5 Minutes for Books: Summer Bridge Activities

by Jennifer Donovan

Check out our three Father’s Day Giveaways and all of our other contests open right now at 5 Minutes for Books.

As of Sunday, it was officially summer. Some of you may have a week or so left of school, while others have been out for several weeks. Some of you are homeschoolers and have set your own “break.” Others will be joining me in sending a child off to school for the first time come fall (How is it that my baby is starting Kindergarten?).

Regardless of how your children are educated and whether or not they love school and learn easily or struggle through some aspect of their schooling, it’s an undeniable fact that children do better if they never stop learning.

We love downtime around my house, and in between camps and vacations, we have a healthy helping of “do-nothing days.” But I have to admit that as much as I enjoy taking advantage of the downtime myself by spending more time reading while the children enjoy their free time, I also like to use the summer to work on projects — be they school skills, an extra project (such as fun creative writing for my daughter who enjoys that), or helping-around-the house skills.

My ten-year-old daughter Amanda and I had the chance to preview a Summer Bridge Activities workbook. I knew that Amanda would be thrilled (Can you imagine the sarcasm dripping from my typed words?). As I anticipated, she rolled her eyes when she saw it, and asked, “Do I have to do that this summer?” I told her I thought it would be a good idea, but would she at least look it over to help me review it.

She immediately saw the motivational calendar at the front of the book which said, “My parents and I decided that if I complete 15 summer bridge activities and read ___ minutes a day my incentive/reward will be: ”

“Reward? I get a reward?” she asked. I would not have believe how quickly that little incentive would change her attitude about this workbook. She was immediately on board (I shouldn’t have been surprised, because I had already seen how the incentive of the Chore Board Game took the nagging out of chores).

The page has a nice checklist for her to color in a star for each activity page she completes, and a book for each time she reads the allotted amount. There are two other sections with similar pages, which I like, because the goal of filling in 50 stars is not seen as attainable. The first two sections deal with review, and the third section is designed to be an introduction to the coming year. We looked through the Summer Bridge Activities: 5th to 6th Grade, and I found it be on target as far as what Amanda learned in math, geography, and grammar. There are some things that she didn’t cover, such as biology (circulatory and digestive systems and more), but this would be a fun enrichment activity for some kids.

Remember how I mentioned that I like to take those extended hours to focus on responsibilities, behaviors and that type of thing? Summer Bridge Activities has that covered too. The back has pages (with activities) devoted to character traits such as Responsibility, Gratitude, Manners and more.

This was my first experience with the Summer Bridge Activities from Carson-Dellosa, but I find myself asking, “Where have you been all my life?” I love the colorful pages, the accurate and challenging content, and the motivational calendar.

One of you will win a copy of THREE workbooks of your choice (available for Pre-K to K through 7th to 8th grade). Leave a comment if you’d like to win (U.S. addresses only), and tell us which ones you would like. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s column.The giveaway is closed.

We don’t have a winner to announce, because the I Spy A to Z book is still open for entries for a couple of more weeks.

Contributing editor Jennifer Donovan manages 5 Minutes for Books and blogs at Snapshot about life with her 10 year old daughter and 5 year old son.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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1 melissa June 22, 2009 at 2:49 am

it would be nice if some of your giveaways are open also intermnationally…its a shame that so far i could never enter a competition

2 susan June 22, 2009 at 3:30 am

I’d love to have the PreK to K.

3 Ben O'Brien June 22, 2009 at 6:18 am

Those books sound like a wonderful way to keep my three busy this summer!

4 Billie Jean June 22, 2009 at 7:30 am

Looks like a good way to combat summer boredom while sneaking in some learning…………….the 8th grade, Pre-K & K would be good for us! Thanks!

5 Occupation: Mommy June 22, 2009 at 7:37 am

My kids would love these! I could use the 2nd-3rd, k-1, and prek-k.

6 The Diaper Diaries June 22, 2009 at 8:05 am

THis looks great!! I would love the 1st grade one :)

7 FireMom June 22, 2009 at 8:06 am

My oldest could use the Pre-K-K book!

