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

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Cherish the Moments: Summer 2017 

As I sit outside on a breezy, calm sunny afternoon, I feel happy and grateful to begin the summer. A summer that will be spent outdoors having backyard picnics, sinking our toes into dewy grass, reading books & pointing out patterns in the clouds. A summer that will be full of  visits to parks, playgrounds, & pools – running, jumping, swimming & playing hide & seek with friends. A summer that will be both wonderful and exhausting, long and hot — but by its end will seem as if we blinked and it was gone.

Of course, like any parent with a smartphone – there are always pictures – but not every moment in the sun (or the pool) can be photographed. Some moments are meant, I think, only to be experienced and enjoyed at the very moment they happen – and it’s up to us to catalog them in our brains and hold them fast in our hearts, remembering the feelings they gave us. Remembering the joy that a summer spent soaking in the sun with our children, families & friends brought us. Cherishing it. And being grateful that we had it.

1st Day of Summer
This morning, my children dragged a blanket out into the grass, along with a pile of books, shells, snacks and their brand new fidget spinners. We spent a delightful couple of hours taking turns reading to each other, pouring over their shell collection, teaching each other tricks with the spinners, and lying on the blanket finding cloud-shapes. My daughter surprised me by launching into narrative – making up her own story aloud in-the-moment, something I had never heard her do before. As she spun a tale of animals on a quest to touch a life-giving gem in a magical forest and her brother and I sat and listened, I felt it was one of those moments – the kind you want to wrap into your memory and hold forever, but also the kind you know you will never experience the same way again.

Soon after she finished her story, she & her brother ran to swing, jump & play – their next summer adventure already begun. Still sitting on the blanket in the warm sunlight, I picked up my book and turned the pages, my gaze moving slowing from the words to the cloud shapes moving above, listening to their voices & laughter mixed with the summer breeze.

Summer 2017 Book List: 

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Captain Underpants (#12) by Dav Pilkey

Dogman Unleashed by Dav Pilkey

Lego City – Fire Team Adventures 

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Stella and the Night Sprites by Sam Hay

Princess and the Page by Christina Farley

Summer Reading 2017
After our beautiful first morning in the sun, the kids & visited our local library and they picked out their first summer book haul & got officially signed up for the summer reading program. In addition to reading logs, they both received their first reading patch, a bookmark & a calendar of free activities they can attend. Beginning June 19th, kids can turn in their completed reading log to earn this years big reward – a creative tool belt! We usually complete and turn in our logs in late July, as I think stretching out the program and then getting a reward late in the summer helps boost them through the remaining days before school begins again.

Thank you for reading and visiting Space to Dream. I hope your summer has had as sweet a beginning as ours, and that you and the kids in your life are making time to read! Happy Summer! -Stacie