Summer Reading 2017: July Edition

With the end of July in sight, the heat still climbing outside – my kids & I have been making a local tour of snowball stands, splash pads & even turned our backyard into a wet obstacle course! We’ve also been reading like mad, so much so that we stopped keeping track of reading minutes on their reading logs or the number of books we’ve finished together.

A Little Free Library Full of Books!
As of July 15th, our library Summer Reading Program (& activities) have now ended, but kids can still turn in their reading logs through August 12th. Today, my kids were happy to receive their reading certificates. I’m very proud that they & so many other kids are Building a Better World! 

Building a Better World with Books!

While the number one thing the Summer Reading Program does is encourage kids to read, the next best thing is the free, creative activities. My kids loved building structures out of straws, minecraft people out of blocks, and airplanes out of construction paper. A great activity for both parents and kids was Lego Robotics, where families worked together to build & code robots! Perhaps their most challenging activity was the Lego structure competition, where they worked together to build a creation on the theme “Build a Better World with Books.” Judged on their building skills, creativity and ability to explain their structure, they were surprised to receive 2nd place in their age category!

Lego Competition 2nd place Winners!
Summer is still swinging, and we will still be reading in the weeks ahead. In fact, as we left the library today, my daughter was already cracking open her newest find, reading it in the car as we spent our day out and about. When we arrived home, having spent a couple hot hours outside, she carried the book inside, exclaiming at the miracle of air-conditioning. And a minute later? Her nose was, happily, stuck in a book. 🙂💖📚

Thank you for reading, and for visiting Space to Dream. Happy Summer Reading! Have a wonderful day. -Stacie


Summer Reading 2017: June’s End 

It’s the last week of June, and just that like that – we are halfway through summer. We’ve had equal amounts of rain and sun, some days so filled with activities that I haven’t noticed the hours passing by. Perhaps my favorite days, though, have been the ones where we haven’t had much on the calendar. In those moments, the kids have done some simple but amazing things: taken nature walks (painting rocks they found afterwards), flown kites, gone fishing, found a quiet corner to read a new book, and created new games with old toys. I can’t think of anything more satisfying as a parent than seeing them use their imaginations and find beauty in ordinary things.

One of the simple things we have loved doing together is visiting Little Free Libraries. We have one at our local city park that we visit frequently, but we’ve also visited others on day trips and on our cross-country summer vacation to Illinois. What I love most about these little libraries is their variety, not only in books, but also in the colorful, fun way people build and decorate them. My favorite one so far is a repurposed London Telephone Box in my hometown of Bloomington, Illinois.

To find the Little Free Libraries near you, go to:

This summer my kids and I have found books in many places: our local library, bookstores, yard sales, coffee shops, a juice bar, little free libraries. Some books we’ve borrowed, others we’ve exchanged (“take one, leave one”), and the rest we’ve purchased at reduced prices with the little pocket money we carry. The best finds are the unexpected ones, and I love seeing the kids reactions at those moments – it’s truly like seeing them in a candy store, but it’s books!

And books, without a doubt, are so much sweeter. 🙂


Jumping into June

With June has come the rain, and we’ve spent our first couple of summer weeks mostly indoors. Though I know we all long for a day of sunlight and outdoor fun, the kids and I have had a lot of creative fun indoors, as well as reading time. I managed to read a novel in a week (The Chilbury Ladies choir, by Jennifer Ryan – a wonderful historical fiction novel set in Britain during WWII that celebrates the power of music that I highly recommend) — as well as read along with some of the kids book picks. We’ve also had some lovely visits to the library, where we picked out new books for the month, played a variety of games, and learned about flight around the world! The kids had fun making and flying their own paper airplanes.

A rainy day spent in the library
The kids learn about flight around the world

June Kids Book List:

Katie and the Cupcake War, Cupcake Diaries series by Coco Simon

Mia’s Boiling Point, Cupcake Diaries series by Coco Simon (not pictured above)

Pokemon XY, story by Hidenori Kusaka, Art by Satoshi Yamamoto

Tigers at Twilight, Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

Welcome to Camden Falls, Main Street series, by Ann M. Martin

Gemma the Gymnastics Fairy, Rainbow Magic series, by Daisy Meadows

Bailey the Babysitter Fairy, Rainbow Magic series, by Daisy Meadows (not pictured above)

Violet in Bloom, a Flower Power Book, by Lauren Myracle (not pictured above)

The Secret of the Fairies, Thea Stilton series (not pictured above)

Tales from a NOT-SO-Friendly Frenemy, Dork Diaries series, by Rachel Renee Russell (not pictured above)

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by David Roberts

What Eats What in a Rain Forest Food Chain, by Lisa J. Amstutz, illustrated by Anne Wertheim

Kids June Book Picks

What I’m currently reading: The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

What I’m reading next: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

As the rain continues to fall outside our windows, I’m hoping for sunny summer days ahead in the second half of June! We’ll be heading up north via long-distance train to visit Mimi & Papaw, and of course we’ll be packing books to read along our journey.

Thanks for reading, watching – and for visiting Space to Dream. Have a wonderful day, and stay tuned for more summer reading adventures!