We are kicking off a new year! That means many of us will be making resolutions and plans for goals we want to accomplish. Let’s add reading with children to those resolutions. From setting aside reading time in your daily routine… to learning how to read interactively… to providing the gift of books to children in your community, you can make a difference in a child’s life. Below are 8 easy ways to make reading a part of your day and every day in the new year. But don’t stop there, let us know your own reading tips and resolutions by sharing them on social media. Be sure to tag Governor’s Books from Birth in your post so we can share them, too.
1. Make time for regular read-aloud with your children. You can make reading a part of daily routines by reading words in the grocery store or on street signs while driving. Ask your child to repeat the words and make up rhymes. Of all the activities you take time for with your children, few will be as satisfying and as good for them as reading aloud regularly. The bonding, benefits and memories will last a lifetime. Reading time can be anywhere and anytime.
2. Create special reading places or libraries in your home.Under a card table, with pillows in a closet, blankets twirled to make a reading nest, even a favorite chair to snuggle in — there are many ways to make special reading nooks for your children. Encourage your child to create his/her own special library in your home.
3. Read, write and play with words more. It is important that your children find meaning and pleasure in words. Read riddles, write jokes, memorize poetry and have family poetry slams, tell stories, make lists, compose letters, sing, and talk, talk, talk! For more tips to make reading fun for your children, visit https://www.governorsfoundation.org/engage/engage-with-your-child.
4. Give books as gifts. Books increase in value for a child when they come as a gift from someone special, or on a special occasion. Every occasion is the right one for a book gift! A child’s own book collection, even if small, is very important. Want to give the gift of books to children in your community? Donate to Tennessee’s Imagination Library and help provide high-quality, age-appropriate books to Tennessee preschoolers each month in the mail. To donate, visit https://www.governorsfoundation.org/give. You can designate your gift to a specific county.
5. Create library traditions. Making routine trips to the library and growing the love of books go hand in hand. Help your child keep ongoing lists of books he or she might want to check out, or growing topics of interest. Get a special library book bag for your child to fill, and make regular library visits exciting. For a list of the library locations in Tennessee, visit https://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/tennessee-public-library-directory.
6. Read more for pleasure and make sure children see you reading. When was the last time you enjoyed a great book? Every time your children see you take time to read a book, you are modeling reading as a lifestyle, and we promise it is contagious! Talk about the books you are reading, read interesting newspaper articles aloud and make what everyone is reading part of regular family conversation.
7. Learn best practices for reading-aloud. There are many great resources filled with tips and techniques for taking you to the next level of reading to your children. GBBF offers a list of tips to engage your children with books and provides downloadable activities that correlate with Imagination Library books. For these resources and more, visit https://www.governorsfoundation.org/engage/engage-with-your-child.
8. Support and get involved with organizations that promote reading. Tennessee’s Imagination Library is made up of 95 affiliate programs in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties, mailing high-quality books each month to children, birth to age five, across the state. Most of these affiliate programs are run by volunteers. Get involved in your local program and help promote early childhood literacy in Tennessee’s birth to age five population. To contact the local program in your community, search your zip-code at https://www.governorsfoundation.org/engage/engage-with-your-county.
Making sure reading is part of every day this year! #ThisIsWhatLiteracyLooksLike