This morning I had several mom friends over for a Summer Reading Marathon.
Pottery Barn Kids has a great summer reading program where you have to read a specific number of books to your child from their specific list. Once you've done that, your child gets to pick out a free book to take home.
So I sent out the Facebook invites, went to the library, gathered all 14 books we were going to read, and made a plan of how to execute this in a way to keep the kids' attention through more than a dozen stories.
Then just a few days before the event, I realized that I was looking at the requirements and book list from a past year! Good news was that we only had to read 8 stories. Bad news was that I only had 3 of the correct books. So after another trip to the library and some time browsing on Youtube, we were finally ready. (Side note: if I had realized sooner that we had to do only 8 books, I would have considered making this another Tent Town. But with how hot it is, I think it's for the best that we did it this way instead.)
To be mindful of short attention spans, I divided our marathon into 4 separate sections. We were done with everything in just about an hour.
1. Living room. I sat in my rocking chair while they sat on the floor and I read, "Llama Llama and the Bully Goat" by Anna Dewdney. Then I turned on youtube and we watched "Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes" by James Dean
2. School room. Everyone held their favorite stuffed animal while I read "Corduroy" by Don Freeman after a brief discussion about teddy bears. The second book I read was "How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?" by Jane Yolen. (The first picture in that book has a dino holding a teddy bear.)
3. Kitchen Floor. They all ate popsicles (apple juice, strawberries, and bananas blended together and frozen in dixie cups) while I read "What Brothers/Sisters Do Best" by Laura Joffe Numeroff and "Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake" by Kate Klise.
4. Living room again. Everyone got to wrap a blanket around their shoulders and get comfortable while I read "Bear Snores On" by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. Finally we watched "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site" by Sherri Duskey Rinker.
Now next week we'll have a playdate and go pick out our free books together.
P.S. Don't forget to check out your local library's summer reading program and the one at Barnes and Nobles, too!