Looking for free ways to keep your children stimulated and amused over the summer holidays?
Help your children get the most out of the school holidays this year by sending them to their local library to take part in this year's Summer Reading Challenge which runs in all Midlothian libraries from 20th June till 25th August.
Every year, thousands of 4 - 11 year olds all over Britain take part in the Challenge which is the UK's biggest reading event for children in libraries. Each year there is a different theme, and this year it's called Story Lab.
The organisers of the Challenge, the National Reading Agency describe Story Lab as: "a five-sided hi-tech HQ that attracts stories from all over the world and sends them spinning throughout the city - and beyond!"
When children join they receive a colourful 3-D cardboard replica lab with spaces for stickers to be added on finishing a book. To complete the challenge, children taking part will have to read six books. There are six stickers to collect at three stages, bronze, silver and gold, and children who complete the set will receive a medal, a voucher for a free swim and a certificate. They will also have their name entered into a draw for a special prize.
Children aged 4 and under who regularly take part in Bookbug's Library Challenge will be able to collect a special Story Lab Bookbug certificate if they visit the library to take out books four times during the summer.
The official Challenge website http://www.story-lab.org.uk/ is available from 19th June with lots of games, activities and author blogs.
There will be launch events taking place in Midlothian libraries, so check at your local library to find out what's going on there.