Our Sarah was fifteen months old when I started teaching her to ready with that “Your Baby Can Read” program. I got it before the whole thing was “infomercialed” into a $300 set…from an Usbourne Books gal and then made my own flash cards on my computer with clip art. Once a child understands the concept of the written word, their vocabulary and whole world just expand exponentially!
Summer Reading Programs are a great way to keep that love of learning a books going for your kids in over the summer as they can earn free books and other fun stuff too!
What is neat – you can “double or triple dip” by using the same weekly reading over several different programs. You can do a “google” search for different programs in your area — I suggest starting with your public library! Ours has a different theme each year and a booklet that they get. Each week, you bring it back for a stamp and little gift, with a grand prize at the end of the 8 weeks. Our local aquatic center has a giant party that the kids earn admission to…but along the way they earn free pizza, stickers, pumpkin patch admissions and more! Add a few of the following and you can really rake in the goodies as a positive reinforcement for a great lifelong habit.
My next favorite is Half Price Books.
Half-Price Books “Feed Your Brain” – where your kids can make money on reading! Kids under 14 can earn a $3 Half-Price Books gift card each week (up to $27 if you participate every week) for every week they read at least 15 minutes a day from June 1 to July 31. Talk about a rewarding reading program! Take that $3 right over to the kids section and that easily translates into 2 or 3 books! What a way to build your own library! We let Sarah pick out 1 book and then, pick out the rest that she will “grow into” as she has plenty of books at her current first grade reading level. We got a few reading lists and have collected a few “chapter books” for upcoming bedtime reading.
Then, add on the Borders “Double Dog Dare” – for kids under 12 you earn a free book after reading 10 books There are 10 titles to choose from for your free book. Starts May 4 and ends August 26. Before you sign up for this, make sure that one of the ten books would interest you.
Our daughter is too young for the program of Barnes & Noble’s. – For kids in Grades 1 thru 6, you can earn a free book after reading 8 and some locations also have a regularly scheduled story time (check find an event for your store). Starts May 25 and ends September 7.
Again, check around to see what else is available for you locally, these are just a few of our favorites that are on our plan of attack. Some have started already so get out there and get started!