Our family has been camping since our girls were little, as you can see from the picture above. We have learned from little to big what we love to have in our camper to keep everyone busy rain or shine.
We are going to share some of our favorites and a few of the new things we are bringing with us next week for our Fourth of July camping trip.
Whether the kids are stuck inside during the rain or spread out on a blanket outside of the camper. Art Supplies and drawing books have been a must have since they were little and they still use them now.
Coloring Sets and Creativity kits are also a great option to have stashed away in the camper and grab out when you need something special to get through a camping trip and keep the kids using their imaginations.
Kids love to build and create anywhere and everywhere. MadMattr and Plus Plus building kits are a great alternative to Playdough and Legos.
One of favorite things to do with the kids while we camp has always been games. We have found our favorites that we always have in the camper. Not everyone in our family loves playing games, but here are a few that we all enjoy and they can be played by kids from little to big. Qwixx has been a staple in our camper for years and we still love to play. (even our non-game player :)
We have a few new games that we are going to take with us in our camper next week. We have played Anomia before and it is a favorite. (ages 10+) There is Anomia for Kids, too. S'mores Wars, Iota and WTF will be new ones for us to try. We also have some favorites for littles that we know they will love. They are all compact so they don't take up a lot of space and are fun for the whole family.
It is time to pack up all of the other essentials like S'mores supplies, but we hope these ideas help you prepare your family for camping fun!
One of the things we love most about summer is the opportunity to read more. With the crazy end of the school year, we know that summer reading is going to be even more important.
We want to add to the fun of summer reading with a Whimsy Summer Reading Challenge. We have book goal sheets for June and July and a fun Reading Activity Bingo for Kids. We didn't want to leave out the Teens and Adults so there are Bingo Sheets and prizes for you, too.
Whimsy Kids Summer Reading Challenge
1. Make your own reading goal!
We suggest 20 minutes per day for independent readers and one book a day for younger, dependent readers.
2. Stamp or Cross Out one square each day you read.
3. Read anything you want! You may also listen to someone read.
4. Turn in your Reading Log between August 1- August 15th for a free book.
Your chart does not have to be full to turn in, we just want to encourage you to read as much as you can.
(You will choose a book from our special Book section created for our Summer Reading Challenge)
5. Every time you do one of the Reading Related Activities, stamp or cross out a square on your Book Activity Bingo sheet.
6. Turn in your Book Bingo Sheet by August 15 for chances to win extra prizes from Whimsy.
(You will earn one entry for every Bingo Row you have filled. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the summer)
7. Have your parents tag @whimsyonmain on Social Media and use the hashtag #whimsysummerreading showing pictures throughout the summer of you on your reading adventure.
You will earn extra entries into the final giveaways with each social media post.
Whimsy on Main is still closed to in store shopping but you can pick up Reading Challenge packets at the door starting on Monday, June 1st. The packets will have the challenge sheets, Bingo Sheets and activity sheets for kids to help you complete your Reading Bingo.
You can print these out if you do not get the opportunity to stop by, or if you live out of town. Every sheet is available under Printables below. You don't need to live in Milbank to participate. You can participate through social media and email us a picture of the completed sheets at the end of the summer.
Teen Bingo sheets are for kids in middle school-high school and the Adult Bingo sheets are for college and beyond. You can also tag us on social media (@whimsyonmain) and use the hashtag #whimsysummerreading as you complete your reading Bingo challenges for extra entries into our prizes. You can either print out your Bingo Sheet or stop by Whimsy for one that we already have printed.
Prizes will be awarded on August 17, 2020.
Free books for turning in the Reading Logs are available for kids ages 4-fifth grade.
Stay tuned for book recommendations and other book related activities throughout the summer. Happy Reading!!
June Reading Challenge
July Reading Challenge
Kids Reading Activity Bingo
Teen Reading Bingo
Adult Reading Bingo
Create a Summer Bucket List
Create a Graphic Story
Make Homemade Playdough
Write a Book Review
Create a Diorama
Create a Book Journal page 1, page 2, page 3
Create a Time Capsule
Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Write a Haiku
Write an Acrostic Poem
Write a Short Story
We all seem to be stuck at home for awhile...but Easter is still coming!
