Creative Opportunities for Reading with Children During the Busy Holiday Season

The holidays are fast approaching. Families and friends will come together for food, fun, and festivities. The kids will be excited to have time off from school, and parents will hopefully be able to spend a little more quality time with their children. Somewhere in between all the shopping, sledding, cookie baking, and house preparation for the incoming friends and family, the bookshelf calls.

Reading can be a positive and relaxing outlet, especially in these busy times. You can help create special times with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives whom they may not see often. One great way is by suggesting that the relatives read with the children (either reading to them, have the child read to them, or taking turns). Books can help open up dialogue and sharing that straight questioning never can. New books for this time can be very special. Or have the relative or friend bring along THEIR favorite book.
Setting up a reading corner for quiet time may also be a good idea when the holidays become hectic. Kids can escape all the noise and chaos, and so can the adults. After a while BOTH might grow weary of adult conversation.
Also during the holidays, we seem to become more thankful and aware of the things we have and the people who are in our lives. Just ten minutes of reading a book or two with your child in front of the fireplace or any other cozy spot can become a memory that lasts a lifetime. It could also become a tradition to read a book in that same spot each night.

Reading with your child means so much more to them than the book itself. They see their parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/cousin taking the time to sit down with them, showing them that they care and want to be there. As each page is turned, a stronger bond forms and memories are made as giggles, jokes, and discussions transpire. Who knows? You may even come up with your own stories to share. So, this holiday season, make sure to take the time to read with the youngest members of the family and build that bond and tradition. Both you and your children/grandchildren will be glad you did.
~ ~ ~ ~

Thomas Weck is the author/creator of the Lima Bear Stories. Originally made-up bedtime stories he told his four children, the Lima Bear tales resurfaced when Weck’s son Peter had children. Peter remembered the stories and wanted to have his father write them down so that he could share them with his children. Father and son took it one step further and created Lima Bear Press to produce the stories as books that children (and parents) everywhere can enjoy. The first 4 titles in the planned 12-book series are currently available: The Megasaurus, How Back-Back Got His Name, The Cave Monster, and The Labyrinth. The 5th title, Bully Bean, will be released in April 2013. The books are not only fun and funny with great illustrations; they also have an underlying message such as such as tolerance, honesty, courage, etc.

10 Fun Literacy Activities

Today is National Family Literacy Day!

Since 1994, National Family Literacy Day has helped communities celebrate the wonders of literacy and reminded people of the importance of literacy. The entire month is special as well – many families, programs and communities now join us in celebrating family literacy throughout the entire month. That’s right, November is National Family Literacy Month!

Here are ten fun activities to do with your children throughout the year:

1) National Children’s Book Week is November 13-19th. Read your child’s favorite book together and talk about what happened in the story afterwards.

2) National Cookie Day is December 4th. Make cookies with your child and use a recipe to talk about sequence. (ie. “first we have to preheat the oven, next we get the ingredients out”)

3) January is National Soup Month. Serve alphabet soup and spell words using the noodles in the soup.

4) The first day of Spring is March 21st. Help your child make a list of nature’s first signs of Spring and then go on a nature walk and have your child check off the signs that they see.

5) Mother Goose Day is May 1. Take turns reciting all the Mother Goose rhymes you can think of or read them from a storybook

6) June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. Ask your child to try to name a fruit or vegetable for each letter of the alphabet. Try to eat as many as you can during the month.

7) July is National Picnic Month. Use the newspaper to find a day that will be nice for a picnic.

8) The first Sunday in August is friendship day. Have your child write a letter to one of their friends.

9) September is Library-Card Sign Up Month. Take your child to get a library card if they don’t have one yet.

10) October is National Popcorn Popping Month. Enjoy popcorn with your child while your child makes a list of all their favorite things about popcorn.

These ideas came from the National Center For Family’s  Celebrate Literacy Calendar. Check it out because it has lots more ideas for activities to do with your children!

This post is linked to Oh Amanda’s Top 10 Tuesday.