Sweetness of Reading Campaign
The Sweetness of Reading

Summer time reading creates important memories.  We often mark time by the books we read at different ages and stages of our lives. Summer vacations from school are important growth moments, important gateway to rites of passage, provide “ah ha” moments and self-discovery.  That’s why summer reading is so important in a child’s life.

Here are some ideas to incorporate books into summer time play:

  1. Create a recipe that fits with the THEME, STORY or CHARACTER of the book-

    Every book has a food, drink, holiday, family moment, outdoor adventure… or something that can remind you of a food, beverage or recipe.  Discover what that is in the story and make it!
  2. Act out a chapter, a page or an entire picture book with costumes, props and live action.    
    Find a fun, adventurous, scary, sad, or humorous book or section of a book and give out the parts.  Make your own costumes with household items and PUT ON  A SHOW for the family, for friends, at a birthday party, or summer eve.
  3. Paint a story
    Pick a character, scene, prop or costume from a story and make it, paint it, draw it, color it.
  4. Create a Sensory Box
    Every book activates your senses in some way.  Does your book take place in the forest?  Make a sensory SMELL BOX with things that may remind you of the forest.
    Do your characters wear unique clothing? Have funny hair? Live in interesting placed?  Make a TEXTURE BOX with things you find in and around your house that remind you of your story, character, setting.  Does your story have unique food? Make a TASTE BOX with things that remind you of the country, city, home your characters come from.
  5. Create a GAME to play based on your book .
    Any book or story can be turned into a board game, a physical game, or a card game.
  6. Brain storm on a White board 
    White boards are GREAT for brain storming.  Brain storm names for your character’s pets, parents, friends, or places your characters would go on vacation!   I love my new white board which I got from bootstrapboards.  It is light weight, easy to use, and adhesive on any wall or closet.  Turn your kids room, closet or bedroom door into a creative brainstorming WHITE BOARD writing and doodle surface.

Reading is a great solitary and quiet time activity.  Important for everyone.  But in today’s fast paced digital world getting kids to read has MUCH COMPETITION.  Make reading ACTIVE and EXCITING.  Share your thoughts with me about your ideas. Happy Summer Reading!

Author Reading at Palomino Elementary


What a treat to share Too Many Visitors for One Little House  with Ms. Lauren Grabois’  bright and creative 1st grade class at Palomino Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. 

The children were so excited to meet an author and  share thoughts about how authors gets their ideas.  Each and every one of children realized they had so many experiences —  funny, sad, happy, even scary that could be turned into their own stories!

The highlight of the day for the kids was meeting in the flesh, the real live Grandma and Grandpa from the story. Grandma and Grandpa became instant stars as the kids gathered around with hugs and questions. 

As the kids  asked questions about the family and the dog from the story, we decided, then and there, to launch a DOG NAMING CONTEST.

Be on the look-out  — teachers, librarians,parents and kids-  for news about the Too Many Visitors for One Little House upcoming  DOG NAMING CONTEST.

Thank you children for the beautiful pictures and thank-you notes you made for me.  Thank you Ms. Grabois and Principal Dr. Ana Ramos for having me as a guest at your wonderful school.

Exploring a Child’s Imagination to Inspire a Love for Reading

I have often experienced how imagination plays a major role in the way kids process, learn and acquire curiosity. When children experience something new they often internalize that experience by drawing, playing make-believe, creating games, or making up stories.

My middle son is a perfect example of this. After his first trip to the aquarium at about age 7 he ran into the house and began drawing. For days he drew pictures of sharks, whales and fish. I realized that drawing was his way of expanding his imagination and of connecting with the amazing world of the sea. The more he drew the more motivated he got to learn about sea creatures, read books about them and watch Discovery programs about them.

Another time, after a family trip to England, he started drawing castles, cathedrals and medieval knights. His imagination got so piqued that he begged me to take fencing lessons. (Today he is an star fencer on his college fencing team.)

Kids explore their world and deepen their curiosity by exercising their imagination. How can we use the power of their imagination to develop a love for reading? Deepen your child’s reading experience by incorporating reading as an extension of play. Encourage your kids to play make believe, put on skits, using characters and stories from books they read. Use books as substrate for arts and craft projects. Take your kids to the theater or movies related to books they read. Make books a part of your child’s imaginative life and surely that will help develop thier love for reading.

Anyone have their own thoughts and experiences about how to inspire kids with a love for reading? Please share.

Susan Chodakiewitz