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Summer is almost here!  Some kiddos are already out of school and some will be soon.  It’s time to relax and enjoy a little time away from school, and with family and friends.  But that doesn’t mean we should shut down our brains for three months!  It’s important for kids to keep up with their reading and writing during the break so teachers don’t have to jumpstart their drained brains when the school year begins.
Easier said than done, right?  Right!  I’m a mom so I know.
If you have a reader in the house you’ll probably be okay, but if you have a reluctant reader who needs some motivation you may want to try some of these tips.
(Pssst.  Over here.  Don’t tell a soul.  Some of those tips are sooooo sneaky, they won’t even know they’re reading!  Shhhhhhh.)
That takes care of reading.  What about writing?
I love a good writing prompt to get my writing juices flowing and I thought the kids might, too, so I’ll be posting a few prompts here each week during the summer.  If they’d like to share their stories with me and my readers, email them to me at  Please indicate if you are granting permission for me to share them and include the first name of the author and his or her age.  I want to give credit where credit is due.
Week #4 Prompts: (See Week #1, #2 & #3 Prompts below)
Thru age 5: Draw a picture of your family, then tell a little story about each person.  Do you have a silly person in your family?  What about a grumpy person?  Don’t forget to tell us something about yourself, too!  NOTE FOR PARENTS: Just because very young children can’t actually write down their stories, doesn’t mean they can’t make one up.  Have your child dictate a story to you.  Write it out or type it on your computer and have him or her draw some illustrations for it.  That’s a fun activity for both of you!
6-10 year-olds: What do you see when you look at puffy white clouds?  A dolphin, a cupcake, a bicycle?  Write a story about what you see and how the clouds change as they zip across the sky.  When I look at clouds I see a good story!
11-13 year-olds: Where’s your favorite place to be?  The park, the movies, your room?  Go to that place or just think about being there.  Using your senses, tell us what you see, smell, taste (make sure it doesn’t have mold growing on it), hear, and feel and tell us why it’s your favorite place to be.
Week #3 Prompts:
Thru age 5:  I love to go to the park and swing high on the swings and twirl around until I get dizzy.  Tell about something fun you like to do with your family or friends.
6-10 year-olds: Your parents finally let you have a pet, but it’s not just any pet.  It’s an elephant!  What would you do with your giant pet?  How would you give him a bath and would your teacher let you bring him to school on “Bring Your Pet to School Day”?  Don’t forget the peanuts!
11-13 year-olds: If you could write yourself into a book that you’ve read, which book would it be and what character would you be?  Write a scene where you would interact with the main characters.  Wow, talk about getting lost in a book!  Don’t forget to come back!
Week #2 Prompts:
Thru age 5: Tell a story about the two little girls in the picture.  Do you know where they are and what they are doing?  What do you think they might be talking about?

6-10 year-olds: You enter a contest and win two airplane tickets to anywhere in the world.  Who would you take with you, where would you go, and what would you do in that special place?  Don’t forget to send us a postcard!
11-13 year-olds: You find the entrance to a secret tunnel behind an old piece of furniture in the basement.  Do you dare enter the tunnel to see where it leads?  If you do, give us every juicy, scary, adventurous little detail!
Week #1 Prompts:
Thru age 5: Pretend you are a puppy or a kitten.  Tell us what you look like, what your name is and what kinds of things you like to do.
6-10 year-olds: You’re the designer so give us all the awesome details of the best kid’s room ever!  I already know what I’d put in there… a giant jar of M&Ms!
11-13 year-olds: What if you could have a super power?  Well, you can if you imagine it.  Tell us what it would be and how you would use it.  Were you born with it or did you acquire it?  I can’t wait to read all the details!
Come back again next week for more prompts to help you keep those writing juices flowing this summer!
Until then… stay cool!