Tips on stifling the cry, ‘I’m bored’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 12, 2016

By Jennifer Nicholson

Rowan Public Library

As the school year ends, many parents are now dreading the long summer months of, “I’m bored!” While many parents might use this opportunity to encourage some much-needed room or garage cleaning, others are truly stumped on finding entertaining activities for kids.

Rowan Public Library offers many great, fun and free weekly activities during the summer, for all ages, from newborns to adults. Weekly activities for children include staff-provided storytelling for young children, preschool and younger; professional performers for school-age kids; and exciting activities for teens. Special programs are also available for adults during the summer months.

Families can also enjoy our free family movie nights Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at our headquarters (Salisbury) location and Wednesdays at 2 p.m. starting in July at our South Regional Branch (China Grove).

To find out more about the different activities, programs, and movies being offered this summer, including dates and times, please check out our website at or call your local branch for more details.

Yet, if the “I’m bored!” is still disturbing your summer, encourage reading. Reading during the summer months can help students retain knowledge and skills they have learned from the past school year. Yet summer reading does not have to be boring or the dreaded task of sitting still and reading a book for a set number of minutes.

There are a few tips that parents and students can do to help make reading more fun and interactive:

  • Try reading out loud as family. Find a great book or series, and read it together as family. This is a great way to encourage family bonding and togetherness.
  • Start a family reading night. Have one night a week set a side for just reading, where the whole family is reading. No television or smart devices allowed.
  • Listen to audiobooks during those long car rides to the beach or to and from local summer activities.
  • Read to a pet or stuffed animal. This is especially great for beginner and struggling readers.
  • Don’t have a pet? Read to an animal in an animal shelter. The Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary of Salisbury is starting a summer reading program for students to read to animals. For dates and times, please call 704-633-1722.
  • Encourage siblings and friends to read to each other.
  • Have students or the whole family write their own picture book, allow each member to also draw and color their own pictures, then read the stories to each other.
  • Have students read to a neighbor or visit local nursing homes to read to seniors.
  • Have students act out stories as someone reads the story.
  • For younger children reading picture books, play the “I spy” game; make it a game to find different objects in a book.
  • For teens, have them create their own playlist of songs they think fit the mood and theme of the story. Then check out the author’s website. Many YA authors create their own playlists of songs they listed, too, during the writing of a book; see if the playlists match.


For more tips and ideas, please check out and Both websites offer parents many great tips and articles to help encourage reading.

Also, do not forget that Rowan Public Library also has a summer reading program for all ages. Each member of the family can keep track of how long they read, read together, listen to audiobooks or listen to someone reading, and earn many chances to win prizes. Prizes for each age group will vary. See which family member can read the most or who can earn the coolest prize.

The summer months may be hot, but they do not have to boring. There are many great and wonderful activities for families this summer, all at your local library.

Summer reading: Children 12 months old to rising fifth-graders are invited to participate in On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!! Summer Reading Program. Programs begin Monday and run through July 28.

Summer movie series: Headquarters, starting at 6:30 p.m. Free popcorn and lemonade served. June 14, “”The 5th Wave,” (PG13). Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them. June 21, “Secretariat” (PG). After agreeing to take over her father’s horse farm, a housewife draws together the resources to train Secretariat, a horse that ultimately turns out to be a Triple Crown winner.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, June 28, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “Rebecca,by Daphne du Maurier. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7731.

Breakfast of Champions (for teens): Open to rising sixth- through 12th-graders. Are you getting enough iron in your breakfast? Find out with a fun experiment. All events at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 14, headquarters; Wednesday, June 15, East branch; Thursday, June 16, South Rowan Regional.

Foosball fields (for teens): Open to rising sixth- through 12th-graders. Create your own Foosball table. Please bring any size shoebox. All at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 21, headquarters; Wednesday, June 22, East; Thursday, June 23, South Regional.

Water Olympics (for teens): Open to rising sixth- through 12th-graders. Prepare to get soaked. All at 3:30 p.m., June 28, headquarters; June 29, East; June 30, South Regional.

Genealogy Class: Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m.-noon, headquarters. The class, will focus on census, military and court records; it is a repeat of the May 14 class.

Parent Workshop: Monday, June 20, 6-7 p.m., headquarters. Learn to read to your child. Child care provided.

Adult Summer Reading Program: Zentangle and other stress relief, Monday, June 27, 6:30 p.m., headquarters. Explore the new craze of adult coloring and its therapeutic benefits, along with other stress relieving activities.

An Evening with Mark O’Connor: Headquarters, June 23, doors open at 6:30 p.m. Performance at 7. O’Connor is enjoying his return to his Bluegrass roots having recently moved to North Carolina. This concert is made possible through the North Carolina Bluegrass Association.

Displays: Headquarters, RHA Behavioral Health, Carter House and photos from Spring photowalk; South, stained glass by Sandra Collins and Betty Corriher; East, vintage lunchboxes.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.