Summer Reading with Leapfrog

Would you like to donate a Leapfrog Tag and Tag Junior to a local preschool or daycare? I'm teaming up with Leapfrog to give one away to the Silicon Valley preschool or daycare of your choice! Go to my Savvysource post to enter.

If everyone in the blogosphere who has been affected by this economic recession raised his or her hand, we'd need a whole lot of underarm deodorant. And now that summer has arrived, that translates into lots of cutbacks in pricey summer activities for the kids and a renewed interest in lower-cost and complimentary programs offered by local libraries and recreation centers.

Another idea is to apply the "staycation" idea to kids' activities: just stay home. Hey, it's practically a rite of passage to be bored senseless during the summer, right? And you can always plan your own activities. My friend Sheila was interviewed by CNN on how the recession has impacted their summer plans; she has swapped out summer camps for neighborhood gatherings around the foosball table. We're doing kind of a similar thing: my sister and I are planning to get our kids together for a few days at each family's house for a Cousin Camp of sorts (the tuition fee is right up our alley!).

I feel so privileged and thrilled to have been invited to join Leapfrog's Ambassadors of Summer Reading Program, because I get to team up with Leapfrog in donating Leapfrog Reading Kits to my local library and community groups. The kits include a Leapfrog Tag, Tag Junior, and books and carry cases for both systems. I'm going to donate one to The Pea's old daycare, and her school library is getting a Library Summer Reading Kit. And I'm giving a third Summer Reading Kit away to a randomly-drawn Silicon Valley-based preschool or daycare (so if you want to donate one to your child's preschool or daycare, make sure you join!!) . Gawd, I already feel like Oprah, and I'm loving it (rhanks, Leapfrog, for giving me the chance to play Lady Bountiful). What a great way to enhance the summer activities these organizations offer to local youth, and what a great way to encourage young children to keep reading throughout the summer!

Last but not least, I was thrilled to receive a Summer Reading Kit to use in our own Cousin Camp; I already have some grand plans to incorporate reading into the Younger Kids' -- namely 3Po, Jammy, and Belliboo's -- activity schedule. They even included a few fun tips for starting up a Summer Reading Program at home! I've posted the full details for each of these tips on my Summer Reading Program post on Being Savvy Silicon Valley, but here's my brief take on them:

1) Make a special reading space. You know, like a reading nook. And to paraphrase Dr. Seuss, What good is a nook without a book? (or a nook cook book, as he says in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, my favorite Dr. Seuss book ever).

2) Make reading a social activity. Grownups have book clubs, so why can't kids have their own reading social?

3) Make your own sounds and songs. Hey, it's your home, not the library, so you can make all the noise you want!

Stay tuned for more blog posts about my family's summer reading adventures with Leapfrog!

And don't forget, if you're from Silicon Valley (or you have a niece or nephew or granchild or godchild who lives in Silicon Valley), you definitely have to read my SavvySource post. Because you can enter to win one Leapfrog Summer Reading Kit to donate to a Silicon Valley preschool or daycare of your choice.

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