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MidSummer Boredom Buster

“Mom, I’m bored,” says many a child throughout the summer. As a life-long educator, I recognize the importance of keeping those precious reading skills going. Many tend to believe that summer means a break from school, and it may be; however, I found that those who did even a little summer reading retained their skills at a much higher level than those who did no reading. So how can parents help kids recognize that summer reading activities are fun ways to explore with total control over the stories.

In this blog, I actually present the idea that boredom is a great thing that opens opportunities for new ideas and adventures. One of the solutions is to pull out a book, but they really need to be shown how to move past the story to bring the story to life, and once they learn how, they can do these on their own.

On days when we need to spice things up, rather than “Just keep them busy or take them the to the pool, the park, or the mall...” consider filling the time having fun with books and stretching imaginations. On one of those slow, rainy, or dull days, instead of using gas to go somewhere, make an afternoon of creativity and fun based on Backyard Tales.

Backyard Tales happen in backyards everywhere and include simple, straightforward stories that help grownups and children connect to each other when they read the stories and then venture outside to meet the “characters” for themselves. Spending special times with loved ones becomes a way to create everlasting memories and record them in the book. All of the stories have little activities created for them, and this blog is about connecting the stories (although you could choose any of the child's favorite stories).

I just happened to be reading the book 99 Things to Do When You Have the Time by A.D. Jameson published through Compendium. One of the little ideas caught my eye and served as a springboard for things kids could do that connect stories in The Spirit of the Tree and Other Backyard Tales.

Counting on Connections

  1. One from Two: Find one paragraph from two different stories (or more) and invent a connection between them. Either write about the connection or draw a picture.

  2. One from Three: Choose one character from three of the stories, create a place where they all meet and find a way to bring them together. Introduce them to each other.

  3. One from Four: Pick a tree from four different stories and draw a picture with all four in the picture. Then pick one of the characters from any of the stories and place that character in your drawing.

Fold up any of the drawings and stories, add the child’s name and date to them, and place them in the book for safe keeping.

Would you like a copy of The Spirit of the Tree and Other Backyard Talesclick hereLady Lily and Curt the Crow ? If so, featured in its first small book. to order one. Also available is

Stay tuned for the next Backyard Tale coming soon. Selvyn Rings the Bell introduces new characters in an introductory level chapter book.

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