It is finally FALL IN TENNESSEE! The fall season is a time for football, bonfires, admiring the changing colors of the leaves, and visiting local pumpkin patches and fall festivals with friends and family. Fall means finding any excuse to be outside in the crisp autumn Tennessee weather.
While you enjoy the fun activities during the fall, it is important to remember that engaging our children in early literacy experiences is critical for their learning and development. Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) has some tips to incorporate literacy-rich activities into your child’s routine this season. Here are some fun and easy ways to bring together our favorite things about fall and the healthy brain development of our young children.
Experience an Outdoor Reading Adventure at a GBBF Storybook Trail
Walk and read with your children along one of GBBF’s 18 Storybook Trails across Tennessee. Favorite Imagination Library books come to life on large panels throughout the trail. GBBF launched the Storybook Trail program by partnering with parks and outdoor areas to provide a children’s storybook, presented on child-height panels, along a short trail to promote adult-child interaction around books and nature. The trails feature reading tips on each page panel to bring the book to life with the surrounding nature. In addition to promoting literacy and caregiver engagement, the Storybook Trail program encourages families to connect with nature and engage in a healthy, outdoor activity. GBBF’s Storybook Trail program now includes 18 trails in Tennessee, including locations at 15 state parks, two city parks and one botanical garden and estate.
Click here for more information on Storybook Trails, including locations across the state.
Host a Family Book Picnic
Picnics are not only for eating. Grab a blanket, go outdoors and read a children’s book together! Feel free to bring along snacks that go along with the plot or setting of the book to eat while you read. This simple activity combines family time, beautiful weather, fresh air and our favorite activity, reading!
Leftover Pumpkins? Bring Books to Life with this Pumpkin Repurpose Project
Halloween may be over, but don’t get rid of your pumpkins just yet! For a family friendly activity around reading, you can repurpose pumpkins into book characters to bring a story to life for your children. After reading together, use materials around the house and assist your children in turning their pumpkin into their favorite children’s book character.
For younger children, provide them with finger paint and a pumpkin to decorate all by themselves!
Football, Fight Songs & Building Future Reading Skills
What is the fall season without football? In honor of this season, read a book with your child that involves football or another sport, and then take the fun outside to play the game together.
Did you also know that singing your team’s favorite fight song with your children can boost their literacy skills? Singing songs builds language, vocabulary, rhythm, and rhyme. I have to say that “Rocky Top” is my personal favorite. What’s your team’s fight song?
This blog post was written by GBBF’s Early Literacy Specialist, Dr. Lauren Tate