Edmonds Kind of Play: Summer reading programs for all ages

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While I am in full denial that school is about to be over, it is getting harder and harder to ignore the signs of summer: antsy kids, emails from the school librarian, and back-to-school sales being advertised. Even the weather is a departure from the “Juneuary” that we expect.

Another main sign of summer for us is getting all of the info on the local summer reading programs. The summer reading programs we do, Sno-Isle Libraries and Barnes and Noble, serve a few purposes at our house. Obviously, to keep the reading muscle gained during the school year, but also to give the kids a chance, and the motivation, to earn something on their own. So not only am I not the bad guy who wants them to read, they are typically quiet during whatever duration they read for. I still have to sit with my youngest, so it doesn’t allow for the kind of time and space it takes to finish an episode of “Inside Amy Schumer” on the DVR, but it does lower the chaos level, temporarily.

Every year, the Sno-Isle Libraries summer reading program is full of free events and activities for not only kids, but teens too. Per their website, last year more than 10,000 kids participated. This year, with Explore Summer 2015, the library urges kids to “Join us so we can explode that number and have even more kids this summer!” Kids can pick up their superhero adventure log at any Sno-Isle Library, or print one at home. It takes 10 hours of reading to earn a free book, which comes with a bookmark that challenges each kid to become a “Power Reader” by finishing 40 more hours of reading for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD 6. With entries being due on Aug. 16, that is around 50 minutes a day if you start on the first day of summer to reach “Power Reader” status. You can find all the info at Sno-Isle.org/SummerKids or Sno-Isle.org/SummerTeens, if you have a “tween” I would suggest checking out both as some events in each might work out for you!

IMG_1877Now, let’s talk about those events! There is an Explore Summer Kickoff on Tuesday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. with The Comic Adventures of a Super, Not-So-Super Hero! This event for school-agers will include “magic, juggling, music, and LOTS of physical comedy help tell the story of Gertrude Gumstuck.” While you can find all the events online, I fully suggest stopping by the library and grabbing the brochure to see all the events throughout the Sno-Isle Libraries. Last year one of my kids’ favorite events happened at the Mukilteo Library. If you chose to stay in Edmonds, events range from a few “Minecraft Mondays” for kids ages 1 to 15, to the Grand Finale of an Insect Safari. I was happy to see that the library is keeping a Storytime this summer. Instead of having a few classes throughout the week based on age, each Friday at 11 a.m. from July 10 through Aug. 14, there will be one Preschool Storytime for kids ages 5 and under. I am also excited that two of our favorites, Reading with Rover and the 4th Saturday Lego Slam, will be on the Explore Summer schedule, as well.

I stopped by Barnes and Noble in Lynnwood today to pick up their “Imagination’s Destination” Summer Reading Journal, which you can find in the store, across from Babies ‘R Us on Alderwood Mall Parkway or online at bn.com/summerreading. This reading program, which requires reading eight books to earn a new one, is geared for kids in 1st through 6th grade, though last year when my youngest was a soon-to-be kindergartener, the was able to participate.

Like the library, Barnes and Noble is also having a kickoff event to celebrate a “summer of reading” this Saturday, June 13 from 2 to 4 p.m.. There will be crafts, games and prizes, a scavenger hunt and kids can meet Author Trudi Trueit, who will be signing her books. I see that they will be having another event on June 20, the day before Father’s Day, with story time, free gift wrap, and a necktie craft for Dad. And I not only stopped by Barnes and Noble to get the reading journal. As part of their kids club, those signed up get a free treat for their birthday and I picked up a S’mores cookie for my youngest, who just celebrated his birthday.

I am mostly telling you for insurance that at least some portion of that cookie is left when he gets home today. Not that I wouldn’t feel mostly justified in claiming it as my own considering that I not only threw him the “best birthday party ever,” but he has cut his own hair twice in the last few weeks, assuring me it was just that “sometimes when I fall down, my hair pops off.”

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx
Jen Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds Mom of two young boys, is a traffic reporter by dawn and writer and PBJ maker by day. She is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can find her trying to make sense of begging kids to ” just eat the mac n cheese” at SnackMomSyndrome.com. If you have a kid-friendly event you’d like to share, email her at play@myedmondsnews.com.

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