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Once again summer is upon us. The first day of summer hasn’t actually arrived yet but somehow we always equate summer beginning with the end of the school year. Hopefully your children had a more normal school year than the last one, but if you have been paying attention to news articles, it seems that reading scores and literacy rates are falling even lower here in Michigan. Everyone will tell you that the solution is to read over the summer. Simple right? Not necessarily. Forcing kids to read is not the answer and you know that telling them that something is good for them will just make them balk. The answer? Combine reading with fun activities that will also build background knowledge.
Things to consider?
Nature, nature, NATURE!
So grab some sunglasses and SPF and head for the outdoors, leaving that screen behind.
Take a hike and see what you see. Fill a backpack with water, binoculars, a magnifying glass, a compass, flashlight and any other essentials you think you might need (a snack perhaps?) Also include a notebook and pen to jot down what you see or even bring a camera (or your phone) to take photos, which you can later use to create a scrapbook.
Some of our favorite books to encourage a love of nature:
For that budding ornithologist, grab some binoculars, a notebook and a pen and listen for the songs from our fine feathered friends to locate birds in your backyard, in the forest or just at the park. Something that can also be done from a bedroom window. Have children build a feeder or a birdhouse as a summer project. And make sure to read all about birds as well!
If these don’t appeal to your child, think about including other outdoor activities such as gardening (both veggies and flowers), camping, studying plants, trees, bugs, animals, rocks, lakes and oceans. Read both fiction and non-fiction books and head outside to explore the nature around you whenever you get the chance.
Looking for more titles about nature and gardening?
Browse through our book lists:
Happy reading and adventuring!
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest additions, a daughter (now 6) for Kate, and two sons (now 4 and 2) for Amanda. We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.