It’s a plane, it’s a train, it’s a car…hey, no matter your mode of transportation for the holidays, you can encourage your kids to READ. I don’t know about you, but I smile from the inside out when I see my kids reading instead of glued to a device with a screen!
Raising a Rock-Star Reader, authored by the dynamic duo of parenting bloggers Amy Mascott and Allison McDonald, provides parents 75 daily “quick tips” to help raise lifelong readers including: on-the-road activities, full booklist suggestions (toddlerhood to grade school) and hands-on craft activities for even the busiest parents, grandparents or caregiver. I was fortunate to hear Amy and Allison speak at the Social Media on the Sand conference in October, and believe me, they have some great tips to share.
One of my greatest achievements as a parent has been to teach my teen and tween how to read, so I couldn’t wait to share news of this book with you because any resource that encourages reading is A-OK in my book (ha-see what I did there?)
Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll find in Raising a Rock-Star Reader:
Activities for holiday travel: Families traveling over Thanksgiving or December holiday breaks can transform travel games into learning opportunities:
o Clap out family names: Practice syllables by clapping out the names of family, friends, and even pets.
o I spy the letter: Challenge children to a letter hunt while on the go – at the grocery store, spotting street signs while riding in the car, or reading the menu at a restaurant.
o Tell popcorn stories: Share little stories using whatever pops into the storyteller’s head. Start the story off with, “Once upon a time, there was a…” and see where it goes.
Fun reading games during holiday vacation : Families who are stuck indoors on cold winter days can try fun reading-ready activities, including:
o Go on a book walk: Grab a favorite picture book and have the child retell the story in his or her own words. Use pictures and words as cues to build reading skills.
o Rhyming “Go Fish”: Play this picture card game to grow children’s vocabulary skills. Parents can create their own cards or download “Go Fish” cards from teachmama.com or notimeforflashcards.com.
o Write on the walls: Tape paper to the walls, use window markers, or paint the walls with special blackboard paint to create a space for kids to work on fine motor, letter formation, and writing skills. Let kids scribble or paint freely, write giant letters and have fun.
Raising a Rock-Star Reader provides 10 curated, age-appropriate booklists, music suggestions, app recommendations, web resource lists, and online activity sheets to download and print.
Here are some additional tips Amy and Allison shared to keep kids “reading ready” while traveling this holiday season:
First of all don’t forget to let kids play and entertain themselves. Every moment doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, structured or educational. Play is educational. That said there are so many fun ways to slip reading in by what you pack and do yourself on the trip.
- Pack books with you. Picture books in a carry-on or maybe an e-reader filled with a series are waiting to be devoured. If you don’t pack it they can’t read it, so make room for books in your bag!
- Listen to an audio book on a road trip. This is a fun way to “read” a book together as a family.
- Plan ahead and read a book that has been made into a film before your trip and watch it on the trip. After you are done watching don’t forget to compare the book to the film adaptation.
- Read yourself. Being a reading role model is not optional, it’s something we as parents must do. Amy and I can’t stress this enough, it’s really important. You don’t have to be reading War and Peace to be a good role model. Just be an example of someone who reads for fun.
And for those of you that read all of this, leave a comment on 1) a tip you’ve used in teaching your kids or loved ones to read or 2) your favorite children’s book or series and you could WIN a copy of Raising a Rock-Star Reader!