17 Summer Reading Logs & Rewards {with free printables}

17 Summer Reading Logs & Rewards {with free printables}

Inspiration for Summer reading with fun reading logs & rewards for kids!

As parents, we know that connecting the kids with books throughout the summer months is SUCH a good thing. 

Summer reading helps them to keep their vocab and comprehension skills strong so those first weeks back to school are much easier!

But honestly, keeping them reading can be a challenge with all the other fun activities they have going on -- like the pool and friends and s'mores by the fire ... not to mention the availability of technology and the desire to get sticky, dirty and wet any chance they get ;)

Which is why this first post in our 105 Days of Free Summer Fun includes awesome ideas & freebies that will not only inspire your kids to read but also allow us to retain our 'cool Mom/Dad' status without constantly bugging them to pick up a book!

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18 Paper Airplanes, Plane Crafts & Books about Flying

Planes have been a long-standing thing at our house -- paper airplanes, plane games & flying with kids.

My son was BIG into paper airplanes as a kid and both of our kids became proficient travelers by the time they were five.

But I think my fondest airplane memory will be one that happened when my daughter was young -- she had this special family game she would ask use to play -- Going on a Plane!

She would set up 2 chairs next to each other and pretend we were flying off to Disney World (we visited there a number of times as my parents live about an hour from the park) or some other far off place from a book we read. 

It's one of those adorable moments that I'll remember because she & her "flying companion" would have these elaborate conversations about places they would visit and things to do.  Sometimes she would take Nani or her older brother; other times, her favorite stuffed animal would go with her.

So today's book & activity collection is All Things Planes -- for kids who enjoy traveling, flying or wanna-be pilots!

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Favorite Kids Books about Summer

Enjoy these favorite kids' books about summer that inspire favorite summertime activities!

Summer is the time to kick back, relax and enjoy those long, don't-need-a-schedule type of days. 

Kids relish in having time to explore, create and head out on a few adventures. 

Plus fun reading ideas always make it on our Summer bucket lists!

And there are so many wonderful activities that you can only do during summer -- catching fireflies, visiting the fair, enjoy cold treats on a hot day, spending a day near the water and having a lemonade stand.

It's also the perfect time to reconnect with the kids -- those long summer days allow parents and kids more time together to talk and learn about each other.

This week's book list focuses on those popular summer moments & traditions. 

We've hand-picked picture books, early readers and chapter books that all share the joy of summertime along with some fun reading & writing activities to kick-off a few get-to-know-me discussions!

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Great Wilderness Adventure Books for Ages 9 - 12

With the first official day of summer coming this week, I sat down to review our summer reading list.

Since I know first hand that it can be somewhat challenging to get those older kids reading during the summer months (or reading something OUTSIDE of their normal 'book type'), I always like to have some go-to chapter books on hand.

One of our favorite genres during the summer are outdoor adventure books -- stories where kids are up against nature and must do some quick thinking and use their survival skills to get through a tough situation.

Those books where kids think "Man, I wish I could have an adventure like that!"

So today's book list is for all those adventurous spirits out there -- both boys & girls -- who wonder what it would be like to be lost in the woods or shipwrecked alone on an island.

Stories like these help our kids to think about how they might 'step up' and handle a challenging situation when there are no adults to lead the way. 

And they're sure to entice and capture the attention of even the most reluctant of readers!

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10 Books for a Day at the Beach or Lake

10 Books for a Day at the Beach or Lake

Wonderful books about the beach and lake that are perfect for that summer reading list!

There are SO many things to do at the beach! 

Have you tried any of these Science at the Beach activities?

But a day on the sand or at the lake can tire out even the most active of kids so be sure to bring along a few books for the trip. 

Or better yet, take them in the car for some before-beach fun.   

Kids can learn a TON while digging in the sand or floating on the water and these books will inspire them to explore items they may find and enjoy some downtime on the blanket.

Which means some downtime for you too -- so don't forget to take along a book for yourself ;)

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Classic Children's Books for Every Season

Do you introduce vintage and classic books to your kids?

You know, those books we so LOVED as children during a time when the characters set off on their own adventures and didn't have cell phones, or tv in some cases, so they had to make their own fun.

Sharing vintage books with kids is such an important way to build their love of reading and also share fond memories of how their parents and grandparents were raised. 

Since we've curated a number of book lists featuring classic reads for kids over the past year, I wanted to bring them all together in one post for easy reference.

