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Summer Reading for Youth and Adults

Participate in Fairfax County Public Library's summer reading activities!

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How it Works

The gameboard is divided into three prize milestones. Play the game by completing the challenges and when you reach each prize milestone, submit a form to be entered into a random drawing for one of two Amazon e-gift cards. (You may only submit one form for each prize milestone.)

Don’t want to complete some (or any) of the gameboard challenges? In lieu of completing a challenge, read or listen to a book of your choice.


Preschool Gameboard // Tableros para Ninos de Preescolar


Activity 1: Read a picture book about summer or nature and then take a morning walk. Talk about the animals, plants and insects that you see OR read a book of your choice.

When talking with young children, asking open-ended questions, questions that cannot be answered with yes or no, helps them develop their narrative skills, their speaking skills. Be sure to give them plenty of time to respond. It can take from five to twelve seconds for young children to think and answer.

Activity 2: Read book that rhymes and then play a rhyming game – take turns picking words to rhyme OR read a book of your choice.

After you’ve read a rhyming book with your children, come back to a page with rhyming words and talk about two words that rhyme. Children sometimes like to fill in the rhyming word, especially if they have heard the book before. If your children are able, then stop just before you say the second word of the rhyming pair and let your children fill in the word. Recognizing and making rhymes will help them sound out words when they get ready to read.

Activity 3: Make music with things found around the house like pots, pans, spoons, boxes and cups. Sing your favorite songs OR read a book of your choice.

By singing songs with your children [or singing songbooks], you are helping them hear the smaller sounds in words because there is a distinct note for each syllable. This will help them when they later to sound out words when they learn to read.

Music and Movement Websites:

Music Theme Crafts and Activities

Preschool Music Activities

Movement and Dancing Storytime Songs from Jbrary


Activity 4: Sit outside and make a list of seven things you see. Make it more challenging by looking for items starting with the first letter of your name OR read a book of your choice.

When we adults talk with children we most often use nouns, the names of things, with young children. However, to build vocabulary, children must also be exposed to verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and spatial prepositions. So, when a child asks, “What’s that?” We might say a cloud and then define it as a large collection of very tiny drops of water or ice.

Activity 5: Watch an online storytime OR read a book of your choice.

Tune in to the Fairfax County Public Library Facebook page at 10 a.m. for premieres of new Online Storytime videos from FCPL Early Literacy Services staff. Watch all the storytime videos and find the rhyme, song and fingerplay instructions that go with them in the Storytime playlist on the library’s YouTube channel.

Challenge 1-5 Completed

Challenges 1-5 completed? Way to go! Submit a form to be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon e-gift card. Two winners will be chosen and notified by August 31. The drawing closes on August 14.

Way to Go

Activity 6: Read a book about food and then make a menu for the day OR read a book of your choice.

When a child writes or draws a picture we can talk with him or her about their picture. By rephrasing what they say we can introduce them to new words.

Activity 7: Read a family favorite book on the couch OR read a book of your choice.

Helping your children associate books and reading with something enjoyable and positive is supporting print motivation, a child’s interest in and enjoyment of books and reading. Researchers have noted that children who have enjoyable experiences around books are more likely to stick with learning to read even if it difficult. 

Activity 8: Re-tell your favorite story OR read a book of your choice.

Narrative skills are all about storytelling and understanding how stories work. Children should begin to understand that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Being able to describe things and tell events in order, as well as being able to re-tell stories, aids in later reading comprehension skills. Discuss what happens in a story with your child. Ask your child what he or she remembers about familiar stories and even familiar ways of doing things, to encourage this skill.

Practice sharing familiar stories, such as The Three Bears, without a book. Re-telling stories helps your child to understand how stories work, which in turn helps to develop critical thinking skills.

Activity 9: Sing your favorite song and then make up new words to the song OR read a book of your choice.

Singing helps children hear the smaller sounds in words, (which is part of the early literacy skill, phonological awareness.) Preschoolers and older children often like to make up their own verses.  By choosing sentences that fit the rhythm of the song and that use rhyming words, they are developing phonological awareness in enjoyable ways.

Children's Song Lyrics:

Bus Songs 



Making Music Fun 

Activity 10: Attend a virtual summer reading adventure program OR read a book of your choice.

Play Time with Kofi Dennis

Join Kofi Dennis for play time including drumming, singing, dancing and playing games with the African djembe drums and shekeres. Cosponsored by the Friends of George Mason Regional Library.

The Virtual Magic Show

​Join us as Jay Mattioli presents a full-scale magic and illusion show performed live for an interactive audience. Wednesday, July 15, 1:30 p.m. Register.


This video will premiere in August.

Challenge 6-10 Completed

Challenges 6-10 completed? Awesome! Submit a​ form to be entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon e-gift card. Two winners will be chosen and notified by August 31. The drawing closes on August 14.

Way to Go

Activity 11: Take a “picture walk” through a book. Look at the illustrations and talk about what the characters are doing and feeling OR read a book of your choice.

A picture walk helps develop your children’s language and pre-reading skills. The book picture walk allows you to find out what your child knows based on the pictures and encourages them to predict what might happen in the story. You are not reading the book. You are encouraging your child to talk about the pictures. 

Activity 12: Read a bedtime story with a flashlight or in a pillow fort OR read a book of your choice.

Play gives you and your children lots of opportunities to pretend. As you are playing with your children, make a point of adding in a word or two they may not know. You are adding to their vocabulary in a fun way, teaching new words without sitting down to memorize what words mean. Children will remember these words because they are hearing them and using them while being involved in the situation.


Activity 13: Share a funny story, talk about animals that sleep at night OR read a book of your choice.

Children are curious about their world. There is so much to know!  You help them learn when you share with them what you know, and when you help them find new information, by reading books, for example.  All their knowledge will help them understand what they read when they learn to read in school.

Activity 14: Sing your favorite lullaby OR read a book of your choice.

Sing to your children even if you don’t have perfect pitch. In songs, each syllable has a different note. Without really thinking about it, children are hearing words being broken down into parts.  This helps them when they have to sound out words.

Lullaby Websites:

Best Lullabies for Kids

The 30 Best Lullabies for Babies

Lullaby Lyrics

Go to Sleep Lullaby Music for Toddlers

Sweet Dreams + More

Activity 15: Visit Early World of Learning or another library database to learn about animals and their habitats OR read a book of your choice.

When children learn about their world, they can use what they know about a subject to understand what they are reading.

Early World of Learning

Early World of Learning introduces children to core early concepts through stories, songs, videos, games, and printable activities.
Read-along stories are available in English and Spanish.

Kid's InfoBits

For the research needs of students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. It features a graphic interface, a subject search, and full-text, age-appropriate magazines and newspapers on current events, the arts, science, health, people, government, history, sports and more.

Scholastic Go!

Providing credible, accurate, reliable content on almost every core-curricula subject, Scholastic GO!® offers endless resources for research in a multitude of media. Explore nonfiction texts, world newspapers, videos and more with this easy-to-navigate digital resource designed to strengthen content knowledge, vocabulary, and core proficiency skills.

Challenge 11-15 Completed

Challenges 11-15 completed? Congratulations on completing the Preschool Summer Reading Gameboard! Submit a form to be entered into a drawing for a $150 Amazon e-gift card. Two winners will be chosen and notified by August 31. The drawing closes on August 14.


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