Cool Summer Reading Programs

In the past day and a half my bro and I have been looking for reading programs for this summer so we don’t get bored. Here are  the reviews we have written about the programs we looked at. There are also links to the sites if your interested  in signing up.

The Summmer reading programs that we have reviewed are here:

Barnes & Noble

The Barnes & Noble sign up was easy, not that hard to find on the website, and it has good prizes.

NBA Blazers

The NBA Blazers reading program is not online right now, but they are doing it this summer. You get to pick a Blazer game ticket for finishing the program. Get the NBA Blazers reading sheet at your local library in Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA.

Book Adventure program

The Book adventure program has 10 prizes to chose from. I wish the prizes were more like the books I like to read.

Books a million

For the Booksamillon program you read 6 books off their list before August 16 and you will get a free pencil and pencil case.

Chuck E Cheeses

The Chuck E  Cheeses reading program was very easy, not hard to find, and has a good reward. The reward for reading 15 min a day for two weeks in a row is 10 tokens. However, you need to make a purchase from the food menu in order to receive the tokens. I called guest relations and they said you can buy any thing off the food menu, including just a drink to get your tokens.  Each token is worth .33 if you buy 30, so they are giving you $3.30-minus whatever your food cost is.  The cheapest items on the menu are apple juice and milk at $1.69. Bottled water is $1.99 and wine and gluten free cupcakes are $2.99 each.  So basically, if you read the books, they are giving you ten tokens and an apple juice for $1.69.


The Dogo reading program not that hard to sign up with, and isn’t hard to find the reward, It’s lovely if you like new books. they have a list of books you can chose from on their site.If you  read 3 books from their reading list you can get 1 free book from their website.


The Exodus books program has you pay 5.00 to register and if you read 5 five books off their reading list, you get $5 gift card to their book store. If you are in 1-6 grade and read 25 books you get a $10 dollar gift card to spend on their website. If you are 7-12 grade you get $15 for reading 5000 pages. For every 5 books you get another entry on their $50 grand prize. If you enter the competition then you get entered in a drawing for $75. Their program runs through August 31.

Half Price Books

The Half Price Reading program is easy to find has a good prize and is easy to sign up with. If you read 300 mins or more you get a $5 gift card for each month for June and July. The top reader in each age group each month also gets a $20 gift card.

Junie B Jones

The Junie B Jones reading club lets you print out a colorful reading book log but there are no prizes.

Pizza Hut

The Pizza Hut summer reading program has games you  can play and is easy to sign up to you can enter a drawing for some prizes after you read five books. click this to go to the page to submit.

Prizes; Taxes: For each Prize Winner, the following will be awarded (hereinafter referred to “Prize”):
One (1) Grand Prize Winner
 One (1) Tote Bag
 One (1) $50 Pizza Hut Gift Card
 One (1) Autographed Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hardback Book, Book 1
 One (1) Set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hardback Book, Books 2-8 (7 books)
 One (1) Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Journal
 One (1) Set of Your Best Ideas Notebook (3 notebooks)
Total value of Grand Prize: Approx. $126.99

Forty Nine (49) Second Prize Winners
 One (1) Tote Bag
 One (1) $20 Pizza Hut Gift Card
 One (1) Boxed Set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hardback Books, Books 1-7 and Do-It-Yourself
Journal (8 books)
 One (1) Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck Hardback Book
 One (1) Diary of a Wimpy Kid Notebook
Total value of each Second Prize: Approx. $87.99
Total value of all Prizes: Approx. $4,438.50

Pottery Barn Kids

The Pottery Barn Kids is hosting a reading program through July 31st. you can pick one of these prizes if you read 8 books and if you are 10 and under.


The Scholastic summer challenge runs from May 5 -September 5. it also has you read and once you reach a weekly milestone to get a entry to win books.

Show Case Cinema

The Show Case Cinema is located in the north east.They have a summer reading program that earns you tickets to a movie on a Wednesday on this list.

Skrafty Minecraft reading program

The Skrafty reading program first you have to get whitelisted on the website. Then sign up on the reading program it will send you an email then confirm the email then wait 24 hours for further instructions and it has good prizes it gives you stuff on their server.

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Minecraft: How to Breed and tame Horses

In order to breed horses you need to collect these items while mining or breaking trees:  64 or so apples,18 gold ingots,and a crafting table.

