Friday, July 19, 2013

Jack's Summer Reading Tree

I love to read.
I love books, bookstores, words, word puzzles, name it, I love it!

So it's really no surprise that I've been obsessed focused on instilling a love of reading in my boys.

After trying charts and timers, stickers and lollipops.....

I've found that they really enjoy a visual, tangible way 
to see how much they've read over the summer.

This year Jack and I came up with a Reading Tree!

Our tree has been growing for about three weeks!
(school gets out for us in late June)

What do you think!?

It started out as an idea after reading one of our favorite books,

Rocket Writes a Story

Rocket is a little dog who learns to read from his teacher, the little yellow bird.
 When ever they find a new word....they write it on a little sticky note and put it on their tree!

Jack said, "I wish we had a tree like that!  I would cover the whole thing up!"

I wasn't about to let an opportunity like that pass us by!

I found the branches in the clearance aisle at Jo-Ann's.

They're a little rubbery so I was able to bend and stretch them out.
At first I had them in the vase by themselves, but that bothered Jack.

"Mom, that's NOT a tree! 
Trees don't just grow in a vase full of air.  
They need to be planted in something or they'll flop over!"
(silly mommy, what was I thinking!)

The rocks are from our backyard and I had a little bag of moss.

Tree planted....problem solved (whew!).

I used green card stock and cut a bunch of leaf shapes
(just freehand, nothing fancy),
punched holes in them and precut some green ribbon.

These are all in a little bowl with a pencil by the base of the tree.

When Jack finishes a book, he grabs a leaf, writes the book's name on it
(this also gets him some much needed printing practice before 1st grade)...

...puts the little ribbon stem through the hole...

...and its ready for the tree!

Sometimes he ties it on, sometimes he leaves it for me.

I can't wait to see how full it gets by the end of summer!

Thanks for stopping by! Lizy B
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  1. What a great idea! I will have to try this....although Collin is now reading 500 page books, and it might take awhile to "grow leaves" but that is ok with me...he is reading and that is what is important! need to make this in "cookie" form!

    1. We had that problem too! Jack's best friend just finished Harry Potter, so of course he wants to read it too, but that would only be one leaf for all those pages!! We settled on a leaf per chapter! Chapter 5 should be finished today!

    2. See...that is why you are a genius! What a great idea...the book he is reading right now has 52 chapters...I will have a full tree in no time!

  2. Such a cute idea, Lizy. Kids definitely need a fun inducement for summer scholastics. I bet Jack will grow up and share this idea with his kids (it's a keeper!). Best.

  3. This is a great idea! I loved that you had a little helper in making the tree too! Ill have to start one of these when my kiddos are older. Love it!

    Im stopping by from the Frugal girls. I would love for you to share this at my Friday link party!

  4. This is a very good idea. I love to read too and my son too. For my daughter, it's a little less attractive :)
    Your tree is really beautiful !

  5. Love his smile! He reminds me of my Matt when he was that age... Terrific idea on the Reading Tree!!!

  6. You and Jack are so cleaver! This is an awesome idea and I bet teacher would love it! You go JACK!!!

  7. We love reading too...and just recently read the rocket book. It's cute! Grace, my 5-year-old, is really into reading Nancy Drew. She loves mysteries. Cecelia (almost 2) loves anything with ABCs. This reading tree is a great idea!! We might have to make one!!!

  8. Everything about this idea speaks to my "mother" heart.....remembering when my 2 boys were Jack's age, their best efforts at printing, their pride at finishing a book, their desire to read more......and to my "teacher" heart.....I'm already thinking about how to adjust this idea to accommodate leaves for 35 students. Thanks for another great post!

  9. what an awesome idea!!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Aww, this is such a great idea! And the tree looks wonderful!

    Julie @ This Gal Cooks

  11. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

  12. Maker of Karen's semi-famous lemon sugar cookiesAugust 14, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    Brilliant idea, Elizabeth! And attractively implemented too. What happened to "Jack-Jack's" sweet curls?! (I think his printing is pretty good for an almost first-grader.)

    -Karen (Barb's sister)

  13. maker of Karen's semi-famous lemon sugar cookiesAugust 14, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Brilliant idea, Elizabeth! And attractively implemented too. What happened to "Jack-Jack's" sweet curls?! (I think his printing is pretty impressive for an almost first-grader.)

    -Karen (Barb's sister)


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