Oklahoma City family fun can make reading come to life.
The Metropolitan Library System's Summer Reading Program began this past week. We're enrolled and my sons are excited right now to read on their own or with me, let me log their books and plan repeat trips to our local library.
Keeping that momentum going is the challenge throughout this summer and their childhood.
Sam, Isaac and Gabriel love to read but they're 10, 5 and 2. Finding relevance for what we're reading about is something I'm trying to foster, the connect-the-dots picture that forms through words, images and life experiences. That's not always easy but there are a few events coming up to help them see more than words on a page.
Here are three book-themed events coming up to keep reading fun:
Children's Garden Book Festival at Myriad Gardens: This "Hungry Caterpillar"- themed event is a must-attend for toddlers. It's featured on our Five Things to Do with Toddlers in June list. I'm going with my two younger children and I'll post photos on MetroFamily's Facebook page. The event goes through this Sunday so there's still time to catch it if a garden party with books looks like the kind of fun your littles would like. What I like about it is the two-birds-one-stone effect: story plus outdoor time in a beautiful setting. That caterpillar theme is perfect for an outdoor festival since Eric Carle is so familiar to the 10 and under age group. There are also food trucks, crafts, games and related activities depending when you go and a chance to meet Ree Drummond/do a children's book exchange for one of her new children's titles.
Donuts with Dads Story Time: The Pioneer Library System is hosting a dad-themed event that's open to all families; no problem if you want another family member to go instead. Libraries have done so much with their programming over the last decade. There's also a Community Helpers event here and the Sugar-Free Allstars are performing at different libraries throughout the metro all summer long. I'm amazed at how inclusive and original their events are. There are many throughout both local library systems coming up for the summer. Check out our calendar for more. It's not too late to register for the Summer Reading Program if you haven't already.
Wild Tuesdays Story Time Safaris at the Oklahoma City Zoo: Isaac isn't even in kindergarten yet but I really need him to learn to read soon because I get bored during the kind of books he likes to read. When we go to the library, he heads right for the science section. I read aloud a painstakingly detailed book at bedtime last night about the human body's many systems and functions that definitely made me want to go to sleep. Isaac, not so much. Do you know how many miles your blood travels in a day? I do, thanks to that book, and so does Isaac. I'm sure he'll repeat the fact to every passerby in the grocery store soon. He's just thrilled with animal facts, how much organs weigh and every kind of dinosaur found to date. I saw the fascination of all-things "Wild Kratts" come to life during our last visit to the Oklahoma City Zoo and I know he will love this story time. I'm so glad he likes science and reading is a means to an end for fields like that.
My oldest son will be in the fifth grade this fall and we read "Wonder" by R.J. Palacios earlier this year. Our novel now is "Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories," the follow-up from three friends' perspectives. The movie is set to release Nov. 17 and its themes of social awkwardness, feeling comfortable with peers because of physical issues and adjusting beyond elementary school where the rules are different are here at just the right time for us.
I'm glad story time is still just enough for my younger children. If you're looking for a great local one, click here.
I'll keep you posted on what we read this summer! Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you find a new favorite to share.