Have a great week!

8 Heather H. June 22, 2009 at 8:35 am

This would be great for my son, prek-k age.

9 Angela June 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

I am always looking for things to keep my 3rd grader busy. This sounds great!

10 Michael Capp June 22, 2009 at 9:25 am

I’d love to win!

11 Kristie June 22, 2009 at 9:27 am

I would love this for my daughter!

12 BusyJulie June 22, 2009 at 9:40 am

I would love the K-1 or 2-3 books for next summer. My kids are doing these now this summer and are enjoying them. I think the books are great for avoiding the “summer slide”!

13 Jingle June 22, 2009 at 9:59 am

I would love the 7-8th grade level! My husband teaches middle school and this would be a great resource!

14 Jenn S. June 22, 2009 at 10:20 am

Either the K-1st or 3rd to 4th grade workbook would be great.

15 Linda June 22, 2009 at 10:37 am

These are really great for keeping the kids minds active this summer, I would like the K package.

16 phyllis June 22, 2009 at 10:47 am

ooh ooh. i have a kiddo going into 2nd grade, so that would be perfect!!!

17 hminnesota June 22, 2009 at 10:54 am

I would take for my second grader

18 LT June 22, 2009 at 10:55 am

I would love the Pre-K level! Thanks for the chance to win one!

19 Jill H. June 22, 2009 at 11:08 am

I’d love to win the pre-k for my daughter, she’s been out a couple of weeks, and is already driving me crazy!

20 Denise June 22, 2009 at 11:40 am

2nd-3rd, k-1, and prek-K for me, thanks!

21 Sarah June 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Yes! I would love to win the 6th, 7th grade books and the 1st grade book for my youngest son! I love the layout of the Summer Bridge books!!!
Thanks so much for offering these!

22 Amanda S. June 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I have three kids, so we could definitely use the K-1st, 2nd-3rd and 4th-5th! Thanks! :)

23 Karen B June 22, 2009 at 1:57 pm

These workbooks sound great! Any would do as I have grand/greatgrandkids in all age groups.

24 2Forgetful June 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I have to say I had never heard of “Summer Bridge” until reading a friend’s status updates on Facebook. I’d be very interested to try Pre-K, K and 1st.

25 susan varney June 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm

this would be nice mverno@roadrunner.com

26 Katie W. June 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Oh those moments of panic – what am i going to do with the kiddos for the next two hours before Dad gets home – “Summer Bridge”. Thank you for offering the advice on a great resource for summer boredom and brain freeze (literally). My kiddos are 1,4, and 6 so the PreK-K or the 1st grade would be fantastic. No more panic!

27 Keonte June 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm

My son loves books…any kind. He is entering the 2nd grade so we would love a book for this age.

28 Mozi Esmes Mommy June 22, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I’d take P-K, P-K Christian, and K-1.

29 Trish June 22, 2009 at 8:27 pm

would love to get grade 3 for my twins! we love these books!

30 Kathy D June 22, 2009 at 8:51 pm

I would love this for the kids nanny for……..

31 Kathy D June 22, 2009 at 8:51 pm


32 Beverly West June 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm

My grandson will be entering 1st grade this fall, so Grade 1-2 would be nice to have

33 Diane June 22, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I would love to win the 5-6 grade.

34 Angela C. June 22, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I would love to win the prek level. Thanks for the giveaway.

accoupons at gmail dot com

35 Noreen June 23, 2009 at 1:18 am

Summer Bridge Activities: Kindergarten to 1st Grade
Summer Bridge Activities: 1st to 2nd Grade
Summer Bridge Activities: Preschool to Kindergarten

36 myfloatingworld June 23, 2009 at 2:03 am

My children love these books. We would choose 5-6, 6-7, and 7-8.