Next you find two or more horses together. Take the apples (make sure you keep at least 2 apples) and right click the horse with the apples until it will not grow no more. Do the same with the other horse.

Next use the crafting table by right clicking on it.

Put the two apples in the middle of the crafting table and surround them with all the gold ingots. Next move the golden apples to your inventory.

Then, with nothing in your hand, tame your horse by right clicking on them until they have hearts above them.

Last, right click the horses with the golden apples and they will make a baby horse.

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Summer To Do For Boys: August

We’ve made a to do list for August.  We are now home from all our camps and plan on

Board Game Party for Boys

Board Game Party for Boys

filling each of our home days with excitement. Do you have a list too?

Week One:

Day 1 Play Airsoft (with protective eye gear!)

Day 2 Make a Potato Cannon (do NOT stand in front of it or look down the barrel! Always think that it’s loaded, and only fire into a field with an adult around!)

Day 3 Organize our Legos/Playmobile/Things with small pieces (books), (pieces), (display options), and (Minifigs)

Day 4 Beat our highest score in Tetris or another mind game.

Day 5 Find a new favorite song

Day 6 Write a quick note to our best friend, telling them how cool they are.

Day 7 Do a Mensa Puzzle or Maze or Sudoku or Cross Word Puzzle

Week Two:

Day 8 Participate in or write a play/video with a friends and film/perform it or sign up for a summer theater camp or fall classes.

Day 9 Throw an impromptu Catan or Monopoly board game party with after dinner snacks.

Day 10 Go through your shoes and give away any worn out or used ones.

Day 11 Label a coin jar to start saving for a bank account.

Day 12 Turn in your Summer Reading program papers at your library, Pottery Barn Kids, and Barnes and Noble to get your prizes.

Day 13 Donate fresh socks/stuffed animal/a new toy to a homeless shelter.

Day 14 Take pictures of 5 things in nature that make you happy. (You can upload them to a book printing website like LuluMagcloud, Shutterfly, Mixbook, Snapfish, Picaboo, MyPublisher, Blurb, Adoramapix, or a poster making site if you wish as well.)

Day 15 Fill a cooler w/ice and sell frozen treats around your neighborhood. Don’t dehydrate yourself though, be sure to eat one too!

Day 16 Organize and repair your game system, computer, or games. Clean them up and get rid of any you don’t really play any more. Someone else might love to play them if you aren’t!

Day 17 Set a goal of doing 5 nice things for other people today

Day 18 Figure out how a roller coaster, a watch, a radio, or the beeping of your dad’s phone works.

Day 19 Find the closest Farmer’s Market and mark it on your calendar to visit this next week.

Day 20 Go to Barnes and Noble, your local kids bookstore, or online and find an author to love.

Day 21 Camp out with your family or friends. Roast marshmallows, pop popcorn, bake potatoes in foil in the fire.

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Basketball Gyms

sweet_poolIf we had to pick only one sport, we’d say were were best at basketball.  This is because our dad loves basketball, so we’ve played since we could walk.  We go to two gyms on a regular basis.  We go to Cascade Athletic Club because they have a full court gym where we can play pick up games and try to beat our dad.  It also has a deep outdoor pool that is sweet in the summer.  (Mom calls us fish.)

The other gym we like is Shoot 360.  We each get our own private cage and a “Gun” that passes the ball

my own hoop

personal court

back to you after every shot.  That is sooooo cool because you aren’t spending all your time chasing down balls.  It also has ball handling stations with videos showing you drills to work on.

They also keep track of all your workouts in your file so you can track where you are and where you want to be.

ball handling station

video drill station

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Spring Cleaning

Steps to cleaning boys rooms

Step One: Decide what you want to do in your room.  Make a list of things you want to do in the room.  Seeing as we have a mini house for 6 persons, our “stuff” needed to be stored in our rooms. ie no playroom (This drives mother crazy, but there is no way around it in this house.)

Example: 1. Play with Legos on a board on the floor. 2. Be able to make forts. 3. Have room to walk places. 4. Storage of my stuff. 5. Being able to draw and write on my desk. 6. Display legos. 7. Store books. 8. Lego storage 9. Dress up storage 10. Clear access to organized clothing storage 11. Long term storage of hand-me-downs

Step Two: Take photos of entire room from multiple angles.

