Playtime: Fun ways to keep your kids reading this summer

This week, I am writing my column about summer reading inside the library. I’d like to say that it is because I am going to cover all of the local summer reading options and the fun Sno-Isle Explore Summer events and I wanted to immerse myself in the environment that I was writing about, but it’s because a moving truck split our internet/cable/phone line in half yesterday. While I knew we were tech/internet dependent, I got another reminder yesterday when it hit me that even our thermostat connects to the internet. Besides, we use the library all of the time and a good portion of that is my putting holds on books for the kids and then sending one of them in to grab them off the hold shelf.

The Edmonds Library is all decked out for this year’s Explore Summer theme of “A Universe of Stories.” As you enter, there is a great place for photo ops featuring a cardboard rocket with cut-outs for little faces with a space-themed backdrop and of course, a sign with all the ways you can tag Sno-Isle as you post the pictures. Just past the front desk, there are computers designated to register for the summer reading program with reading logs available at the front desk or online at The librarian I spoke to about the pamphlets explained how they like to give the children the full experience of talking to a librarian and getting their reading log once they’ve registered. The kids edition of the reading log has an award on the back which gets a golden sticker addition once the reading is complete

Nearby Sno-Isle branches are gearing up to hold their Explore Summer launch events and this year, attendees 18 years and under can tip-off their summer reading with the opportunity to receive two complimentary tickets to either the Storm Aug. 2 or Aug. 8 regular-season home game at Everett’s Angel of the Winds Arena. They do warn that there will be a limited supply of vouchers available at the launch events. The Edmonds Library is holding its launch event, Space Quest, Tuesday, June 18 at 4 p.m. Readers 5 and up can “test meteorites with robots; peer into an infinity star box; create a planetary object and watch it orbit in space!” The Lynnwood Library will have its launch event, Gravity Catastrophe with The Zaniac, Alex Zerbe, Wednesday, June 26 at 4 p.m. as readers of all ages can head to the library “for a show combining a tornado of juggling skills with a whirlwind of scientific knowledge all about gravity!” The launch event at the Mountlake Terrace Library will also be the Gravity Catastrophe show on June 26th, but this branch will hold theirs at 6:30.

There are always a lot of fun options at Sno-Isle libraries over the summer and you can find more info about the events like Mountlake Terrace’s Rovin’ Around Mars event on July 9 or the Brier branch’s Lunar Science event on July 10 at You can change the “kids” in the link to “teens” to fit your family’s needs. They also have an “Events & Classes” brochure at the front desk which has each library’s offering listed by branch.

Posted behind the front desk of the Edmonds library is a list of dates for Storytime in the Park. It will be held at 11 a.m. on July 9 at Hickman Park, July 16 at Seaview Park, July 23 at Mathay-Ballinger Park, and July 30 at Edmonds City Park. Events like this check a lot of boxes: You can be outside, have an easy exit route if it doesn’t work and I think back to a sandwich in the car and a nap after once you get home.

Half Price Books and Barnes and Noble also have summer reading programs with logs available online and in-person. At Half Price Books, kids 14 and under can read 15 minutes a day, or be read to if they’re still learning, until they reach 300 or more minutes. Once they’ve reached the goal they can head to Half Price Books (ours is next to the empty Trader Joe’s space on 196th in Lynnwood) and claim their “Bookworm Bucks.” Teens are welcome to read any of the titles listed on and write a review to earn their “Bookworm Bucks. You can get your Half Price Books reading log HERE.

Barnes and Noble offers Kids in 1st through 6th grades a chance to earn a free book with their Summer Reading Program. “All they have to do is read eight books and record them in their Summer Reading Journal, and tell us about which part of the book is their favorite and why, by visiting their local Barnes & Noble store or” You can get a Reading Journal in-store (our Barnes and Noble is on the corner of 196th and Alderwood Mall Parkway in Lynnwood) or online and once completed, they can bring it to Barnes & Noble between May 16 and Sept. 5 to pick a free book — the options are listed on the back of the Reading Journal.

Jen Marx

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.

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