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Reading has always been a family activity in our home. Growing up myself I loved to read, and can remember many adventures taken through the pages of a book. I wanted my own children to experience that same joy of reading growing up. From the time the boys were infants I would sit and read books to them – and it seems to have rubbed off, as I have a houseful of readers and bookshelves overflowing with much loved books!
Early literacy has had the biggest impact on my 8 year old son, who has really found joy in reading. He loves to immerse himself in characters and plots – so much that he’s started writing his own books! Wherever he goes it’s with paper and pencils in hand, creating stories and illustrating them with his friends or even turning family dinner into a creative session!
It’s amazing to see the way reading has shaped his life – from dreaming of being an author/illustrator to taking the time to collect books he no longer reads for donation to local schools, early literacy has helped to shape who he is in so many ways.
Want to instill the importance of reading in your home? It’s easier than you think!
It’s never too early to start. Even as infants children can benefit from reading together – the soothing sound of your voice and the extra time spent cuddling are good for both of you, and will become the building blocks to a love of early literacy!
Make reading a family activity. Sit down and read together – and once children can read on their own, pull out a book for yourself too! You’ll send the message that making time to read is important for grown-ups too. I love doing this because it can be hard to find time for myself with four young kids at home. Creating a ‘Family Reading Time’ allows me to enjoy some down time with a book as well. Choose a comfy location and encourage everyone to spend 30 minutes engrossed in their own books. Afterwards, encourage everyone to talk about what they’ve read!
Read what they love. Reading should be fun, so allow kids to choose books they will enjoy. If they’re having a hard time figuring out what that is, take a trip to the library or bookstore and let them browse until something really grabs their interest.
Don’t feel limited to bedtime. If bedtime is difficult or hectic, don’t feel like you need to squeeze story time into an already stressful moment. Choose a reading time that works for your family – it may be after breakfast, before dinner or at a quiet point in the afternoon.
Change it up. Bring some books along on a picnic, read under the stars or pile everyone into your own bed for a reading sleepover!
Make it a tradition. Read a special book every year on your child’s birthday, create a back to school tradition or read the same book every year on an important holiday – creating a tradition will build special memories and create a special time that kids really look forward to.
Read on the go. Reading isn’t just for books! Make reading an every day thing by challenging kids to read signs at the grocery store (Who can find the juice aisle!) or identifying road signs. When on a family outing encourage kids to read the signs at museums, aquariums and zoos.
Get new books! Continue to encourage your child’s love of reading by discovering new books together. Kellogg’s® and Scholastic are teaming up to support literacy with their 1 box = 1 book back to school program For every participating Kellogg’s product you buy, children can receive a book from Scholastic.
Participating is easy! Simply head on over to Target by 9/30/18 and buy some of your favorite participating products, like Cheeze-Its, Ego Waffles, Nutri-Grain, Froot Loops and more (see all participating products here!).
Snap a pic of your receipt and upload it to the Kellogg’s Rewards Website within 30 days of purchase.
Get credit to redeem for a book of your choice by 12/18/18. Each child can receive up to 10 books – so you can stock your own bookshelf or donate some to your child’s school!
Be sure to check out the Kellogg’s Rewards Website for all the program details – and a full list of participating products!
My son loved redeeming his free books (it was so easy!), and I love that we can participate in the Kellogg’s 1 Box = 1 Book program by simply purchasing products we already use, like the waffles that fuel his creative breakfast sessions!
Or snack packs that allow him to fuel that imagination no matter where he is!
What ways do you support early literacy at home? Do you read together as a family or have a special tradition? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear it!