Summer Reading 2020
2020 Reading Challenge
No matter how old you are, reading benefits everyone. Reading over the summer has been shown to increase test scores in the fall. Families who read together earn prizes together! And setting realistic goals with steps to accomplish them helps you reach those goals. These are just a few reasons to sign up for the County Library’s Reading Challenge. How does it work?
- Week 1
- Read Welcome to the beginning of the Reading Challenge! Make this challenge work for you and take some time now to identify your reading goal. This could be a certain number of books, a page count, or an amount of time. It could even be a goal to read a book from every genre, or to read out of your comfort zone. Think about something fun but challenging for you, and write it down on your reading record.
- Create As we create throughout the Challenge, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself. And remember, you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it! So right now, take the pledge – “I hereby give myself permission to sing off key, draw stick figures, and have fun!” The Create Challenge this week is to think of something you love but aren’t good at, and engage in that activity.
- Learn Throughout the challenge, think of ways to stretch your mind. Research a topic you’ve always been curious about, play a trivia game, keep your mind sharp with Sudoku or a crossword puzzle. Learn a word of the day (there’s an app for that) or donate food while expanding your vocabulary. Whatever you do, remember that learning should be fun!
- Play We’re never too old to play. Take a minute to think about what play means to you. For children this might be an easy answer, but teens and adults, what is your answer? Make time for that play in the upcoming weeks. Today we challenge you to turn on your favorite tunes and dance like no one is watching.
- Connect To connect is to reach beyond self. This can be connecting one-on-one with a friend or family member, or to a larger community through social gatherings or even through use of social media. Find the method of connection that is meaningful for you. The County Library offers many virtual programs that are free, find them on Facebook or the online calendar.
- Week One Quest
- Sing Singing songs and nursery rhymes helps to slow down language, which allows your child to hear how different sounds are combined to make words. Add songs to an activity you do every day, such as bath time, diaper changes, or meal time.
Way Up High In the Apple Tree! For this rhyme, ask your kiddo to think about what else grows in trees or list items for them. It might help to have cutouts of items that grow in trees for a visual element. Do the rhyme again inserting a new item. (This activity helps with vocabulary and conversation skills.) Listen to the rhyme.
Way up high in the apple tree (Stretch both arms above your head, hands open)
Two little apples smiled at me (Close hands into fists)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (Shake the tree)
Down came the apples (Bring fists down)
Mmmm, they were good! (Rub stomach)
- Read Animals don’t judge our reading skills, which makes them a great audience to practice on. Encourage your little one to read to your pet, or show your pet the pictures. Don’t have a pet? Use a stuffed animal or toy instead.
- Write Magical Fairy Dust Sensory Tray Create a sensory tray that is fairy inspired! A sensory tray can be used to practice letters and develop fine motor skills by writing in the “magical fairy dust.” Supplies: small tray, salt with red food coloring (just a few drops to give pink color), a fairy wand for the writing tool, any fairy inspired toys!
- Play Dance to a silly kids' song with your little one in your arms. Exaggerated, gentle movement and swaying are great ways for babies to develop their brains!
Week 2 (coming soon)
- Read Penguin Random House is holding the #Read20in20 reading challenge. Choose one of their 2020 reading challenges, or another reading challenge on the web and read at least one item that is outside your norm.
- Learn Learn what a fractured fairy tale is. Then write a new version of your favorite fairy or folk tale. How will you twist the tale?
- Play Chalk the driveway with your story. No driveway? Use a large sheet of paper and make a cave painting (Under a desk, attach a piece of paper with masking tape. Using a flashlight and colored pencils or crayons, create something in a fun new way.)
- Connect Create an oral history, either your own or someone else's. Interview a child with silly questions and answers. Do a simple but serious genealogy preservation. Perhaps record a grandparent/family member reading a book out loud for future generations. This can be on your phone or any audio recorder. For free, professional-grade recordings, there are two studios from FamilySearch Centers in Riverton and Layton available for public use. (Riverton can accommodate up to ten individuals at a time. Layton accepts walk-ins).
