At our house we have not wasted any time getting into a summer vacation routine. Last year I was pretty lax about letting the kids be kids and structure fell (somewhat) by the wayside. That didn’t work so well for my kids. They like structure. They LOVE lists. They like to know what is happening before it happens….in other words…they are definitely my kids!! So this year we are a few days in and they already seem to be enjoying it. On our list each day Monday through Friday is a 20 minute slot for summer reading. And this, this is where we differ. I love to read. I have always loved to read. But here, at our house, we are struggling with one little person who absolutely does not like reading. So I needed to make it fun. Distracting from the actual task with another task. This is where it helps if you are a super sneaky parent. Because if you are, you can get your kids to read books from their summer reading list, drink water and eat fruit all at one time. Hello! Just don’t tell them what is going on and they will continue to LOVE it. If you are a reader…so will you because it means you get 20 minutes too!
We started by gathering all the books we already owned that were on the summer reading list and putting them in one place. This helps immensely because all I have to say is “time for summer reading” and they can go to the box and select any book they like. It also makes it impossible to lose any library books we take out for summer reading because we always put them in the same box. Next we purchased two totally adorable canning jars turned special drink vessels from (don’t judge us on lack of shopping small here) the Dollar Store. I told the kids that our 20 minute reading slot was going to become one of our favorite parts of the day.
We set up a fruit station where the kids can select any combination of flavors that they like and place them into the canning jars. They add ice, filtered water, herbs if they like and put the lid on. If you have an herb garden it is also a great way to get the kids out there to care for the herbs and cut them for use in their water. I have never seen two kids so excited to grab a book, go sit on the porch and read. By turning reading into more of a mini-event my kids have begun to embrace it…true, true, it might be because they get to make something before they read but still…they are reading! Baby steps here are just fine with us.
Some of our favorite fruit water combinations….
Kiwi & Watermelon
Apple & Mint
Blueberry & Cilantro
Basil & Lime
Strawberry, Pineapple, Orange
Rosemary & Pear
Watermelon & Lime