25 Ways To Get Your Child to Read

During the summer months especially, it’s often difficult to encourage children to read and to continue engaging them in activities that expand their mind. It’s often said that reading levels drop during these months as children are more concerned with watching television or connecting with friends than to read a book.

Sunny days are great for getting out and having fun but on rainy days it’s important to leave the tv turned off and participate in many other activities. Either alone or as a family.

I’m compiling a list for parents and guardians to use in order to pass on the love for learning all year long. If you have any suggestions or action plans you do at home please comment and share. I’ll be adding to this list as the days go on but here’s 25 ideas to get you started.

25 Ways to Get Your Child to Read

  1. Going on a trip? Have them read the license plates in front of them and make words from the letters in them.
  2. Have your son or daughter read the road signs while on your way to drop them off somewhere. Test their memory by asking which street name was their favourite or which sign they saw the most.
  3. Read in front of them. That’s right! Do something you love and instill the love of reading in them. It’s just that easy.
  4. Read to them. A great way to get your child to read is to start the story and alternate the pages you read and the ones they read. If they want to keep reading out loud to you – let them!
  5. Have them write a letter to a relative – close or far. This will get them to write back and receiving a letter in the mail is an awesome feeling that will encourage your child to read the letter immediately. And so the cycle begins…
  6. Start a book club. Invite your son and/or daughter’s friends over to choose a book and then invite them back to discuss it and choose another. If everyone is reading it’ll be the in thing.
  7. Get your child a library card. Free books are an amazing way to always have a new book on hand.
  8. Subscribe to a newspaper or online publication of your child’s choosing. This will give them a regular source of new material that interests them.
  9. Go to the zoo! That’s right, take them out for an afternoon at the local zoo. They always have write up’s on the animals so they can read and learn and have fun!
  10. Have them start a website. This will get them writing, reviewing and looking for new ideas on what to write about. It can be free and a fantastic way to get your child used to a computer.
  11. Get them an email address. This connects them with friends, family, and new pen pals and has them reading email after email and eager to do so.
  12. Weekly trips to the library and, if possible, walk as it gives you exercise and time to discuss the books you want or have.

    Keep reading… you never know what your reading will spark.

  13. Let them choose what they want to read. Comics, Manga, information books, technical books, non-fiction, fiction, Guinness Book of World Records – there are books for everyone.
  14. Rent a movie in another language and have them read the subtitles! This done several times can teach them a new language too.
  15. Play a board game and have them read the instructions out loud. Games with trivia questions are fantastic for this.
  16. Have them choose what the family watches on television after reading through the TV Guide.
  17. Subscribe to a magazine of their choosing. Every month when it comes in the mail give them a week or so to read it and then ask them questions about the articles.
  18. Bake! Have them read the recipe to you as you go along.
  19. Pair up. Children can always use another friend and if they meet once a week to read to each other that’s even better. Check with your library or school as I’m sure there’s someone looking for a friend in your daughter or son.
  20. Go for a walk in a natural setting. Have a notepad on hand and have your child draw or note a description of some interesting things they see. Then go to the library and find what these items are in an encyclopedia. Take this one step further and have them write a story containing some of these items.
  21. Write. When you write you often read your work over and over again. This also encourages your child to research or read stories or poems similar to what they are writing about.
  22. Encourage your kids to start a collection of jokes, comics, poems, etc. Put them in a journal, have them rewrite them or cut and paste them.
  23. Play a matching game with letters. Get the magnetic letters and play on the fridge!
  24. Have a weekly spelling bee. Have your child choose words for you and you for him/her. Depending on the age of your child you may want to encourage top marks with taking over their chores or doing something they love to do.
  25. Going to get groceries? Have your child write the list (with guidance) and then have them read it to you while helping you find the items.

So there you have it. My first installment of 25 ways to get your child to read. I know you have some yourself and I would love it if you shared them.

Thanks for reading!

