We Evans-Critten’s love reading books, so me and the kids can regularly be found in the Library. During Term-time, we pop there every couple of weekends to change our books. We have too many books at home to go more frequently than that.
During the Summer Holidays we go to the library every Wednesday to join in with the Summer Reading Challenge. It is for four to eleven year olds so only Danny and Rebecca can officially take part, but Caitlyn and Isabelle come along to listen to the stories and look at books or do jig-saws while their older brother and sister do their craft activity. Danny has been taking part since he was four, and has only two years left to join in! He has come on so far as a reader since he first started.
When he completed his first challenge, I used to have to help him lots with reading the books. This year, he completed the first two books he took out in half an hour while waiting for his sister to finish her Gymnastics lesson!
To complete their reading challenge the kids have to read a total of six books, roughly one a week in the Summer Holidays.
I let mine take two out a week. When they read the first two, they got a Bronze sticker for their chart and put their names onto the Bronze Chart in the Library. Now they have read a total of four books, they are on their Silver sticker and chart. When we return our books this Wednesday, they will get their Gold Stickers and their names will be put on the Gold Chart. They will also get a Gold Medal for completing their reading challenge. During the last Story Time Session, there will also be a Prize Draw for everyone who completed the Reading Challenge.
We continue to go to the Story Activities even after we have completed our Reading Challenge. Every week, we listen to a couple of stories, then the children get loose in the Craft Area. I have to say that our library and the staff are great and they always put such an effort into organising the craft activity and they always make lovely things.
During the first session, they made Olympic Crowns and Olympic Torches ready for the Olympics Opening Ceremony, which took part later that week.
Then, last week, on a very cold, rainy day when the kids were getting bored around the house, we had a lovely time at the library.
For a change, the session did not start with stories from books. There was a quick Shadow Puppet Show, a demonstration of how to make our own simple Shadow Puppets. Then, the Artists asked each table of children to write a story using each of the puppet characters, they had created. They were only given five to ten minutes to come up with the plot and then it was time to perform them!
In this one, Rebecca is one of the Butterflies.
Danny’s puppet is “Rock Man”.
Here they are enjoying their applause.
The Shadow Puppets Shows that each group of children put on were so unique, original and amusing. I had tears of laughter.
Danny and Rebecca with their shadow puppets. These could be easily made at home with black craft paper and a skewer. Coloured plastic could be used for details. A simple guide to doing this at home can be found here.
Danny, Rebecca and Caitlyn in the library boat.
Rebecca and Caitlyn reading their books.
They also like to take out these audio books. Great to curl up and listen to at home on a rainy day or for long car journeys.
The Summer Reading Challenge is taking place in 97% of Libraries in the UK, so if you haven’t been before, I suggest you join in. In our local library, you just ring up that morning to let them know you will be attending, as places are limited due to space. It is completely free.
Taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, Story Lab helps to encourage Danny and Rebecca to keep up with their reading in the holidays, but more than that it is a fun way to meet up with their friends.
Some facts I found out from their website:
23 different countries around the world are joining in with Story Lab, thanks to the British Council. So watch out for messages on the Story Lab website from children in far-flung places! (I used to think that it was just a Welsh initiative as all the resources in Wales are bi-lingual).
Working with the RNIB, the Reading Challenge has created super size materials with extra large print, available for children who are visually impaired or children who have visually impaired parents/carers. There are accompanying information sheets about the Challenge in Braille and a Story Lab certificate in Braille. Ask at your library for these resources.
Hope you are all managing to keep the kids amused on rainy days too. If so, join in with the Tots100 Things to do in the Rain Linky.