Weekend Family Fun

Family Activities:
Family Word Play
How quick are your family wits? Find out with this question and answer game.

You’re Invited: B.Y.O.B.
Turn a weekend sleep-over into a weekend book group. You’ll find ideas for favors and activities to convince your kids that reading is fun.

Geometry, Color, and Piet Mondrian
Parents and kids can try painting in in the style of this master. Just try this technique.

Create an Imaginative Family Shield
Families celebrate all that makes their own family special.

Autumn Family Fun

Make a Big THANKS
Show your THANKS during Thanksgiving dinner with this quick and easy family activity:

Show your THANKS during Thanksgiving dinner with this quick and easy family activity.
Age: Preschool – High School
Time: 5 to 15 minutes
Type of Activity: Art

Materials Needed:
Printer and paper
Crayons, pencils or markers

What to Do:
To ready your family’s Thanksgiving table, each family member can make a Big Thanks.

1. Open the file below and print one copy of
the Big THANKS for each family member.

2. Cut out around the outside edges of the
THANKS, keeping the letters attached to
each other.

3. Decorate with Thanksgiving designs or
things for which you are thankful.

4. Fold, accordion style, on the dotted lines.

5. Set on your Thanksgiving dinner table.

Make Your Own Thanks (download PDF)

Summer Family Fun

Maximize Summer Learning

Helping Your Child Make the Most of Summer Learning

10 Weeks of Summer Reading Adventures for You and Your Kids
A weekly calendar of suggested learning activities your children will be eager to do.

5 Free and Easy Tips for Summer Learning
Research pointers and what parents can do over the summer.

How Parents Can Prevent Childrens’ Summer Learning Loss
What is summer learning loss? How can it hurt my child’s educational success? What can I do about it?

How to Fit Reading into a Busy Summer
Tips for making reading a summer adventure!

Summer Reading Strategies for Children with Reading Difficulties from LD Online
Strategies to help your child remember over the summer what they learned last year and for making reading enjoyable.

Summer Day Trips for Book Lovers
Places to go, things to do, and books to read based on your child’s interests.

Summer Reading and Fluency: Tips for Parents
Find out what you can do to help your child be a better reader this summer.

Summer Reading Tips for Parents
How to help your child gain reading skill over the summer.

Summer Reading Tips from PBS Parents
How to encourage a love of reading throughout your child’s summer.

Winter Family Fun

Books to read and accompanying winter crafts to make and activities to do…Great ways to keep children happily, productively busy during winter break!

Make a Candle with “Flame” for the Winter Solstice
Winter Book and Craft: Read Night and the Candlemaker by Wolfgang Somary and make a “candle” with a “flame.”

Use Shaving Foam as Finger Painting Snow
Winter Book and Activity: Read about snow in Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton. Use shaving foam as Finger Painting Snow.

Make Play Snow to Craft a Snowy Scene
Winter Book and Activity Craft: Read about a snowy day in Ezra Jack Keat’s The Snowy Day. Then use this recipe to make Play Snow. Craft a snowy day scene with the Play Snow!

Make Snowmen from Marshmallows and Toothpicks
Winter Book and Craft: Read about snowmen in All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle and Barbara Lavalle or “read” the wordless bookThe Snowman by Raymond Briggs. Make your own snowmen from marshmallows and toothpicks.

Make a Mitten Garland
Winter Book and Craft: Read about a mitten in Jan Brett’s The Mitten or another book of the same title by Alvin Tresselt. Then follow these directions for making a Mitten Garland.

Make a Wagon Wheel Pasta Snowflake
Winter Book and Craft: Read about “the snowflake guy” in Snowflake Bently by Jacqueline B. Martin, and follow these easy directions to make snowflakes with wagon wheel pasta.

Make No-Bake Penguin Cookies
Winter Book and Activity: Read about penguins in Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems by Judy Sierra or Cuddly Dudley by Jez Alborough. Make penguin cookies that require no baking!

Make Pipe Cleaner Pine Trees
Winter Book and Craft: Learn about pine trees in Allan Fowler’s Pine Trees (Rookie Read-About Science). Make a pine tree craft using green pipe cleaners (or green yarn or strips of green paper.)

Make Reindeer Food or Bird Food
Winter Book and Activity: Read about reindeer in Emery and Durga Bernhard’s book Reindeer. Then follow this recipe to make some Reindeer Food. If you don’t have reindeer in your neighborhood, this makes great wintertime Bird Food, too.

Build an Igloo from Sugar Cubes
Winter Book and Craft: Read about how real igloos are built in Building an Igloo by Ulli Stelzer, and then construct one from sugar cubes using these directions.

Make Snowmen from Toilet Paper Tubes
Winter Book and Craft: Read about a special snowman in The Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick. Make your own snowmen out of toilet paper tubes using this template.

Snowflake Fun
Winter Book and Craft: Read about making snowflakes (even snowflakes for Valentine’s Day!) in Snowflakes for All Seasons by Cindy Higham. Learn how to cut out paper snowflakes, create 3-D snowflakes, make a POP-UP snowflake card, and create Ice Spikes (strange things in your freezer!) Plus, here are amazing photographs of real snowflakes you can cut out and use as decorations.