How To Celebrate National Reading Month With Your Family
How cool – a month devoted to the celebration of reading!
Of course as a bookstore, the idea of having a nationwide reading party all month long is just awesome to us. It’s a great time for families too, since reading is such a key part of a child’s growth and development.
Some have called reading a “gymnasium for the brain” which makes sense – it’s a workout for the mind but it’s also FUN!
Not only does reading help children learn language and gain knowledge, it also provides opportunity for parents and kids to be together and bond over great books.
Here are some fun tips to get you started on your reading celebration:
Choose A New Book Together
While this one might seem obvious, there’s a trick to it – kids are more likely to read a book if they get to pick it themselves. We recommend browsing collections together that are age appropriate, encouraging different genres based on their interests, and guiding them through the selection process. Maybe they are into mysteries, fantasy or science fiction. Maybe they would like to read a real life biography about someone, or perhaps other non-fiction topics of interest like animals. The key is to make a way for the child to connect with a book they find interesting.
Then of course, you may just have to pick one out for yourself. Because, hey, it’s National Reading Month!
Read Aloud Together
There is nothing quite like having someone read aloud to you. The closeness that we experience between reader and hearer is powerful and often just as memorable as the story. Even as children learn to read for themselves, hearing and listening remain their strongest learning style. Children learn the rhythm of language, new words, correct pronunciation, and grammar as they listen to the storyteller read. Afterward, it’s often just as important to listen to them read aloud to you!
If you’d like someone to read a grown-up book to you, try an audio book in the car on the way to work. It can be very relaxing and sometimes easier to digest, since someone else is essentially reading for you (No, it’s not cheating. We’ll vouch for you.).
Take “Shelfies” Together
Take a snapshot next to a bookshelf loaded with your favorite books and share it with friends on social media. Come up with a clever caption or hashtag, maybe even a cool filter, and have fun with it. Then invite your friends to share their own “shelfie” and check out the good books they’re reading. Who knows – you might find your next book sitting next to your friend’s smiling face!
Bring A Book Together
Vacations, waiting rooms, and even some daily errands often contain some waiting time. Why not bring a book to read while you wait? This could be the difference between having something quiet and constructive to do or, say, playing video games, climbing the chairs, or playing hide and seek under the clothing racks.
If you are going on vacation, consider letting the kids pick a brand new book to read, which will reinforce the association of novelty and fun – and keep them from climbing the chairs at the terminal.
Read Regularly Together
Create a family reading ritual – a regular reading time when the TV, computer and mobile devices are turned off, and everyone sits together to read their book. Having a family reading time allows kids an opportunity to see their parents reading, giving them a valuable example to follow.
After reading, encourage everyone to talk about what they are reading. You could suggest that each family member share three things that stuck out to them. Did something surprise them or make them laugh? You could even combine it with a snack time and each person gets to have their favorite treat while they present. Mmmmm!
Give Books As Gifts
Books are gifts that keep on giving. Often after someone reads a book, they naturally think of others who might enjoy or benefit from the contents. Consider opportunities for you and your family to shop for books to give as gifts to others. Giving a book as a gift is not only a loving and thoughtful gesture, it also reinforces the value of books and learning in a child’s mind.
Start A Series Together
Ah, the series. While you may not be able to finish a whole series during National Reading Month, what better time to pluck up the gumption to begin one! Perhaps you and your clan can challenge one another to finish a series by a certain time (like next March, lol! For real tho…). Book series are a great way to keep reading stories that are familiar in style and focused in purpose, yet fresh in content. Once you get to know characters, it’s fun to follow them through more journeys and adventures.
Remember, it’s never too early to start (or too late to encourage) a love for books. Even if you are reading this sometime after March (which happens in blog life), you can always utilize these same strategies for cultivating a lifestyle of reading in your family.
And it’s only a matter of time before March rolls around again…