(NAPSI)-You can help your child build valuable skills by incorporating reading elements into everyday activities.
Below are a few suggestions for kids of various ages taken from the booklet 25 Fun Ways to Encourage Reading from Schwab Learning, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids with learning differences be successful in learning and life. You can download a free copy of this booklet and other publications at www.SchwabLearning.org/pubs.
- Notebook of Sounds-Create an alphabet of pictures (preschool to grade 1): Choose a sound from the alphabet and ask your child to cut out pictures of things that begin with that sound. Have her glue the pictures onto paper. Label the page with the letter that makes the sound. For example, the “P” page might includes pictures of a pig, a pencil or a pipe. Use a three-hole punch to fill a notebook. Collect the whole alphabet.
- Twisted Words-Putting words together was never this kind of workout! (grades 1 to 2): Take the big plastic sheet from the game Twisterª or make your own version from white plastic bags taped together. In each of the 24 circles print a letter of the alphabet, then call out simple words for your child to “spell” by putting a hand or foot on the appropriate letters. Four “circles” are the maximum length of a word-two hands and two feet. (Try to plot out different letter combinations of vowels and consonants beforehand to make sure you “spell” a good number of words.) To complete a word, your child has to get a hand or foot on all four letters, requiring her to twist into various positions.
- Market Match-Turn grocery shopping into a match game (grades 2 to 5): Plan a meal with your child and compose a menu. Ask your child to help you make a list of items you need from the market based on the menu. Whenever possible, specify the brand names of products to add complexity. For example, ask him to write the brand name, such as Starkistª rather than simply tuna. This will encourage him to read the labels rather than just identify them by location or packaging. When you are at the store, have your child read the labels and match them to the items on your list. If you use coupons, match coupons to the items as well.
- Music to Read By-Music can help make reading seem less of a chore and more of a joy (grades 3 to 5): Have your child read the verses to her favorite popular songs-most albums and CDs come with the lyrics printed inside. Read the verses again as you listen and sing along to the music together. If someone in your family plays an instrument, buy music books that feature the lyrics and ask your child to accompany them in an impromptu performance.
- Reporting, Live!-Bring out the budding journalist in your child (grades 4 to 5): Pick a special “news” night and review the newspaper with your child. Focus on the sections of interest to your child (sports, entertainment, even the comics for younger children). Ask your child to read the article and then report back to you as a real television reporter might. He can involve other family members as interview subjects, or even use props.
A little creativity often goes a long way in encouraging a child to read.