10 Non-book Ways to Get Your Child Reading
Try these creative approaches that inspire. Source: Scholastic Parents
Play board games. Scrabble or Boggle are specifically good for building vocabulary and spelling, but most games include reading opportunities, including kid versions of Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, and Clue.
Collect trading cards. There are card series to appeal to most interests, from sports to space travel, Yu-Gi-Oh! to Beanie Babies. Most include facts that encourage kids to read more about their hobbies.
Learn how to... Is there something your child would really like to do, such as perform magic tricks or add sequins to her jeans? Encourage her to find out how by reading about it. She can read instructions in do-it-yourself kits or download information from the Web, then look for related books.
Get cooking. Invite your child to help you bake a cake or a special meal together. If necessary, simplify and rewrite a recipe's instructions so he can read it to you. Also try kid cookbooks like The Magic Spoon, which has fun recipes and entertaining directions for her to read.
Make cards. Have your child make her own cards for holidays, birthdays, party invitations, and thank-yous. Help her write a personal message to each recipient.
Create signs and labels. Help your early reader build his vocabulary by creating stickers or signs for his room that identify toys or furniture: "bike," "desk," etc.
Take a road trip. Write down travel directions and have your child serve as navigator when you drive. Give your co-pilot a map before you go and ask her to mark the route according to the directions.
Put on a play. You can perform the play for a special celebration or family party. Help your child find an appealing script or create one together based on a favorite movie. Print out copies, recruit other children or family members to act, and make costumes. Remind your child that he must memorize his lines by reading them over and over.
Write messages for your child. Even if you spend hours together in the same room, there are many reasons to write to your child. Drop a letter in her school bag or e-mail her a joke she can forward to her friends. Post a list of chores on the refrigerator and write family news or appointments on a wall calendar.
Host a scavenger hunt. Make a list of items that your child and his friends need to find inside your house or around the neighborhood. Provide written clues that lead to the treasures. Make it a weekly event.
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