Summer Reading Clubs are Launching Now at Columbus and Central Ohio Libraries!

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Summer Reading Clubs can keep kids entertained and motivated over the summer! Check out this list of Columbus and Central Ohio Summer Reading Programs hosted by local libraries!

As an adult winner of a Summer Reading Challenge prize a few years ago, I can personally say that these Summer Reading Programs are for all ages! And what else do we have to do during the Summer of 2020 than to read?!

Check out one (or more) of these Central Ohio Summer Reading Programs to keep your kids focused on the goal! There are prizes involved and some of them are pretty cool! 

library books on the shelf at a Columbus Library

Columbus Metropolitan Library

Theme: Summer Reading Challenge
Dates: May 30 – August 4, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Log in to the website or download the new Reading Challenge App. Enter your reading minutes on to your Game Board and compete your Reading Activity Bingo in order to be entered into raffles for prizes like gift cards, free food, books, a bike and more!

A sign that says Ready for Kindergarten at a columbus metropolitan library

Worthington Libraries

Theme: Magic Unbound: A Summer Reading Quest
Dates: May 20 – July 20, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Receive prizes by filling in the amount of time you’ve read on your Reading Record. You can also DIY activities at home to make progress toward your prizes. You can print your Reading Record from the library website.

Westerville Public Library

Theme: Read & Imagine
Dates: May 22 – August 2, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Set your own reading goal and once you reach your goal, stop by the library to pick up your prize!

library books on a shelf

Grandview Heights Public Library

Theme: Summer Reading Club
Dates: June 1 – August 1, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Use the App to track your reading online and win prizes from the library!

grove city library

Southwest Public Libraries

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: May 30 – July 25, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Register online to read, watch online programs and do online activities in order to earn raffle entries and prizes! The program includes special online performances!

Bexley Public Library

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: June 1
Ages: All ages
How it works: Track your reading online or by printing out a paper version. Highlights include virtual programming, a coloring page to hang in your window, a bookmark contest and more! 

Upper Arlington Public Library

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: June 1 – July 31, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Register online and download the reading log and mark each day you read. If you read for 15 days or more, you earn a free book! 

Delaware County District Library

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: June 1 – August 21, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Read for 12 hours throughout the summer and collect prizes at the 6 and 12 hour benchmarks. Download the reading log to keep track of your reading. Most programs and events will be virtual. 

Pickerington Public Library 

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: June 8 – August 8, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Track your reading on the READsquared app and earn toys, coupons and raffle tickets for grand prizes! There is also a technology-free option! You can register for an one on one zoom story time with a library staff person and there will also be live zoom events throughout the summer! 

I will continue to add more as they are announced! In the meantime if you’re missing library story times, check out this list of  17 Columbus Based Virtual Story Times for Kids!

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Summer Reading Programs in Columbus Ohio


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A Boy Mom Does American Girl

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American Girl Columbus asked me to share some of their events with you – – which is right in line with What Should We Do Today? So I said, “sure!” Then they said I could bring my kids to one of their events. I said, “Sounds great!” I read through the list . . . tea parties, hair salon events, etc. Ahhh…this probably isn’t going to work with 2 boys! 😉 But luckily for me I am an aunt to an awesome niece who LOVES American Girl! Wouldn’t I be the coolest aunt in the world if I could surprise her with tickets for one of these events? (Now you know my true motives…) Well, I was the cool aunt for at least 24 hours (I think.) 🙂

In mid-June my niece, Ava, was able to attend a Doll Hair Salon Spectacular event where she learned how to style her doll’s hair, received some cool hair accessories, a snack and a goodie bag!

All of the girls arrived at American Girl at 9:00 AM – one hour before the doors opened. The event took place in a special room closed off from the rest of the store. Each doll had it’s own stool, cape and hair supplies for the duration of the event. While the girls learned how to take care of their doll’s hair and style it, the moms waited in the store (or if they were me, they went around trying to take fancy pictures). (Oh, lets be honest, they also snuck out for coffee!)

The first time I ever walked through American Girl shortly after they opened at Easton Town Center, I was overwhelmed! When I was growing up, the American Girls were just characters in historical fiction books I shelved at the library where I worked in high school. After that, I went off to college, went about my life, got married, had kids and then opened the door to American Girl at Easton. Obviously, I had no idea what had transpired with the American Girls since 1995!

   

At first I was cynical. I’ll be honest. I couldn’t believe there could be so much stuff for dolls! But what I have since come to appreciate is that there are 10 year olds still playing with dolls. In fact, if you’ve been to Easton, you can probably attest that there are kids a lot older than 10 still into American Girl. And I can really get behind the fact that my niece, who could be doing all sorts of things that rush her into maturity at lightning speed, is still interested in dressing a doll, getting its hair done and hopefully learning some history and reading a book or two in the process!

