favorite in our house!  July 28th – August 7th, 2011

Wildlife Science Center – Forrest Lake, MN

Gibbs Museum of Pioneer Life – St Paul, MN

The Works – Hand on Engineering Museum – Edina, MN  (part of the Museum Adventure Pass Program)

Make sure you check out the Museum Adventure Pass program at the area libraries.   The Museum Adventure Program invites you to use your library card to check out a pass for up to 2 free admissions to participating destinations.   Participating destinations can be found on the program’s website


Don’t forget to check out your local library for more summer fun!   The following information is regarding the summer reading programs of the Ramsey County Library.   We go to the library once a week as a family and load up of books and movies.  The library is a great resource for summer fun and FREE!!!

Bookawocky: A Celebration of Summer Reading Children's Summer Reading Program


Program Dates:  June 11 - August 21, 2011

Get reading with "Bookawocky," Ramsey County Library's 2011 Summer Reading Program! Designed to inspire and encourage children of all ages to read as much as they want throughout the summer, the Summer Reading Program is a fun way to explore new books all summer long.

To participate:
Ages 4 and under -
Pick up a special reading record at your local library. Color in an item each day you read or have books read to you. After 10 days of reading, bring the record to any Ramsey County Library for a prize!

Ages 5 - 12 - Track the amount of time you spend reading with a reading record from Ramsey County Library. After recording 10 and 20 hours, present your reading record to library staff to receive prizes.
The Summer Reading Program is sponsored by the Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries and Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), with additional contributions from Minnesota State Fair, Culver's Family Restaurants and Waterpark of America.

Special Events:
Ramsey County Library’s annual summer reading program kick-off will be held on Saturday, June 18th from 10am to 4 pm. 

Refreshments, crafts, entertainment and, of course your summer reading materials will be available a the festival.  Community sponsored activities include the Roseville Fire Department large ladder truck, Culver’s ice Cream, members of the Ramsey County K-9 Unit and Ramsey County Historical Society informational table.  Don’t miss your chance to participate in out first-ever hula-hoop contest for a chance to win a family pack of tickets to the Waterpark of America. 

Many other events are scheduled at your local libraries, ranging from Family Film Night to Wii Gaming for the Under 10 Crowd.   We love the Library!!

Summer Book Clubs
The following book clubs are geared towards students entering 4th and 5th grade.  Find book titles on the library’s website or by calling the hosting library.  Space limited; register early at the library. 

Wednesdays, 2pm
June 15, 22, 29/July 13, 20
RCL – Maplewood 
Registration not required. Bring your own book.
Thursdays. 2 pm
July 7, 14, 21, 28
RCL – White Bear Lake

POSTER_SummerRead2011Summer book clubs also offered at the following libraries:  Shoreview, Mounds View, North St Paul, and Roseville.    Call your library for more details. 

**Summer reading program information from RCL publication: BookaWocky a Celebration of summer reading. 


Great Online Resource:

Book Adventure is a free online program that gives students in grades K-8 even more reasons to discover the joys and rewards of a good book.

Kids can:Book Adventure

  • Create book lists online from more than 7,000 titles
  • Take interactive quizzes
  • Earn points towards prizes


Suggested Third Grade Books and Authors

*provided by Mrs. Norman, Magnuson Christian School – 3rd Grade Teacher

A Cricket in Times Square
On My Honor
Taste of Blackberries
Charlotte’s Web
How to Eat Fried Worms
The Cay
There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom
Freckle Juice
Abel’s Island
The Drinking Gourd
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
The Indian in the Cupboard
Sign of the Beaver
The Doll People
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Old Yeller
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
A Wrinkle in Time
Maniac Magee
The Summer of the Swans
Missing May
Walk Two Moons

Authors and Book Series Worth Reading

Kate DiCamillo
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series
Percy Jackson
Tina Nolan
Holly Webb
Geronimo Stilton Series
Guardians of Ga’Houle Series
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Little House on the Prairie
Philip Pullman
Patricia MacLaughlin
The Babysitters Club Series
Just Grace Series
John Coy
Schooling Around Series
Mike Lupica
Harry Potter Series
Carl Hiaasen
Andrew Clements
Gary Paulsen
Beverly Cleary
Rick Riordan
Judy Blume
Chronicles of Narnia Series
Roald Dahl
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Ann Martin
Matt Christopher

Worthwhile Websites


Summer is a wonderful time for family fun, learning and adventure.  I hope you find the time to make memories together as a family this summer.  Children learn by example, so pick up a book and sit outside on a lovely summer day and enjoy a book together!!  Summer seem to go by so quickly, so make your plans early!  


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