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Favorite SummerReads for 2022

by Lorna McGrath

One of the many things that teachers do in the first few days of school is to ask children to talk about, write about, or in some way describe their summer activities. You remember that, right?

For some of us that was easy and fun because, maybe, we like to write (especially about ourselves) or we did a lot of things and went to a lot of places. But for others, this project might feel more challenging or even discouraging because they experienced everyday life at home, and it may not seem to be so exciting or alluring.

“Summer Journals” or diaries can be an opportunity to help your child see that all things are exciting, fun, and new in their own way. An appreciation if you will. Try talking with your child each night about their day and record it in a way that is appropriate for your child’s age and abilities. So, writing, drawing pictures, recording them telling their stories, and other creative ways all count!

These are some questions for you to use:

1. What was the silliest thing that happened today?

2. What was the worst thing that happened today?

3. What was the best thing that happened today?

I found these three questions can really get your child talking. You may need to help them get started by sharing your silliest, worst, or best. Remember once they open up, let them be the storyteller!

I also suggest that reading counts as part of your child’s summer adventures! Here are a few of my favorite books.

Make Music! by Norma Jean Hayes, Ann Sayre Wiseman, & John Langstaff

This is a wonderful resource with a wealth of projects for elementary-age children that have to do with creating music together. It’s fun, it’s broken down into categories from beginners to advanced music makers, and the illustrations are photos of real children in action and having a blast! Appropriate for ages 6-12.

Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley

Your 11–15-year-old will be captivated by Apple’s discoveries about herself, and her heritage as she spends the summer with her grandparents and others from her mother’s side of the family. She goes to a different place, experiences a culture that she knew very little about, and develops a new perspective about life. Appropriate for ages 11-15.

Our Peaceful Classroom by Aline D. Wolf

Lest we forget, this book will bring back memories of friends and activities from school days and may help with the transition for your young child back into the classroom and school life as the summer winds down. Appropriate for ages 3-6.

It’s a Book by Lane Smith

This is a hilarious book for older children. It cleverly and in a fun way depicts how in modern times, we are so attached to technology that we don’t know about or recognize a book in printed form. Love this one! Appropriate for ages 12-17.

Beach Walk by Backpack Explorers Series, Storey Publishing

This is a sturdy, somewhat water-resistant book that you can bring along on your trip to the beach. It includes a magnifying glass, which children really love to use when discovering new plants and animals by the water. There are lots of fun activities for you and your children to do together! Appropriate for ages 4- 10.

How to Find an Elephant by Kate Banks

There is an elephant (or part of one) on every page of this book, but you’ve got to really look! The words and illustrations entice the reader in a fantastic adventure, full of imagination and for hunting what otherwise might be obvious. Appropriate for ages 4-10.