Whimsy would like to help you make sure that your kids Easter Baskets are still filled on Easter Morning. We have created some Easter Basket guides to help you. All of these items are currently available on our website. There are a lot more products available, but we had to pick some of our favorites. You can search toys by age to get even more ideas. Also we only included a few books and we have so many great titles available. You can search books by level as well.
Easter Basket Ideas for 0-2 Year Olds:
Easter Basket Ideas for 3-4 Year Olds:
Easter Basket Ideas for 5-7 Year Olds:
Easter Basket Ideas for 8-12 Year Olds:
Shop Online or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are open in store right now and we can do curbside pickup, free local delivery or ship your products to you so they arrive before Easter.
I know we know the importance of reading aloud to our kids when they can't read themselves, but do you quit reading aloud to your kids when they start to read themselves?
Common Sense Media lists 10 reasons you should read aloud to Big Kids.
Now is a great opportunity for you to start reading aloud to your kids if you are not already. Here are some great ideas to read to your kids.
I have read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with all three of my girls. I read this book with each of my girls when they were in third grade. It was a great starting point for them to start the series. Once we got through the first book together, they took off and read the entire series on their own. (fun fact: If you read the entire Harry Potter series you will have read over 1 Million words!)
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
2. The One and Only Ivan
3. Anne of Green Gables
4. The Secret Garden
5. Little Women
6. Doctor Dolittle
7. The Great Treehouse War
8. Case Closed: Mystery in the Mansion
10. The Book Wanderers
It really doesn't matter which book you choose, the important thing is to start reading. Grab a book off of your shelf or find one that you loved as a child and want to introduce to them. You won't regret it!
Summer is a great time to get caught up on reading and we have some great books for you to read. Goodreads has a great Summer Reading Challenge that we wanted to share with you. This is a great list to get you reading something different this Summer.
We don't want the kids to have all of the fun with Summer Reading Challenges so we want to give you an opportunity to join the fun. We challenge you to read from books in the categories above. After you read a book from this list, submit a review to email@example.com. It doesn't have to be wordy, it doesn't have to be fancy, just an honest review of the book you read. If it is a book we carry in Whimsy, we may even feature your review on a shelf-talker in the store. And if it is not a book we carry at Whimsy, you may give us a great reason to order something new!
Each review you do will give you a chance to win some great prizes at the end of the summer. If you need some suggestions for any of the categories, stop in and see us and we can give you some great options.
Don't forget you can shop online anytime and there is free pick up in store or we can ship to you. You don't have to live in the Milbank area to participate!
Summer is a great opportunity for kids to really explore different books and find books that they really enjoy without having to worry about testing and levels. We know that not all kids love to read, but we also know that sometimes they need to be exposed to different books that will hook them and help them progress into new and exciting books that they have never read before.
We want to share with you some great books for reluctant readers that we think make perfect transitional books to get kids reading more. The "Summer Slide" is real and kids that keep reading during the summer are more prepared for school in the fall.
Scholastic has a great line of books that are comic books/graphic novels for early readers. We have three books available in the Acorn line right now at Whimsy. Unicorn and Yeti Sparkly New Friends and Do You Like My Bike are both considered to be grades Pre Kindergarten through 1st Grade. A Friend for Dragon is Kindergarten through Grade 2.
Here is a great selection of books for middle grades 2-4 or readers that need a break book after reading something a little more difficult and they want a fun fast read.
Catwad It's Me. is a collection of short comic stories that will make even the grumpiest of grouches crack up and is not to be missed! Super Turbo has easy-to-read language, illustrations, and comic panels on almost every page, the Super Turbo chapter books are perfect for emerging readers! Press Start! book series will boost reading confidence and stamina in emerging readers. For Video game fans, this is a great beginning chapter book series.
Girls will love the Princess in Black series! This is a great series for girls that are reluctant readers. Owl Diaries are aimed at kids that are ready for their first chapter books. This series is great for young girls who love friendship stories starring animal characters!
The series Haggis & Tank is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot series is a nine book series that is a great first chapter book stories packed with color and text that will transition easily from early readers into a chapter book.
