One of the best gifts you can give your child is the gift of reading. Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home. As cooler weather settles in, find ways to read, write, and tell stories together with your child. Some of my favorite moments with my children were spent side by side enjoying a favorite book…for the hundredth time! Here are few more ideas from Reading Rockets for expanding the reading and writing moments in your home:
Play with Words
Sing songs, read rhyming books, and say silly tongue twisters. These help kids become sensitive to the sounds in words. Point out the link between letters and sounds. Say, “John, the word jump begins with the same sound as your name. John, jump. And they both begin with the same letter, J.”
Read it and experience it
Connect what your child reads with what happens in life. If reading a book about animals, relate it to your last trip to the zoo. Work to build your child’s background knowledge, as this will enhance comprehension of all text.
Be your child’s #1 fan
Ask your child to read aloud what he or she has written for school. Be an enthusiastic listener. Tell your child what part you like the best. Do storytelling on the go. Take turns adding to a story the two of you make up while riding in a car or bus. Try making the story funny or spooky. This is a great way to pass time while traveling over the holidays or dashing to the store for one last gift.
Create a book together
Fold pieces of paper in half and staple them to make a book. Ask your child to write sentences on each page and add his or her own illustrations. Get them to read another one. Find ways to encourage your child to pick up another book. Introduce him or her to a series like The Boxcar Children or to a second book by a favorite author. Ask the librarian for additional suggestions if you are stumped about what to read.
Set a special time to read with your child daily
Turn reading into something special. Be a reader yourself and let your son or daughter see you reading. Have lots of books in your home. Curl up together and read. Read the same book as your child and discuss them informally. Get a library card and check out some books.
If your child is in 1st-4th grade, don’t forget to turn in the pages read in order to attend our Ada Reader Celebration Night on February 1!