37 Lisa June 23, 2009 at 8:12 am

I would love to get the K to 1st grade one for my daughter. These sound great! I’m checking them out now :)

38 edj June 23, 2009 at 8:59 am

Oh I seriously want to win one of these. (The 7th-8th grade prob; the twins are going into 7th and Elliot into 8th). My kids are schooled in the French system, but plan on going to American universities, so I need to keep them up to speed on reading/writing/etc in English. My Mum used to send them workbooks when they were younger, but she hasn’t been able to for several years now.

Why am I explaining all this, as if it wasn’t the random generator-thingy that would choose? Sorry. Rambling on about how I “deserve” this…sheesh. Carry on.

39 Susan Heim June 23, 2009 at 9:35 am

My twins are going into kindergarten, so we’d love the Pre-K to Kindergarten, the Kindergarten to First Grade, and the Young Christians Pre-K Kindergarten books!

40 scarlette June 23, 2009 at 9:44 am

I would like to win a summer bridge activity(P-K)

41 Evelyn June 23, 2009 at 11:03 am

how fun

42 Jessica T June 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I’d love Summer bridge activites for young Christians for Pre K, and the same for K-Gr1 and Summer Bridge activities for K-1.
Wow! Hope I win!

43 Patricia Lawrence June 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Yes, I would love these books for my 3 boys I looked them over on the website and I just haven’t purchased them yet do to summer camp it is costly. But I would love to win this to keep them on track for next year. At this time I have been doing some free printables from online but I like the incentive chart agreed upon by parent and child. I have on going to 1st grade, one going to 4th grade and one going to 6th grade so k-1, 3-4 & 5-6 would be gret.

44 Jennifer M June 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm

My daughter is going from K to 1.

45 Jo June 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm

The 3 books I would like are:
pre-k to k
2nd to 3rd
3rd to 4th

46 Ellen C. June 23, 2009 at 7:45 pm

I’d like to win the Pre-K to K books. Thanks for the chance.

47 tracydr June 23, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I have children in each age bracket (7th grade, beginning 1st grade, and beginning K) but I think I would have to pick the K books. All 3 of my children would absolutely LOVE the books, but my K age child will spend all day with books if possible. She cannot get enough and as a mom, I’m running out of book and activity idea’s to keep her mind growing. She soaks everything up like a sponge and she would be thrilled with a new book.

48 autie June 23, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I’d love to win, I have several siblings off for the summer.


49 Vicky H. June 23, 2009 at 11:07 pm

My God-daughter will be starting Kindergarten after the Summer, so I would like to win her the Pre-K to K, K to 1st, and 1st to 2nd.

50 renee June 23, 2009 at 11:24 pm

pre k please!

51 renee June 23, 2009 at 11:24 pm

im an email subscriber!

52 Lisa June 24, 2009 at 12:27 pm

The Summer Bridge Activity Book (P-K) would be great for my niece! Thanks!

53 Lisa June 24, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I’m a subscriber

54 Jen S June 24, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I would love the youngest possible. My DD is 1-1/2 right now. Thanks!

55 Urailak June 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Please enter me for the 5th to 6th, 6th to 7th, and 7th to 8th. Thanks a bunch!

56 Angie June 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm

my kids are going into 5th and 8th so those would work for us.

57 Lea June 24, 2009 at 10:39 pm

I’d love the Summer Bridge Activities: Kindergarten to 1st Grade workbook!

58 Lea June 24, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I’m a subscriber

59 Laureen June 25, 2009 at 12:45 am

I would love to win one for each of my three daughters (perfect!). I would love to have the Pre-K to Kindergarten, the 1st to 2nd grade and the 3rd to 4th grade workbooks. Thanks!

60 Nancye Davis June 25, 2009 at 12:47 am

I would like to win the 1st grade edition

61 Nancye Davis June 25, 2009 at 12:48 am

I’m a subsciber

62 Nancye Davis June 25, 2009 at 12:50 am

I would like to have the Pre-K, K, and grade 1. Please disregard the previous post just listing grade 1. Thanks.