- Week Two Quest
- Sing Singing with little ones helps them recognize different musical and emotional tones, which then helps them to understand how people are feeling. Check out a kids CD from the library collection today and learn some new songs together.
Knock, Knock. For this tapping rhyme, baby/toddler should sit in grown-up’s lap facing them. When tapping the actions, make sure it is gently with one finger
Knock, knock (gently tap on baby’s forehead)
Peek in, (gently tap on the side of baby’s eyes)
Open the latch (gently tap baby’s nose)
And walk right in (wiggle fingers on baby’s lips)
How do you do, (hold baby’s chin)
Mister Chinny Chin, Chin? (gently nod baby’s chin up and down
- Write Fill a Ziploc bag half full with shaving cream or paint and seal the top. Add packaging or duct tape to secure, if desired. Encourage your child to draw shapes or write letters, and then magically erase it by smoothing out the shaving cream.
- Play Blow bubbles around your baby or do another sensory game with them. Here are some ideas.
Week 3 (coming soon)
- Read Did you know the library shelves fairy tales separate from the rest of the books, under the call number 398.2? Read a book from this collection.
- Create Fairy tales and folk tales often feature food as a central part of the story. Try cooking a “fairy tale recipe.” The library has cookbooks for checkout if needed. (Some ideas are porridge from “Goldilocks and the 3 Bears,” 3 Bean Soup from “Jack and the Beanstalk,” or gingerbread from “Hansel and Gretel.”)
- Learn Learn to Talk like a Pirate Directions: Select Mango Languages. You can enter as a guest user. In the search bar enter: Pirate.
- Play Go on a scavenger hunt and find something for every letter of the alphabet. You can do this alone or with friends or family.
- Connect “Pass a Story” along. The simple instructions: begin a story, then end your turn on a cliffhanger. Pass it onto someone else. This can be adapted a variety of ways; through tossing a ball, bean bag, or any similar item, writing the story down either physically or virtually over long distance with a loved one. Add your own flair or variants (a timer for higher pressure/older groups, for example. Or special words that must or must not be included, etc.). For younger members, a mad-lib style works well (..."and there was a fire-breathing bunny who really liked___") so everyone is a full member of the storytelling team.
- Week Three Quest
- Sing Ever had a song stuck in your head? Singing shortcuts learning; our brains process the information differently. Make up songs about the everyday activities you do together like making breakfast or driving to the store. Add some rhyming words if you can!
Help your child develop talking skills by engaging them with a storytime at home with our Storytime-To-Go Backpacks available for checkout. There are 10 backpacks each for baby and pre-school. Check at your local library location for availability.
- Read Look in the board book collection at the library for fairy tale and classic adaptations for our littlest readers.
- Write Ask your child to help with the grocery list by drawing pictures of some of the items. Ask your child to help read the list while you’re adding items to the cart.
- Play Introduce new sounds during play time or make different facial expressions for baby to try and imitate. Don’t be afraid to be silly, in fact, try your best to make baby laugh
Week 4 (coming soon)
- Read Read your best friend’s favorite book. Already read it? Ask them to recommend you a book.
- Play Play an outside game. This could be a group sport like soccer or Frisbee; or it could be a game like hopscotch or jump rope. Organize a neighborhood game of capture the flag or “red rover,” or play an old-fashioned game like “jacks.” Get creative with tin can stilts or ask your parents/grandparents what games they played when they were young.
- Connect Leave a note, a kindness rock, or piece of art for someone where they will find it later. This could be for a stranger, a family member, or a friend. For a more modern variant, take a picture of its location, a clue about its whereabouts, and share on social media for someone else to discover.
- Week Four Quest
- Sing Singing teaches little ones rhythm, which is an important part of language. Help your kiddos make a maraca from a water bottle and some beans and shake-a-shake to your favorite song.
