Ready, Set…Read!

Looking for ways to encourage reading in your young ones? Here are some suggestions:

Let them catch you reading: Act as a reading role model for your kids by reading in your spare time. Remember that children learn by example.

Book time: Set aside at least one hour every night where the television is off and the whole family takes time to read or do a crossword puzzle.

Game on: Set up a family board game night where a different game is played each week. Have each member of the family involved in reading instructions and game cards and keeping score.

Hi ho, hi ho: Engage in sing-along sessions with your children.

Sous chef: Following recipes is a great way to improve both reading and math skills. Ask your children to read the instructions aloud and to help measure the ingredients when making a treat for the family.

Expand your vocabulary: Look up the meaning of funny words, like “onomatopoeia” and “Chinook” and test your family’s word power.

Map out your trip: Have your kids create the map for your next road trip then they can navigate by reading signs and billboards. Create a trip journal.

Reading buddies: Encourage your child to practice reading to the family dog, cat or goldfish. Pets are great listeners and don’t make a judgment if a mistake is made.

Surf: Check out the Internet together to find great sites that support your hobbies.

In their own words: Have your children write daily entries in a journal.

Create a family book club: Read a book and discuss it together. Post your family’s top 10 books list and book reviews online.

Write your own adventure: Write a short story as a family with alternative endings written by each family member.

Watch a book: Many children’s stories have been adapted for the big screen. Read these stories with your kids first, then watch the movie equivalent.

Read a classic adventure together: If your children like Survivor, they will love Treasure Island.

Climb the beanstalk: Cut out a beanstalk shape from pieces of construction paper and post it on a wall in your child’s room. For every book your child reads, a leaf, with the title of the book and author’s name, can be added.

Research and write your family’s history: Use the Internet, family letters and documents as resources, and interview your relatives.

Get the news: Read news articles and magazines and then discuss current affairs together.

Travel the world: Take your children to the library and use your library card as a passport. Check out books on different countries to learn about their geography and traditions.

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