63 Holly June 25, 2009 at 2:27 am

Ok, terrific giveaway. These are fabulous. I used one with my son between Kindergarten and 1st grade. I’d love 5th to 6th and 2nd to 3rd.

64 Jazzymom June 25, 2009 at 1:17 pm

My girl loves these activities books.She would love the 1-2nd grade/3rd-4th grade/Young Christian 1st-2nd grade. Thanks!

65 Colleen June 25, 2009 at 6:01 pm

pre K to K please!

66 Staci A June 25, 2009 at 9:43 pm

These look like such a great way to keep my little one thinking this summer. We’d love Pre-K to K, K to 1, 1 to 2.

67 Melissa June 26, 2009 at 11:42 am

I would love the 5th grade or 7th grade one…

68 Nancy June 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I’d love the K to 1st for my rising 1st grader. Thanks!

69 Tracy H. June 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Great giveaway! I would love the Pre-K or 1st grade. Thanks.

70 Randy Bailey June 26, 2009 at 9:26 pm


71 Cynthia Mercado June 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm

I would love to get the Kindergarten workbooks for my son to work in over the summer!

72 Hesper F June 27, 2009 at 1:59 am

I would love the Summer Bridge Activities for Young Christians: Preschool to Kindergarten and the following age groups for the other 2!

73 Erma June 27, 2009 at 7:23 am

I would love the 8th grade one.

74 Jennifer Hedden June 27, 2009 at 10:46 am

1st to 2nd

75 Marie June 27, 2009 at 12:59 pm

We could really use the one for 1st grade for my daughter and the Pre-K for my son.

76 Jenny Martin June 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm

we would love the K to 1st grade…or maybe the 1st to 2nd….

77 Donna M Clark June 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Hmm, these would be excellant to have for my children. I would choose pre-k to k first. Second choice would be k-1, third choice would be 1-2.
litefoot873 (@) hotmail.com

78 Donna M Clark June 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I am a subscriber to your feed.
litefoot873 (@) hotmail.com

79 Donna M Clark June 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I receive your newsletter.
litefoot873 (@) hotmail.com

80 Diane Baum June 27, 2009 at 5:42 pm

These are great books-2-3rd grade

81 Maja June 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

K to 1st grade would be great

82 Maja June 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm


83 Maja June 27, 2009 at 6:49 pm

i joined

84 Lori R. June 27, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I would love to win the Summer Bridge Activities for 3rd to 4th grade, 4th to 5th grade and 5th to 6th grade. Thanks for the giveaway!

85 Christine Walker June 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I would love to win the Summer Bridge P-K, K-2, & 1-2!

Thanks for another great giveaway!

86 Kelly F June 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm

I would love the pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade ones! Thanks!

87 shawna f June 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm

I would like the pre-k and kindergarten ones.

88 Beth M June 27, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I really like this idea! I could use the pre-K, K & 1st grade ones! Thanks for the offer!

89 chastidy June 28, 2009 at 12:56 am

I would pick the Pre-K to K, Thanks :)

90 Michelle H. June 28, 2009 at 1:00 am

Actually I could use any of the choices because I have a large family with kids in various age groups. My first choice would be Pre-K to K.

91 Chrysa June 28, 2009 at 2:10 am

I would like Pre-K to K!

92 Jammie June 28, 2009 at 6:45 am

I would love to win the 2 to 3rd grade ones. Great giveaway

93 Lucy Williams June 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

Would love these for my daughter. 1st grade.

94 Veronica Garrett June 28, 2009 at 10:30 am

I would like the 4th to 5th grade one.

95 Tia June 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I use these books with my sons every summer. I love them and I really feel like they help them maintain their skills.

96 Tia June 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm

email subscriber

97 kathy pease June 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Thanks for the GREAT giveaway
please count me in :)

98 Denise June 28, 2009 at 1:33 pm

My daughter will be entering the fourth grade this fall, so I would love to have the 4th Grade level workbook. Thanks!

99 Danielle Reusch June 28, 2009 at 2:38 pm

I would love to have this for my two elementary children. They would greatly benfit from them

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