Free Amazon Kindle from Hotels.com

The Hotels.com Summer Sale is offering either 30% off bookings, a $25 gas card, or a free Amazon Kindle.

Two of our most favorite things: a family getaway and a new book on the Kindle.

Hotels.com – which has long been one of Momscape’s favorite sites for travel deals – is encouraging reading this summer by providing suggested reading lists and free Amazon Kindles as part of its summer GIFTAWAY sale.

This summer, Jamaica Tourist Board’s Dian Holland suggests summer reading choices from her personal bookshelf for your beach bag:

For families and parents who still hasn’t planned alone time with a book and some sand, the hotels.com Summer Sale offers either 30% off bookings, a $25 gas card, or a free Amazon Kindle to read the above books digitally.

Book a trip to Jamaica or to the closest local beach at hotels.com. And learn more about the Summer Giftaway: Save up to 30% + Get Great Gifts!
This promotion is valid on select hotels only. Minimum spend required, while supplies last.
Book by 6/27/11, travel by 7/31/11

Learn more about Amazon Kindle from our Things We Love blog >

See more Hotels.com Coupons and Promotions >

Summer Reading

Today is the first day of summer vacation for my kids. After school yesterday, we took part in our annual last day of school tradition, namely, going to Starbucks for Double Chocolaty Chip Frappucinos and making lists of things we want to do before the school bell rings again in the fall.

I’ll tell you what I want to do: inspire my kids to read. It’s not a problem for the 10 year old. With her, we have the problem of trying to get her to take her nose out of a book on occasion so she doesn’t trip on curbs as she walks down the street.

I want to get each of my kids fired up about reading, and – failing that – at least read enough so they don’t backslide by next year.

Here are some ideas we’re going to try to institute:

1. Start the ‘summer learning adventure’ by heading to the local library. (Though we’ll probably wait until next week. The kids have declared today – the first day of summer break – Kid’s Day, which probably means we’ll ride bikes to the nearest ice cream shop and then run around the neighborhood.)

Many public libraries offer reading programs each summer that challenge your child to read. They may have flyers and contests and giveaways to help your child stay on track and reading suggestions divided by age group.

2. Help your kids share their enthusiasm with younger kids. If you have a middle schooler, for example, you could invite the younger kids over for a storytime in which your older kids read to the little ones. Then serve some popsicles.

3. Tie in books about your vacation destination or the region in which you live. Find a children’s book or middle grade novel that ties into a summer vacation location. Read about the history of an area or read a historical novel that ties into a place you are going to visit.

4. Have a family reading time. Whether you replace an hour of television each night, or start off with a book in the morning, choose a book that everyone will enjoy and take turns reading the story aloud. Make the book come alive by reading the parts with different voices.

5. Let your kids choose whatever they want to read. Let them choose a comic book instead of a chapter book, for example. Some children, especially those that are struggling, prefer comic books because the text is large, the sentences are short, and the entire story isn’t that long. They feel they actually can read and understand comics better because the artwork helps tell the story.

Or choose a book that’s just for fun. My kids have each devoured the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series -though one was introduced to it when it was a bit high for his reading level, and the others were introduced to it when it was too low. They each related to Greg Hefley, and I enjoyed reading parts of it aloud, as well.

6. Use gadgetry to your advantage. If your kids are into screen time, let them borrow your ereader or download a book on their ipod.

7. Find educational computer games and games for video game systems that let your kids have fun while helping them hone their basic skills. (Of course, too many computer games – educational or not – will reduce your child’s activity level, so keep it in moderation.)

Here are a couple to try:

Readingeggs.com – This site is paid but comes with a free trial. Online games and activities, songs, with golden eggs and other rewards, which help kids feel proud of their reading and motivate them to keep learning and exploring.

Hooked on Phonics also has a variety of Reading Solutions for Kids, perfect for summertime. These programs are for kids ages 3 to 12.

Hooked on Phonics can help Pre-K children get a head start on reading before entering kindergarten in the fall. It can help children who struggle with reading catch up over the summer and be ready for the new school year, and it can help children who are on pace with reading have a fun summer learning activity that will also prevent learning loss over the summer.

In addition, here is Momscape’s list of Fun and Educational Sites for Elementary School Students

As well as more ideas on helping your kids learn all summer long.

Here are more ideas for Summer Reading:

Summer Reading Program Fun
Summer Reading Program Fun
Price: $27.54
Make your summer reading program fun with an innovative approach kids will love. Choose one game to plan your summer reading program or try them all, and you have 10 years of programming!

Summer Reading Renaissance
Summer Reading Renaissance
Price: $45.0
Discover a new approach to summer programs that doesn”t involve counting hours and books, giving rewards and awards-just reading, learning, and fun.