Here We Go! In this simple action chant, talk about the actions. Ask what their favorite actions are, and then ask your child to come up with actions that can be added to the chant.
Here we go--up, up, up. (stand on toes)
Here we go--down, down, down. (crouch down)
Here we go--moving forward. (take a step forward)
Here we go--moving backward. (take a step backward)
Here we go--round and round. (spin around)
- Read Even early readers have a favorite book. Does it seem difficult to get baby to sit still and read with you? Sit on the floor for storytime, and have a stack of books nearby for baby to reach. Let baby crawl away if baby gets bored, and try a variety of different sensory books like touch and feel books, lift-the-flap, or sound books.
- Write Little ones love to write the letters in their names with raisins, peas, or cereal. Snack time can be a terrific learning time.
- Play Give your baby some age-appropriate, new objects to explore and see what happens! Look for things you already have around your house, such as toilet paper rolls, blankets, spoons, tape, balls, etc.
Week 5 (coming soon)
- Read The Challenge is half over! Time to level up. Estimate how much time you usually spend reading, and then make a goal to double that time this week. Usually read 20 minutes a day? Try for 40.
- Create Create using fabric. This could include knitting, sewing, quilting, weaving, or crochet. This could include sock puppets, amigurumi, plushie dolls, or finger puppets. You could tie-dye or alter a t-shirt. Have fun!
- Learn Explore a County Library database. We have many databases available for all ages! A database is like a set of very specific Google information that has been organized by subject. It has all been fact-checked so you know you can trust the information. Databases range on subject from free access to Ancestry.com, to car repair, to small business plans, to crafting, to science fair projects, and much more!
Get outside! Go for a hike or a nature stroll. Go camping in your living room or backyard, or plan a camping trip. If camping or hiking aren’t your thing, maybe try a water sport (paddle boats, river rafting, jet skiing), wheels (skateboard, bike or scoot), or try something new like horseback riding, rock climbing, or scuba diving. Be safe and have fun! Here are some hiking ideas for almost any ability:
- Dripping Rock Trail
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve
- Silver Lake, American Fork Canyon Nature Trail
- Payson Lakes
- Cascade Springs
- Temple Quarry Trail
- Snowbird Barrier Free Trail
- Devil's Kitchen (southern Utah)
- Mill B South Interpretive Trail
- Connect Have a nighttime picnic as the sun begins to set. Watch the stars come out. Bring your favorite snacks and warm, good food. Name or create your own constellations from the stars you see. The library has telescopes you can check out with your library card!
- Week Five Quest
- Sing When it’s time to clean up, play a “clean-up” song to help make clean-up fun! Done every day this will help make clean-up time predictable and encourage participation.
Fluttering Fairy Friends! In this activity, flutter the fairy over the baby, and to the sides. Make simple fluttering fairy sticks or use scarves.
Supplies for fairy sticks:
- Popsicle Sticks
- Tissue Paper
Draw a face onto one end of the popsicle stick with the markers.
Use a small piece of tissue paper as the fairy’s dress. Tape onto the popsicle stick.
Cut out four fairy wings and tape onto the back of the popsicle.
Lay baby on the ground or in your lap. If a toddler, you can have them sit in front of you. Flutter the fairy over the baby’s face, repeating the following rhyme:
Flutter, flutter, here and there (flutter the fairy over the baby)
Flying high up in the air (flutter the fairy higher in the air)
Closer, closer, right on top (flutter the fairy over the baby)
Where will fairy make a stop (flutter the fairy and then make it stop on baby’s tummy, toes, etc.)
- Read Reading 20 minutes a day is recommended for our littlest friends, but it doesn’t have to be in one session. Read a story or two after breakfast, before nap, to break up playtime, and then at bedtime and you’ll have reached the 20 minute goal. And be able to track it yourself!
- Write Cut letter shapes from sponges for your kiddos to play with in the bathtub. Or have fun using them as stamps to make designs with washable paint.
