Family Literacy Day 2016 is coming up on Saturday January 28th, and it’s a great day to start some new family traditions around reading. Here are some ideas to get your started.
Make a special book nook
Whether it’s an under-used corner of their closet with one of those battery-powered push lights, a homemade tent, or just a corner with some nice pillows, try creating a spot that’s particularly for reading. Those IKEA spice racks make excellent book display shelves.
Get special magazines delivered in your children’s names
You can start with subscriptions to National Geographic Kids, Chirp, or OWL magazine, all geared towards different age groups. Getting something in the mailbox with their own name on it is very exciting.
Read to your baby
Starting early is important both for you and your child. It doesn’t need to be for long periods in one sitting, but snuggling together and reading a story gets kids accustomed to the idea early on.
Model reading for your kids
Read in front of your kids. Settle down with a good book while they’re playing, and if you use a Kindle or a Kobo, make sure they know you’re reading a book. I make sure to tell my son if I’m really into the book I’m reading – it’s important kids understand books can be as compelling as a movie.
Find books on the subjects they’re interested in
If your kids are obsessed with trains, ballerinas, dinosaurs, birds, or whatever it is – pile on the books. You may get sick of reading about the solar system, but your kid probably won’t. If you’re at a loss, ask your child’s friends’ parents what’s on high rotation at their house.
It’s all about the habit, so read to and with your child every day. The special book nook helps with this, as does picking a particular time. Tuck a book in your bag or the car, and use those 10 minutes waiting for dance class to start or a meal to arrive.
Visit your local library
The children’s area in local libraries are a magical resource: story time, educational toys and puppets, and helpful awesome librarians ready to help you and you children find their next favourite book. This year as part of Family Literacy Day, libraries across Toronto are holding events with story times, scavenger hunts, puppet shows, and more.