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Reaching for Reading

Stories are a treat for your child and a great opportunity to spark a lifelong love of learning! By sharing books and tales with your child everyday, you can help build imagination, creativity and more. To get your child started on an adventure in reading and storytelling, try these handy activities:

  • Correspondence Captain - Help your child learn about storytelling by drafting an email to a favorite relative together. Have your child dictate a tale about something he did that day or create an imaginary story on his own, then read the response together. Your relatives will love hearing from your child, and you are sure to get some fun responses!

  • Sidewalk Stories - Stories don’t necessarily have to be told with written words. Take advantage of nice weather to prove this point with some sidewalk chalk. Work with your child to design a mural or series of pictures; then ask your child to tell the story he has illustrated. To make the story immortal, take a photo of the sidewalk art, print it, then help your child write his or her tale down.

  • Act It Out - You know that all-time favorite book your child reads over and over? Make the story even more real by acting it out with your child. Use your imaginations to dream up a set and costumes using items around your house and then bring the tale to life with a performance for the family.

  • Library Love - Turn a library visit into a big event! If you treat library trips as exciting excursions (just like going to the movies), your enthusiasm is bound to rub off on your child. Make sure your child knows the layout of the library and work together to find and check out fun, age-appropriate books. Once your children are old enough, get them a library card of their very own, and celebrate the occasion! Also, be sure to check out special events at your local library – many hold weekly puppet shows, book readings and the like for kids.

  • Reading Role Models - Kids love to try out things that they see parents and siblings enjoying, so be sure to set a good reading example! Let your child catch you reading to show that even grown-ups like a good story. Hunt for your own favorite childhood books and share these with your youngster. You can even consider scheduling reading time with your child – a few minutes each day where you sit down together and each read your own book quietly.

  • Book Buff - Start a chart or wall where you can keep track of books you and your child read together. For some added fun, have your child draw a picture of each story read so you can have a collection of story memories. Choose prizes for certain milestones in your reading journey – maybe a trip to the movies when you reach 25 books – so that your child has motivation to keep up the reading.

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