Choose one photo to work on per day. As you are viewing the first photo you choose to work on, write down which goals apply to your first photo.

desk before

Step Three: Example:

We started with the photo of our writing desk. The goals that applied to our writing desk were:

4. Storage of my stuff 5. Being able to draw and write on my desk.

Step Four: Once we’ve decided which goals this area applies to, we made a list of all the things in the picture that didn’t belong.


1. White tray of legos 2. Small blue box 3. All Legos 4. Black lego case 5. Wooden dragon 6. Playmobile basket 7. Sushi box 8. Play gun 9. Stuffed animal 10. Grey lego case 11. Car or marble tracks 12. Lego cup 13. Knitting from the county fair

We then used large rubbermaid containers (20 gallon) to hold all of these things temporarily.  As each item was placed in the container, we highlighted the list.  We had to keep adding to the list as new items came to light…

Step Five: Sometimes the area is deep in layers of stuff.  It’s easier for kids if you disassociate the project from “working” and make it more of a game.  To do this, once we accomplished all the things on the list from the first photo, we took a second. We could now see the difference between the two photos and found a whole new list of things come to light.

In the middle of cleaning

Example: From the second photo we added:

1. Stuffed bunny. 2. Wooden heart 3. Air hockey pucks 4. 3d glasses 5. Red circle 6. Braided cord 7. Wooden box of erector set pieces 8. Box including dragon leg 9. Pipe cleaners 10. Recyclable papers 11. Playmobile instructions 12. Toothpicks

Step Six: This left only the fancy duct tape, colored pencil holder, flash drive, and two origami boxes, just the things we wanted on our desk. We also pulled out all the papers from the drawer, recycled almost everything and put two folders and a small journal back in.

Once the list was completed, we found other items from the room that actually achieved the goals we had listed.

Example: 1. two pencils 2. a supply basket 3. an eraser 4. a sharpener 5. pencil holder 6. notebook 7. tape 8. scissors

All clear

Step Seven: We closed the bins and set them in the garage until tomorrow. One photo a day is enough for anybody.

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Guns and Roses

Guns:  We decided to dress up as Men in Black this Halloween. We haven’t seen the movies, but they’ve got very cool gadgets. We like their Neuralizer, and especially their Cricket guns.  We didn’t like the fact that the toy version listed on Amazon had such poor reviews though.  So, we decided to make our own Crickets and used a pocketknife with a cool light to stand in for the memory eraser.  We had black suits that we wore for our uncle’s wedding this summer, and ties we had to wear to our brothers piano recital last spring, so our outfits were set. Oh! We also bought these cool wraparound sunglasses. They looked great and worked perfectly at the pre-Halloween party we went to.  However, mom bumped them out of munchkin #4’s hand right before we left to trick-or-treat and they snapped. (The bottom edge is a little too thin.) She taped them back together really quickly and no one could tell because it was so dark out.  However, we were not happy with the quality. One bump! These were made for kids like us, and we think that they should have been a LOT stronger. We would recommend getting glasses that looked just like these, but that don’t break. Maybe you need to strength test them in the store before you get them. They are supposedly made for kids!

Next we had our guns to create.

And Roses

We also LOVE books on tape. Currently we are “reading” The Secret Garden. Listening to a book is sooo much easier that trying to get through the slow spots. You could easily get bored reading about Colin whining in bed and put the book down.  When someone else is reading it to you though, you can build something with Legos while you float through a rough spot and then tune in when the action comes up again.

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Knitting is Cool

Dad says, “Knitting is for girls.” Mom says, “Knitting IS for girls. And boys.” We say, “If girls want to knit too, that’s fine with us.” We picked out some variegated (multicolored) yarn yesterday after running out of our tiny sample balls from the fair.

We went to the fair last summer, dying to ride every ride. Every ride. However, our money didn’t stretch that far, and there were the Lego contest winners to see.  So, we carefully pored over every Lego structure other kids had entered. Once we’d figured out every possible new feature anyone had entered, we wandered past a table with two little old ladies.  They looked up and offered to teach us how to knit and give us our own needles and yarn. If we didn’t even figure out how to knit, who’s to pass up a ball of yarn and daggers? So, we sat down and picked out our favorite colors and learned how to knit. It took some of us a bit to get the hang of it. (But not me!)  After spending some time at the booth, we were all finally creating small knitted strips of our own. We rediscovered our love of knitting this week when we saw this awesome video on YouTube.

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