Encourage baby/toddler to move like an animal. This can be hopping like a rabbit, slithering like a snake, or jumping like a kangaroo. Practicing moving their bodies helps develop gross motor skills.
If baby is still doing tummy time or crawling, you can help baby by gently moving hands and legs in time to songs. Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” at half speed while holding baby’s hands to help baby touch their own body parts.
Week 6 (coming soon)
- Read Build a reading fort and read under it. Be creative with your building materials!
- Create Find a class on Creativebug to help you learn a new skill or improve an old one. This resource is free with your County Library card and features art and craft video tutorials for all ages.
- Learn Read a narrative non-fiction book about a subject you are interested in. Non-fiction doesn’t have to be dry and boring; Bill Bryson makes travel memoirs laugh-out-loud funny, Sy Montgomery evokes the richness of the animal world, and true crime can be riveting. Ask a librarian for a suggestion if you are new to this genre.
- Play Listen to an audiobook or podcast while you do a jigsaw puzzle with friend/family member. Dollar stores or thrift stores have inexpensive ones you can buy!
Temporary Ninja Art - The key to this guerrilla art is that it should both be temporary and cause no damage to its existing structure. It is a simple way of telling someone that art exists everywhere and to act as a gift to brighten someone's day unexpectedly. Some ideas can include:
- Rocks placed into an artistic arrangement
- Chalk that can be washed away with the rain
- "Yarn bombing"
- Mud faces on trees
- Painted rocks left in visible places
- Googly eyes to make faces of common items
- Origami animals tucked into public nooks
- "Embroidered" park benches
- Pipe cleaner art wrapped around public spaces
- Plant local seeds in an abandoned lot
- Post-it note haiku or doodle in a visible place
- Handmade post-card or note of encouragement slipped inside a favorite book of the library (just please avoid hold shelves for privacy reasons!).
- Week Six Quest
- Sing Have fun singing rhymes with hand movements like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to help your little one to understand patterns and develop math skills. The hand movements also help develop gross motor skills, which increases school readiness.
One, Two, Three! Grown-ups: place baby/toddler on floor or in front of you. Gently follow the actions to the rhyme.
One, two, three (tap on baby’s knee)
Tickle your knee. (tickle baby’s knee)
Four, five, six (tap on baby’s tummy)
Pick up sticks. (tickle baby’s tummy)
Seven, eight, nine (tap on baby’s chin)
You’re all mine! (hug baby)
- Read Play “letter of the day" with your kiddos. Decide on a letter and hunt for it all day. Help your little letter sleuth find it while driving, visiting the park, and at the grocery store.
- Write Together with your kids make a picture of your family and write names below images. This will help with letter recognition.
- Play Play with water! Give baby a new toy in the tub this week, and show baby how to pour and squirt. For older children, explore simple measuring concepts with water. Provide measuring cups, spoons and bowls and experiment with how many cups or spoons it takes to fill different containers with water.
Week 7 (coming soon)
- Read Read an award winner this week. Our website has a list to start from if you need inspiration.
- Create Using items found in your house, create a fairy tale city. You can use blocks, soup cans, boxes, books, whatever is on hand. Grown-ups, we challenge you to do this as well! Alternatively, create a miniature diorama scene from your favorite myth, folk, or fairy tale.
- Learn Learn to play a new game. Kids & teens: learn a new board or card game. Adults: learn a new card or app game.
- Play For kids, play your favorite pretend game, play dress up, or invite over imaginary friends. For teens and adults, take a favorite activity you did when you were younger and play the grown-up version! (Ex: throw a tea party, decide what your real life superpower is, host a costume party, etc.)
- Connect Create a map and give it to someone (Bonus: leave something at the end for the person to find). This can be given long-distance or in person, given to a friend or family member, or be a fun date night idea.
- Week Seven Quest
- Sing Make a music basket for your little ones to encourage rhythm and movement. Fill it with DIY shakers, bells, and other noise-makers to get the concert started.
Little Friend Action Chant! (to the rhythm of “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear”) Use fluttering fairy Popsicle puppets in the chant.
