Hiya, Readers!

Adios! Au Revoir! Ciao! Bon voyage! Goodbye! Arrivederci!

I’m not sad to say goodbye to winter. It’s no secret I’m not a fan of the cold weather. I’d rather have grass between my toes than icicles on my nose!

When the days get longer, and the weather gets warmer, for me, it’s time for a reading frenzy After spending a lot of time hibernating indoors, most kids, and adults can’t wait to get outside without layers of thick clothing. 

One question that I’ve been asked many times over the years: “How can get my child to read more during the excitement of spring and outdoor playtime?” It’s not impossible to incorporate books into playtime – at any age.

Once the snow has melted many kids would prefer to ride a bike or visit a playground instead of opening a book. There’s a winter of contained energy that’s just waiting to burst!  Playtime or literacy doesn’t have to be choice. Here are a few suggestions to keep those pages turning and the energy burning:

Grab a book and plant a seed: Gardening is a wonderful way to get the whole family involved in outdoor projects. Libraries and bookstores have several books for all ages that will inspire ideas and provide how-to information.

Adventure awaits: Visit nature reserves, forests or your own backyard to begin a feather-finding, tree-naming trek. There are trees and species of birds to identify and books that will easily assist with the mystery.

Read and fly: If it’s a windy day, select books with a kite theme or one that has designs to build kites or other flying objects.

Beach bums: A day at the beach can be an adventure, select titles that will connect with ocean life and beachcombing. There are endless opportunities to combine books with activities.

But don’t let the fun end outside, take those outdoor adventures and bring them to life inside, too. Bookmaking is a creative way to encourage literacy and strengthen reading and writing skills. The process is simple and perfect for all age.

First step, think about what to write and plan the story: Who is in the story? (Friends, family, pets?)

What’s happening? Where does is take place? Why is this so interesting? How does it end?

There are different versions of bookmaking projects, but the “Paper Bag Book” has always been my personal choice.

Materials needed:

4 paper lunch bags

Cardstock and or construction paper


Markers or crayons

Child-safe scissors

tape or glue

Easy Book Assembly:

Layer the paper bags on top of one another in a pile, alternating ends (open end, closed end). Fold the stacked bags in half to resemble a book. Staple the edges together to create a binding/spine. Cut cardstock to create a front and back cover for your book. Tape or glue the cardstock securely in place. (If using glue allow for drying time before decorating.)

So simple! Now use the pages to build your story. Write, draw and even include photos and events. The page pockets (the open ends of the bags) are perfect to hide surprises, mementoes or notes about adventures.

Until next month, may your playtime be imaginative and filled with books and inspiration! Look for new ways to include a story in even the smallest happenings.




Kites for Everyone: How To Make And Fly Them

Written by Margaret Greger

ISBN: 0486452956

Reading level: All ages

Publisher: Dove Publications, 128 pages

Let the imagination soar! Create more than 50 flying objects like the “Snake,” “Dragon” and other kites using detailed illustrations and instructions. Children attempting the more challenging plans may need adult assistance.

Need another bookmaking idea?

Book Play

Book Play: Creative Adventures in Handmade Books

Written by Margaret Couch Cogswell

ISBN: 1454703962

Publisher: Lark Crafts, 144 pages

“Book Play” is a complete guide to bookmaking and binding for the beginner to the novice crafter. There are 22 projects with instructions and finished photos.