The Bad Guys series is a hilarious illustrated chapter book series, bad guys are doing good deeds...whether you want them to or not! We have three books in this 8 book series with a new one coming at the end of June.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians in Graphic Novel form will introduce younger kids to the series that they can transition to the chapter books when they are ready. We have the first book The Lightning Thief on order and available in the store right now we have The Sea of Monsters, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Titan's Curse.
Another great Graphic Novel series is the Wings of Fire series. In the graphic novels kids are introduced to characters they can read in more detail as chapter books. The illustrations are sure to hook a reluctant reader that enjoys fantasy.
When Troy Cummings first came out with The Notebook of Doom series, kids loved this beginning chapter book series. Now Cummings is back with a brand new series called The Binder of Doom. The first book published in April called Brute-Cake. There are two more books scheduled to be published this fall and winter. Laura James The Adventures of Pug series newest release Safari Pug is a favorite for kids.
Two more series that kids are very familiar with that help them fall in love with reading are The Bad Kitty series and Dog Man. In Bad Kitty, you will join her on her many (mis)adventures. Dog Man is Dav Pilkey's wildly popular series that appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of being true to one's self.
Whenever we host a birthday party at Whimsy it is always interesting to see how long it takes the kids to talk about Butts and/or farts. . .SO, The Fart Squad series is bound to appeal to a variety of kids. These short chapter books are actually at a middle fourth/fifth grade level. If you have a child that doesn't like big books, but you want them to read at a higher book level, this series is perfect and funny, too.
Beasts of Olympus is another series that fits into the short book/higher level middle grade books. These illustrated chapter books are set in a magical Ancient Greece where strange things still walk the Earth.
Mac B. Kid Spy, How to Be a Supervillain, Timmy Failure, Positively Izzy and Just Jaime are all in the third-fourth reading level, but a little longer than the two series menitoned above. They are illustrated chapter books so they have the same feel of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series but at a little earlier reading level. These would be great books to introduce kids to before the Diary of a Wimpy Kid/Dork Diaries books. Girls really love Positively Izzy and Just Jaime and they are great books for kids who love Raina Telgemeier.
Two more great series for kids that love Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries but have read every book are King of the Bench and The Misadventures of Max Crumbly. Max Crumbly is a series by the author Rachel Renee Russell of Dork Diaries.
There are a lot of ideas in this post and hopefully you can find some great books for your reluctant readers. At Whimsy on Main we carefully curate all of our books and believe that we have something for everyone. Bring your kids in and let us talk to them and help them find great books that will help them prevent the Summer Slide and find a love of reading.
Next week is the 100th Anniversary of Children's Book Week and we are so excited to celebrate for the second year by donating books to our Milbank Schools.
This year we decided to host our very own Whimsy Book Awards with the students and let them tell us which books are their favorites. We have been carefully selecting the books we wanted to add to this year's list. All of the books have been published after May 2018. Some of the books on our list were just published this month!
We will be delivering our books to Koch Elementary, St. Lawrence, Milbank Middle School and Milbank High School next week and the voting will begin. The voting will run through May 17, 2019. We will announce our winners May 22, 2019. All of the kids that vote will be entered into a drawing for prizes and we will holding a drawings for a few special prizes to the teachers in the Milbank schools that choose to participate.
Here is a look at the books for each grade level that they will be voting on this year.
Eighth Grade and Above (Young Adult):
Stay Tuned for more posts about the above books and all of the fun we will be having for Children's Book Week!
We are so excited to finally see some signs of Spring in South Dakota after a VERY, VERY LONG Winter. We decided we needed to freshen things up at Whimsy. On our market trip this winter we spent a lot of time searching for the perfect Home product lines to add to our shop.
Last week we introduced three new lines to Whimsy and the feedback has been amazing! We can't wait to continue to introduce new products. It is our goal to continue to add different products to keep this area new and ever changing.
We are so fortunate to have the expertise of Abigail Barragan to buy and design this space. She will continue to keep her eye on the newest trends and out of the box design.
You can check out any of our new home line products in our shop. Most items are available to ship, however, some of the larger items can only be picked up in the store.
Stop by Whimsy on Main to see this beautiful new addition and stay tuned for more!