Supplies for fairy sticks:
- Popsicle/Craft Sticks
- Tissue Paper
Give one to each child and have them do the actions in the rhyme. If a baby, do the chant while moving the fairy to the actions in front of baby.
Draw a face onto one end of the craft stick with the markers.
Use a small piece of tissue paper as the fairy’s dress. Tape onto the craft stick.
Cut out 4 fairy wings and tape onto the back of the craft stick.
Little friend, little friend turn around.
Little friend, little friend touch the ground.
Little friend, little friend reach up high.
Little friend, little friend touch the sky.
Little friend, little friend bend down low.
Little friend, little friend touch your toes.
Little friend, little friend jump up high.
Little friend, little friend wave goodbye.
Little friend, little friend give a hug.
Little friend, little friend lots of love.
- Write Kids love writing scribbles, shapes, and letters with different tools. They’ll have fun experimenting with pens, markers, crayons, pencils, and chalk.
- Play Remember, it’s the process, not the product. Provide a variety of art supplies and allow your child to create a masterpiece. Rather than giving praise, “good job!” ask questions about the process. “What color did you use here?”
Week 8 (coming soon)
- Read This is the last week of the challenge! Read something you’ve been meaning to get to. A book you’ve been postponing, the classic you’ll read “someday,” the book you’d put on your bucket list.
- Create Create a new mythological creature. Take parts of attributes of your favorite animals. Will it have any special powers? Make a drawing or painting of it.
- Play Go on a nature walk and collect materials to build a fairy house or garden. You can set up the fairy house in your yard or in a potted plant in the house.
Find local obscure places and historical markers, some “secret treasures” of our state. A few ideas:
- Spiral Jetty
- Gilgal Garden
- Fantasy Canyon
- Bonneville Salt Flats
- Sun Tunnels (Great Basin Desert, Wendover)
- Hutchings Museum
- Gravesite of Utah's first "Jedi Priest" (West Valley)
- Delta Solar Ruins
- International Peace Gardens
- Week Eight Quest
- Sing Sing old nursery rhymes and lullabies, or learn a song that ties into folk and fairy tales like “Puff the Magic Dragon.”
Five Queens! In this wiggle rhyme, grown-ups should lay baby on the floor or in their lap facing them. Have toddlers sit facing you copying your actions and rhyme.
There were five queens on a quest. (hold up baby’s hand)
To see who was the very best. (wiggle baby’s fingers)
The first queen went to take a test. (wiggle baby’s thumb)
The second queen said, I’ll go out west. (wiggle baby’s index finger)
The third queen climbed Mount Everest. (wiggle baby’s middle finger)
The fourth queen made a beautiful vest. (wiggle baby’s ring finger)
The fifth queen said, I’ll just take a rest. (wiggle baby’s little finger)
- Read Reading and talking with your child about books each day will help your little ones understand that reading is important to you. Hopefully you’ve built some reading habits the last 8 weeks that you can carry forward! Our last challenge is to read a book to baby/toddler that is based on a song.
- Write Make quick and easy playdough mixing a fourth cup salt, a cup of flour, and a cup water. Playing with playdough develops the fine motor skills kiddos need for writing!
- Play Play “restaurant” at lunch or dinner with your little ones. Share the daily specials with your child and have them order what they’d like to have. For the littlest ones, pretend the spoon is an airplane to make mealtime fun.
Continue your Summer Adventure!
The Passport is summer of fun with FREE and DISCOUNTED activities, events, and family-friendly locations!
The Passport is a small booklet that eligible explorers (17 and under) pick up at one of the Passport locations. With it, they can visit exciting free and discounted summer destinations (see below) between June 1 and August 21 2020 to explore family-oriented activities, events, and locations and get stamps in the inside cover of their passport.
Earn 5 stamps and get your ticket to this year's Kids Summer Passport Party, a free party for Passport families at the end of summer!
Learn more at bookyoursummer.com