Family Literacy Day 2017: Tips to Get Your Children Reading

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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.

family literacy day

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.

Read regularly

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.


Erin McGann

Erin McGann is Managing Editor for Toronto Mom Now and Vancouver Mom. She drinks just a bit too much coffee, is a bit obsessed about sourcing local food, plays the cello moderately well, spends too much time on Twitter, keeps honeybees on a rooftop, and has a thing for single-malt whisky. Erin is working on a novel set in turn-of-the-century Vancouver, which her husband, son and dog have to hear about all the time, and also blogs at Erin at Large. Contact her at erin [dot] mcgann [at] crispmedia [dot] ca

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