If you’ve stepped inside American Girl, you know it’s not cheap. But let me tell you, I was truly impressed with the value of the event. Now granted, in full disclosure, we didn’t have to pay for it, but the Doll Hair Salon Spectacular was $20. In addition to the experience of the event, what was included was Bright Highlights for the dolls hair (retail value $10), a snack of yogurt, fruit and a muffin, plus a goodie bag full of things like the American Girl Magazine, a paper doll, and a doll accessory. To me, that’s a deal!

If you’ve been putting off doing something like eating at the cafe because of the price, an event like this would probably thrill your daughter even more for a great price!

Looking to have an American Girl experience with a special girl in your life?

Your girl and her doll can also have a meal in the American Girl Bistro! Lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are served. Click on the links to see the menus! It is highly recommended that you make reservations in advance – which you can do from the website.

Dolls can also have their hair styled, ears pierced, a spa package, and nails polished. Dolls can also get hearing aids on one or both ears! See all services here.

American Girl also offers all-inclusive Birthday Party packages! View all options here!

 

Thanks to American Girl for allowing me to be the cool aunt for a day! 🙂

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ICYMI: 35 Free Things to Do with Your Kids this Summer in Columbus


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Exploring Delaware with Your Kids

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Just 40 minutes from downtown Columbus, a trip to Delaware includes a unique dinosaur park, cupcakes and a great children’s bookstore!

Here’s a fun day trip idea we stumbled onto a few weeks ago! I say stumbled because though I planned to go to the park and splash pad, the rest of the day was somewhat unplanned. Delaware is a 40-ish minute trip from downtown Columbus and has a super cute downtown area.

First of all, the park. As far as parks and playgrounds go, this one is awesome! I love that there is a playground (a REALLY nice one) so close to the splash pad. It’s the whole package in case your kids get tired of one or the other quickly. The playground area is covered in artificial turf – so no mud or mulch to deal with!

There is a dinosaur theme with large dinosaur prints in the sidewalk, a dinosaur slide and dinosaurs to run through at the splash pad.

There are some water tables on the edge of the playground – my kids really wanted something to play with inside them (which we didn’t have). So if your kids aren’t into being splashed, but still like to play in water, bring some plastic animals or cars to play with in the water!

Another nice thing about the splash pad is that there is a covered area for sitting. Throughout the park there were two large pavilions with picnic tables for shade and eating. There is also a snack shack.

If you followed me last summer, you might remember that my kids were not big fans of splash pads! 🙂 So I’ll tell you, I didn’t even pack swim suits – just an extra change of clothes! haha. Well, this year they proved to be a little bit braver than last so we needed those clothes! {See Five on Friday: Splash Pads here!}

After the Spray and Play, we headed downtown with no particular destination in mind.

We found a couple of bakeries and coffee shops and ended up choosing Fresh Start Cafe and Bakery. There were lots of yummy treats and Crimson Cup coffee. The boys chose cupcakes because they always do and I heard no complaints! 😉

  

We walked around downtown a bit and ended up at Fundamentals: Children’s Books, Toys and Games, which is a fun store for kids books and art and teacher supplies! (Fundamentals is now Beanbag Books.)

  

This summer, Fundamentals will be hosting a Where’s the Penguin hunt around downtown Delaware, based on the book Where’s the Penguin by Sophie Schrey! Beginning July 1, kids can search for the penguin at at least 20 participating businesses and prizes will be given away!  The Find the Penguin Grand Finale Party will take place at Fundamentals on August 4, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, during the First Friday events in downtown Delaware.

The store also hosts a story time that includes stories, music, dancing, and crafts at 10:30 AM! The next one is July 26th!

Another event they have coming up is the Summer Reading Road Trip on on Sunday, July 16th from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM which includes giveaways, costume character, author signings, crafts and activities!

I’m looking forward to returning to downtown Delaware! Does anyone have a Delaware favorite to recommend?

Know Before You Go:

Spray and Play at Veterans Park
1121 S. Houk Rd, Delaware, OH 43015

Fresh Start Cafe and Bakery
24 North Sandusky Street
Delaware, Ohio, OH 43015
(740) 990-0388
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday-Saturday 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Fundamentals: Children’s Books, Toys and Games (Now Beanbag Books)
25 W Winter St
Delaware, Ohio, OH 43015
(740) 363-0290
Monday-Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Sunday: Closed

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ICYMI: 6 Ways to Enjoy Columbus Commons this Summer


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