The best part of summer is . . .
We'd all fill in the blank just a little differently, right? For me and my oldest daughter, summer reading would be right at the top of the list. The freedom to select any book, the great expanse of time (at least in childhood) to immerse yourself in the story, spending lazy afternoons in a hammock with your favorite characters!! So good.
Our local library does a wonderful job of incentivizing time spent reading, encouraging children to track every 10 minutes spent reading or listening to someone read to them. For every 10 minutes, they color in a bubble on a big sheet to keep track of how much reading they're doing. Once they build up to 250 minutes, they receive a fun pack of restaurant coupons and stickers. The 10-minute increment feels like just enough for my 5-year old, and my 8- and 10-year olds can't wait to rack up bubbles. I like that it's time spent reading and not number of books or pages because those often move all of us to speed read or breeze over some of the best books!
Inspired by the good work of our local library, we created our own goal this summer - a family goal. How much time will all five of us (parents included!) spend reading? Knowing that the girls that spent 24 and 27 hours in reading last summer, we went big and bold with 100 hours as a family!
We're already digging in.
To track our family progress, we created this poster-sized gumball machine printable. For every ten minutes any of us reads, we get to stamp on a gumball. We have a ton of the dot markers from preschool days so we're using those as the gumballs, but colored circles or dot stickers would work just as well.
We've only just begun, but it's already fun to see all that we can accomplish together. And from previous summers I know that the joy of filling in a bubble or stamping a gumball quickly transitions into the delight of a good plot and the joy of moving the bookmark.
I created a letter-sized printable for your children to track their goal and work to reach it! Post the gumball machine somewhere that everyone can cheer along (and make sure it's cheer only and not criticism). You can, of course, do individual tracking with this free printable or subscribe to the newsletter and get a free printable poster to track family goals.
We haven't pinned down what our final goal will obtain - maybe a trip to the bookstore with a book for everyone? Or a field trip into the library in Chicago? Undetermined but I love that none of us are too worried about it. It's the reading in between that brings the most fun.
If you're joining us in the 18 Summers Challenge and are wondering what's up for tomorrow, we're making the most of strawberry season with an easy strawberry shortcake that you and the kids can create together. Or you can make it all for yourself because strawberries are good for you, right?