Sarah Butland

Legs for Literacy

Support a great cause and get your exercise while participating in the largest running event in Moncton, New Brunswick! On October 25th, 2009 kids, teenagers and adults will be meeting at Bernice MacNaughton High School, 999 St George Blvd., Moncton to begin showing their support for literacy efforts in the city – registration and warm-up start at 11:30 AM.

Make it a family event – kids can <a href="http://legsforliteracy.com/en/home/gofor42/default.aspx">Go for 42</a> and take a step towards literacy. Don’t feel comfortable running? No problem, go for a walk to show your support.

For more details or to register now please visit <a href="http://legsforliteracy.com">Legs for Literacy</a> today!

Although I can’t make it out this year I do plan to see you all there next year!

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland

How Important is Stretching Before Playing?

The body is flexible and is supposed to be flexible. You must be able to bend and reach that something you dropped on the floor. You must be able to zip the back of your favorite dress on your own. And you must be able to reach that book you need to read at the top shelf. All without hurting yourself!

These are simple activities however, if there are difficulties in doing such simple motions, then you have to stretch your limits. You already need a stretching program and it’s important to keep it fun.

What Is Stretching?

You’ve done it before, in fact you’ve probably done it today already. It’s so easy to do that it’s almost as automatic as breathing and just about as important. It’s simply the act of extending your body, or a part of it, to it’s full length.

How Does One Stretch?

Stretching can be done at almost any time by everyone, no matter your age. Stretching should be a part of your every day routine. Before a sports event, exercising, even just to make yourself feel better, stretching can be done quickly and effectively.

Stretching exercises can also be done while training. Actually, stretching is an essential part of any training or sport. It must be done first before anything else. Stretching the body and the limbs is a good preparation for a more rigorous activity.

Most athletes would do the sit and reach, wherein they position on the floor, extend their legs and reach the tip of their foot with the tip of their hand. Actually, most trainers actually require their athletes to really do the stretching before playing.

There is actually an ideal length of time in stretching which is 10 minutes. This will give the body enough opportunity to move and flex the muscles, thus preparing it for more complicated and strenuous movements.

Experts however would frown upon going way beyond 10 minutes. Stretching the exercise to 30 minutes or more will already wear out the body. This will not be favorable if one is preparing for a game.

Can’t you spare ten minutes a day to make your body feel better? Spend these moments with your child and you’ll see them enjoy gym and sports much more than ever before. Just 10 minutes a day can help save your child from become another notch in the childhood obesity stats.

What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

1. Increase the Range of Movement
As you constantly do the stretching exercises, the length of your muscles and tendons are also increased. This will help in increasing the range of your movement. Thus, the limbs and joints will be able to move, way before an injury can take place. You are definitely physically fit.

2. Increased Ability to Perform Skills
When you have a wide range of movement, the more you will be able to do more things. For example, you can jump high without feeling any pain when you land back on the floor. This will also help you start a new sport or improve more if you are in one. Stretching in this aspect also allows you to have a more active lifestyle.

3. Injury Prevention
One can prevent injury to joints, tendons and muscles with stretching. When the muscles and tendons are well-flexed, they are considered in good working order. This will help in a faster recovery and decreased soreness. The muscles of the body will be able to take more exhausting and rigorous movements with less probability of being injured.

4. Reduce Muscle Tension
If the muscles are given their regular exercises and stretches, it is less likely that they will contract. This will definitely relieve you of any muscle pain or problems.

5. Enhance Energy
Being able to move more will also give you more energy. Stretching will also help enhance your awareness, like knowing that you have a body that is capable of doing many things. As such, you are going to be more driven to move rather than sulk in the corner.

6. Reduces Cholesterol
Research also shows that doing prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, will help reduce the cholesterol in the body. This of course must be done with a healthy diet at hand. This could prevent, and even reverse, the hardening of the arteries, allowing you to avoid coronary diseases.

Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle. It has benefits you can not say no to. It also does not require much. It can be your usual activities, bending and flexing every now and then. After all, your fitness is everything so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.

Make sure you or your child sign up to the Banana Boy Fans newsletter for fun ways to stretch! Go to BananaBoyFans.com today to sign up.