As you know, we are big fans of *free* around here. Most of our summer fun involves taking advantage cheap or free community programs at the local museum, rec center, out-door malls and the library. The last couple years we have signed the boys up for the summer reading program. When you have a goal with prizes at the end, there's lots of incentive to spend 30 minutes reading instead of watching TV. Even Thing Two gets prizes (like a board book), if his parents read to him.
I think it's important for kids to think reading is fun, not a chore. I posted a while ago about the book bags that I make for them sometimes, and our Eric Carle theme day. This summer I've tried to encourage Thing One to read all over the place and be creative with it.
When he started getting board with his thirty minutes of reading time, I made him this:
A reading adventure map! The idea is to read one book in each secret spot. Thing One actually has a "reading tent" set up in his room all the time (just one of those little play tents), so that was easier that it sounds. We put a couple of pillows in the dry bath tub and he thought that was the best reading spot ever!
I also think it's important to show Thing One and Thing Two that even grown ups like to read. As hard as it is for me to fit reading in, I do want to read books; learn new things, and get fresh perspective on stuff. So I've tried especially this year put reading on my priorities list. It's still hard to fit it in, but I want them to see me reading and checking out library books too. Actually checking out books from the library is great for me because then I have a deadline. Even if I have six weeks to read it, that's a deadline and it keeps it on my to do list.
I just finished reading Unpoverty and One Thousand Gifts, both of which I recommend. They are the kind of books that refocus our purpose and give me the perspective that I unfortunately have to be reminded of all the time. Earlier in the year I read The Tehran Initiative by Joel Rosenberg am now racing a due date to finish his third book in the series: The Damascus Count Down. Next on my list are 7: And Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, and When Helping Hurts. What are you reading? Any suggestions of books I should add to my list?