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By Barbara Bietz

As spring fever gives was to summer sunshine, it can be hard to motivate kids to read. As teachers hand out summer reading lists, most kids groan and plan their days of TV watching and video game playing. There is a way to keep kids interested in reading during the summer months. Parents can even sneak in some learning without kids realizing it. With a little planning, you might not hear the words "I'm bored" all summer long. Here are some ideas for summer fun:

If your kids love the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling, why not check out some books about magic and learn a few tricks? There are lots of magic books to choose from, but one fun pick is Kid's Magic Secrets: Simple Magic Tricks & Why They Work. Your kids can even put on a show for the family or neighborhood kids. Doggone Lemonade Stand by Judy Branbury introduces readers to the traditional kid business of selling lemonade. Not only is this a terrific story about young Christopher and his business venture, there are also some math related activities. For extra fun, make some lemonade with your kids. They will get some experience measuring and mixing, and can enjoy the fruits of their labor with a perfect summer refresher.
The Dear America series introduces history through the eyes of young girls. There are diary stories for all age groups. For something on the lighter side, check out Dear Dumb Diary 1: Let's Pretend This Never Happened, by Jim Benton. This book is a comical perspective of the life of Jamie Kelly. If your kids like reading books in a diary format, encourage them to keep a journal. Invest in a plain notebook that the kids can personalize with stickers or markers. Encourage them to write in their journals daily. It's a great way build writing skills. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary tells the story of a boy's pen pal relationship with his favorite author. Why not encourage your children to write a letter to a favorite author? Most authors today have websites, so it is fairly easy to find contact information.

You can find books on almost any topic and think up all kinds of creative activities. How about reading a book about rocket ships and then taking a trip to a local museum of science? Or read a book about a favorite artist and take a trip to the craft store for paints and low cost canvases and let the kids create their own masterpieces. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for author visits and other fun events at your library or local bookstores.

The opportunities are endless. Be creative and have fun all summer long!

About Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz is a writer from Oak Park, California. Her favorite pastime is reading children's books. Barbara enjoys writing for adults and children. Her work has appeared in numerous publications.

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