March is National Reading Month! This year for National Reading Month, create a reader-friendly home. Reading shouldn’t just happen in school, it should be encouraged and displayed at home as well. Here are five activities you can do with the children in your life to promote reading.
1. Instead of hiding your books on a bookshelf or piled up in a bin, display them! Try laying out four or five books on the coffee table or side tables. This will encourage them to pick up a book and read. Rotate the books every couple of weeks to keep their interest. I set books on the table in our living room. My daughters will just be passing by, stop, and pick up a book. Then sit down and read one after the other. Keeping books out in a common area screams pick-me-up and read me!
2. Have a Read-A-Thon sleepover (with your COVID pod or wait until after COVID). Have the kids bring sleeping bags and books. Allow them to create reading forts. Turn out the lights and let them read with flashlights. Break up the Read-A-Thon by cooking snacks (like the Oh Brother, Little Brother snack you can find here), storytelling, act out a book, or make a craft (like the Oh Brother, Little Brother puppet craft here. Have each child keep track of how many books they read that night and give out certificates and prizes for completing the Read-A-Thon.
3. If you don’t already, read at least 10 minutes a day with your child. Don’t allow busy days to be the excuse for why you didn’t read. On busy days just read a poem or a few jokes from a joke book. Now is a good time to begin a reading routine. You want your child to get to a point where they remind you to read to them before bed.
4. Find a book that you haven’t read yet (do not show them the cover). Read the title of the book and have them draw an original cover design. Then compare the covers. It is interesting to see the variations of covers.
5. Visit the library ( if you can or when you can) and allow your child to get their very own library card. Keep a list of books that you and your child want to check out. Remember this is an opportunity to demonstrate the value of books. Help them learn responsibility by taking care of the library book, remembering when it is due, and how to repair pages if they rip them.