Silver Dolphin’s Summer Reading Challenge

May 8, 2024

By Christa Protano

I can’t believe the school year is almost over. Some families may already be on vacation, but for those of us in the Northeast, we have until the end of June. And though it sounds far away, that hasn’t stopped me from finalizing our road trips and figuring out how I’m going to keep my kids busy all summer long. In addition to pool and beach time, I like to get them involved in a reading challenge so they can try to avoid the academic summer slump. It also gives my young readers something to do when the weather is not so nice, or there is some downtime. If your child enjoyed our winter and spring contests, they’ll love this brand new challenge created specifically with summer in mind. Be sure to tick off each of these 10 tasks before the new school year begins!

1. Get Ready for Vacation

With the best-selling Rainbow Magic series, independent readers can follow along with best friends Kirsty and Rachel as they help a team of magical fairy sisters deal with all the age-appropriate drama in Fairyland. New for the season, Joy the Summer Vacation Fairy needs help finding her three magic seashells that were stolen by the evil Jack Frost. With a sparkly and shiny cover, this special edition includes three chapter books plus a bonus activity to find the hidden letters throughout the book and figure out a surprise vacation word.

2. Prepare for Fireworks

Who doesn’t love rockets exploding in a riot of color in the late-night sky? Well, I can tell from experience that some parents of littles—and fur babies—do not. That’s why we recommend you start reading You’re My Little Firecracker to your infant or toddler ASAP. This board book is a great introduction to all the summer things—hot dogs, apple pies, fireworks—thanks to sweet, rhyming sentiments and die-cut shapes that adds depth and interest. With chunky pages for little hands and endearing text, it’s the perfect read for the Fourth of July holiday.

3. Cool Down with Water Play

With My First Painting: Super Sweet!, kids just need to add water to each page to create colorful works of art. The pre-printed paint dots will spread, brighten, and combine to form new colors. A chunky paintbrush is also included so budding artists ages 3 to 5 can work on developing their motor skills and enjoy some sensory fun along with the way.

4. Explore the Creatures of the Deep

If the ocean is calling, lean into your child’s interest with a book about sea life. The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures brings the undersea world into the reader’s hands with dazzling, oversized illustrations and captivating facts. Each of the 36 animals is presented in full color, accompanied by interesting information about how it survives in its natural habitat. Key characteristics of each creature are also presented in fact boxes for easy reference. From the reclusive giant squid and the awe-inspiring blue whale to the colorful insulamon freshwater crab and the mysterious oarfish, the magnificent creatures of the oceans lie in wait on these pages.

5. Take an Epic Imaginary Adventure

Pick a Story: A Pirate, Alien, Jungle Adventure brings readers on an interactive journey where, at the end of each page, kids get to decide the story by picking which page to turn to next. Should Vincent join the pirates? Should he travel to the aliens’ home planet? Should he meet the orangutan king in the jungle? With hilarious characters and super-silly scenarios on every page, readers will be howling with laughter as they decide what happens next in this interactive adventure. Packed with exciting stories, fun prompts, and bold illustrations, kids will find hours of fun choosing their own adventures every time they pick up this brand new book.

6. Practice Those Math Skills

Specifically designed to help prevent learning loss during the summer, the Ready to Learn Summer Workbook aims to bridge the gap between grade levels and set kids up for success before school even starts. Ten levels cover important concepts such as number sense, grammar and punctuation, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and more.

Like the idea of a workbook but can’t find the time? As a mom, I like to build 1-2 pages into my children’s daily summer routine. Right after breakfast (and before screen time) usually works best for us, that way we get our work done for the day. Click here to download some sample worksheets.

Pre-order: the Ready to Learn: First Grade Math Write & Wipe Workbook with Popper today

7. Read Under a Big Tree

If you’re reading outside, we suggest a story that take place in the great outdoors, too. That said, the Rabbit & Bear series follows eponymous characters along with other silly animals as they go about their lives in the woods. Each of these early chapter books teaches a valuable life lesson disguised within a hilarious story (did we mention occasional poop jokes?) in which different species work together to achieve peace and harmony in their forest community. In Attack of the Snack, a Mysterious Thing lands in Rabbit and Bear’s peaceful summer lake. Is it exciting or terrifying? Is it a tiny, fluffy owl or a huge, hungry monster? And has Rabbit finally met a creature with worse habits than himself? Rabbit’s sure he can solve this mystery. But when he accidentally turns the Best Day Ever into the Worst Day Ever, he needs Bear’s help.

8. Tackle a Non-Fiction Book

Curious kids can get all the facts about their favorite animals and work on their literacy skills, too, with Silver Dolphin’s collection of All-Star Readers. I am Machli, Queen of the Tigers, Level 2 follows a regal bengal who rules the tiger territory of India’s Ranthambore National Park. There is no shortage of amazing photos and fascinating material to peak your child’s interest and reinforce their reading skills.

9. Do Some Stargazing

Get ready for a new view of the world and universe with Your World Through a Telescope. This hands-on STEM kit includes everything kids need to build their very own working telescope and planetarium while learning about how telescopes work, modern telescopes, and fascinating objects to explore. Kids are encouraged to zoom in on wildlife, clouds, and flying machines before turning their telescope to the night sky to view the Moon, stars, the International Space Station, and more. They will learn to investigate faraway objects from a new perspective with this kit full of interesting information about viewing Earth and beyond.

10. Read As Much As You Can in 24 Hours

Twenty-four hour reading challenges were all the rage on TikTok this past winter. So why not tackle this feat as a family come summertime? The good news is that the kiddos don’t have to stay up past bedtime (phew!). The point of this type of challenge is to read some books they’ve always wanted to read, maybe try a new genre or author, and—most importantly—have some fun. This is the perfect opportunity to serve some of their favorite snacks and explore new reading locations around the house. And don’t be afraid to take this challenge and their books outside of the home: Head to the local library or a quiet park so they can read for an hour or two.

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