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Around the World in 30 Books -- A Trip Across the Globe

Use this great list of picture books about countries & cities around the world to raise a global citizen!

I don't know when it started but I've always been fascinated with maps, globes and learning about places around the world

I love to see how people across the globe eat, live and spend their day.  These everyday activities are a fun way to expose kids to cultures and traditions outside of their own.

But alas, globe-trotting just doesn't come that easy -- even for a traveling family like ours.  It's expensive and takes quite a bit of time and planning. 

So for years, I've made a conscious effort to introduce my kids to different countries and cultures thorough books, videos and some fun hands-on activities we can do close to home.

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20 Children's Books Told via Snail Mail & Letters

Wonderful picture books about mail & letters for kids who love the idea of 'snail mail'!

I know that so many of us live in the world of text messages and emails but let's face it, young kids LOVE snail mail!

While we get bills, unwanted advertisements and the occasional good news, kids always receive fun things in the mail -- letters from Grandma, birthday wishes from family, the toy catalog sent during the holidays :)

My kids have always looked forward to "getting the mail".

And I too love that feeling of reading a letter -- a personal note from someone that shares something special.

So this week, our book list celebrates all the fun communication you'll find in your mailbox!

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65+ Kids Books to Add to Your Reading List this Year

 

I'm a list-making kind of girl.  Pen and paper for me (my tech-saavy teen thinks I'm so old school!) 

And every January, I have a penchant for making booklists!

We love reading at our house and are always visiting the library, looking for new books to devour.  So I've found that having a list really helps.  I have a list for myself and also encourage the kids to add to it so I know what books they're dying to read.

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Summer Book Exchange: Owl & Mouse Activities

We were involved in a wonderful book exchange program this summer that was coordinated by my friend Kim from The Educator's Spin on It

The Summer Book Exchange included 30 bloggers who each chose a great book for summer reading, created some fun activities & crafts to go along with the story and packed it all up in a box to exchange with a 'surprise' partner.

 

 Summer Book Exchange

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Featured

15 Amazing Vintage Summer Reads for Kids

I'm a huge fan of kids lit! 

I know, no surprise there if you've read even a few of my posts which include more than 70 themed Book Lists for Kids.

But even more than kids stories, I'm a big lover of vintage & classic children's books -- the really great stories that we all heard as kids or may have even been read by our parents & grandparents in their childhood. 

It's these amazing books that should still be read with kids today!

So many of these classics for kids were written with a message or moral, the illustrations are gorgeous and the text is poetic. 

And not only with your kids will adore them but you'll enjoy reminiscing back to your own childhood as you share these stories!

In order to help parents & teachers sift though the millions of kids books to find gems that will be treasured, we've created a set of seasonal lists of classic kids literature that's sure to please!

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Kids Books that Celebrate Fireworks, the Flag and July 4th

Each summer, our kids look forward to seeing fireworks on July 4th. 

We have a great spot where we are able to view firework displays for 3 locations and my daughter's favorite part is sitting on the top of the car to see them.

July 4th is a great time to talk with kids about some of the things that make our country so special. 

As a child, you tend to think that everyone in the world lives the way you do - because that's really all you know when you're young.  So it's important to begin discussions that will help children to appreciate the opportunities they have in America.

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Map Activities for Kids & Summer Reading

We're having some fun with maps this summer!  I love using maps as a learning tool with the kids.  Maps help teach geography, directions, reading skills and so much more.

Previously, I shared Why Every Home Needs a Map - 7 Fun Ways to Introduce Kids to Geography.  Today I want to expand on one of those ideas by sharing how you and the kids can connect geography with your summer reading.

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16 Zoo Animal Books for Children

16 Zoo Animal Books for Children

Enjoy these wonderful picture & chapter books about zoo animals before your next visit!

One of the most popular activities that I've seen on many summer bucket lists (including ours!) is a visit to the zoo

We can't wait to head out to spend some time with our local polar bears, giraffes and monkeys this year. 

We love to read a book before we head out to see our animal friends. 

Or better yet, take a book with you on your next zoo visit and read it WITH the animals!

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Our Summer Bucket List

 

Well, today's the day!  It's the last day of school for the kids here. 

As I put the finishing touches on this post, my oldest is completing his final exams and my youngest is enjoying the school talent show. 

They will both come home with light backpacks, a smile on their faces and to our familiar family tradition of yelling "We're on VA-CA-TION!" as they enter the door!

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