I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about how to get kids excited about reading over the summer. I’ve seen lots of ways to keep track of summer reading, keep the kids engaged. Here are a few of my favorite:
But I figured what better way to kick off summer reading than a fun reading themed party? So, Whooo’s ready to read?
Ideas for a summer reading kick off party:
We made a reading area in one room in our house. We set up a book shelf and decorated with awesome owl wall decals from Birthday Express. These decals were easy to put up and came off the wall easily too. They were actually in perfect condition when we took them down, and we were able to reuse them in our playroom as some permanent decor!
For the plates, napkins, flatware and cups, we used the Owl Blossom party supplies from Birthday Express. The reusable owl cups looked so cute on the table and were a nice treat for the kids to take home.
We asked each guest, in their invitation, to bring a few books they were done with. When they arrived, they added the book to the bookshelf. During the party, the children had a chance to visit the bookshelf and select new books to take home. It was a fun activity and a great way for all the kids to “trade” books.
Paper Bag Owls
How to: Ahead of time I pre cut out the circles for the eyes, the beaks, and the different colors to add to the “belly”. The children at our party were 5 & under. If you have older kids attending, they could easily cut everything out themselves.
All of the kids got a brown lunch bag to start. We filled the bag with a few pieces of paper towels/napkins to make it look stuffed. Then we folded and glued down the top of the bag to make the shape of the face. Then the kids glued all the cut-out pieces onto the owl. This was a fun craft!
Scratch Art Bookmarks
We love scratch art, and I was thrilled to find a kit with pre cut bookmarks. The kids scratched off their bookmarks to make pretty designs and then I helped tie a ribbon on top.
Summer Reading Trees
For this simple craft, I found foam tree shapes, bought fuzzy owl stickers and then cut out a bunch of green leaves from construction paper. You can also just cut trees out of brown construction paper. The kids get to glue on a leaf each time they read a book (and write the title of the book on the leaf).
The kids had fun glueing on the leaves for the books we read at the party. Then they each got an envelope of leaves to take home to add to the tree as they continued reading.
How to: Bake and ice cupcakes. Separate chocolate sandwich cookies (we used Oreos). Use the sides with the frosting for the eyes. Use the sides without the frosting to make “eye brows” by breaking them in half. Using a bit of cupcake frosting, stick M&Ms in the center of the eyes. Make the owl’s nose with a jelly bean. The kids thought these cupcakes were a “real hoot”!
For the favors, I used brown gift bags that I decorate with a tag I made saying “Whoo’s Ready to Read”. Inside was a new book (searched Amazon for a great deal!), a pencil and stickers. Then we used the bag as a place to put all of the crafts they made and their books from the book exchange.
This party was a lot of fun and it was a great way to encourage summer reading. Happy reading everyone!