Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good summer fun: a reading under the stars party

Sunday night, to celebrate Sabrina's departure for camp and summer in general, we did a Reading Under The Stars party with the kids. It's the theme of this year's Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge; I'm one their sponsored bloggers. The evening was powered by the Eveready flashlight and battery people, books, fireflies and, of course, snacks.

The thing about nighttime reading at our house is that it's part of an ancient routine: snack, bath, read in bed. Same as with most families, right? It's never occurred to me to break out, but the second I told the kids we were going to read in the backyard, they got really excited.

There was a minor battle fought in the kitchen over what types of snacks to bring. Now, if I was a certain kind of mom I could have baked star-shaped cookies or made granola bars in the shape of the moon or something like that, but I am the kind of mom who just barely manages to get to the dollar store to pick up glow sticks. And so, an assortment of crackers it was!

Sabrina brought out Little House in the Big Woods; she's been making her way through The Little House on the Prairie series, and is really testing my knowledge about the workings of guns. "Mommy, what's a ramrod?" she'll ask. "Mommy, what's a cap?" I'm not too nervous about this fascination. Max, meanwhile, is all about books about firefighters. Sadly, he was not into My Mom Is A Firefighter, which I just got for him. This is because, I think, he is the only one in our family who is allowed to be a firefighter when he grows up.

The one thing that kept distracting the kids from reading: fireflies! It's one thing to sit on your deck and watch them, but it's a whole other story to lie on the grass in the gorgeous calm of the dusk and observe them in all their glowy glory. Or to get up and run around your yard screaming "I'M GOING TO GET ONE!" as Sabrina did. She shared her find with Max, except as it turns out he didn't love having a firefly crawl up his sleeve. Who knew.

The kids sat quietly and read for a while. We've lived in our house for eleven years, and I don't think we've ever sat on the lawn in the dark. It really did feel magical. And it was a reminder to break out of routine more often. So next week, at bedtime, we are all flying off to Tahiti! He he he. Seriously, anything that gets the kids psyched to read is awesome. Sabrina's come a long ways since that time years ago when she stopped my heart by asking, "What is the point of fiction?" Max's reading is coming along, and as long as there's a firefighter involved (other than a mom firefighter), he's into it.

The night would have not been complete without scary flashlight faces. And so, we did them, before we packed up and headed back inside to the familiar world of bedtime routines, feeling like we'd just been on some great adventure...right in our own backyard.

 You can still get the kids started on the Summer Reading Challenge—it goes through September 5, 2014.
 Check out the Summer Reading Challenge board on Pinterest
 Check out the Summer Reading Challenge playlist on YouTube
 Follow the hashtag #SummerReading on social media

Thanks again to Scholastic for including Love That Max in their sponsored campaign for the Summer Reading Challenge.

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