Reading with Kids
The holidays are all about the magical moments spent with family. It's the perfect time to share some #BookMagic with your little one this holiday season!
Halloween offers children much more than just candy—it's one of the greatest holidays for a child to exercise their imagination, giving them full freedom to express themselves however they choose. Dressing up as a favorite character, exploring pumpkin patches and haunted houses, and sharing harmlessly spooky stories are wonderful ways for children to let their imagination and creativity soar to new heights!
School's out! What next?
By now, your kiddos are either already out of school for summer break or are just counting down the days. It's possible they may have even been looking forward to this break since school started in the fall. For a child, summer break means active days outside, ice cream, playdates, lemonade stands, swimming…and hopefully lots and lots of reading! On top of all the fun and activity, you want to also make sure they are continuing to learn and finding the joy books they love. (Hint: this is how little ones become lifetime readers!)
Whether your child is not yet in school, has just finished preschool, kindergarten, or the first grade, personalized books can make summer awesome. You'll surely keep your kids busy learning and having fun with our personalized books summer reading guide!
(Artwork by Marianne Richmond)
No matter if you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers, work full time or stay at home all day, cook for your children or take a family excursion to a different restaurant every day, you are an AMAZING mom! Don't ever let anyone else tell you otherwise. Don't let the Super Mom fool you, the June Cleaver look-alike intimidate you, or Perfect-Mom Syndrome get to you. As long as you love your kids the best way you know how, you are an all-star mom. How do we know?
(Artwork from Marianne Richmond's Hooray for You!)
Maybe your child already has plans to be the next J. K. Rowling, keenly writing away at their desk every day, or perhaps your child is a reluctant writer, not wanting to complete their social studies journal assignment. Either way, it's Encourage a Young Writer Day and we have something to celebrate! We have some tips and ideas to help your child bloom into an eager writer or expand and grow their love for writing and reading they already have.
Tips to Share with Your Young Writers
• Read, and read often.
• Read with a pen and notebook nearby.
• Write, and write often.
• Write about passions, experiences, real life (or imaginary life works too!).
• Write from the heart.
• Follow your curious mind.
• Learn form and structure first.
• Use family and friends to find character inspiration.
• Be observant. Bring a notebook wherever you go, writing down notes or interesting things that could later make it into a story, poem, or essay.
• Be daring with your words. Keep an interesting word log and record new words you come across—words you don't know or words you don't use very often. Other books you're reading or listening to others' conversations are great ways to collect interesting words or tidbits.
Ways to Encourage Your Young Writers
• Make writing/journaling dates together. Go to a special local spot to grab a hot chocolate or smoothie, and bring your pens or pencils, journals or laptops. Write about what you observe, or how the smoothie tastes, or what you're most looking forward to over the summer. Writing by hand is always helpful for younger writers and readers, but if typing on a computer is more inspiring for him or her—let them go for it.
• Encourage your child to share their work with you. Make sure you find three or four things to praise, and one suggestion to improve their work. It can be a school piece or something fun your child did at home.
• Read together daily, as part of your routine. Or, if your child is older, check in and make sure your child is open to reading for leisure. Of course you can, and should, still read together too!
• When you're reading together, ask your child to point out his or her favorite words, or words her or she doesn't know. Write them down in a journal, and look them up together. Later your child will have an entire well of word possibilities when feeling stumped.
• Celebrate your child's imagination, always encouraging them to unleash their wildest thoughts and stories. Who knows—it could be the next Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or James and the Giant Peach!
• Be as encouraging as possible, offering your child affirmation and positive reinforcement in their creative work.
Easy Writing Activities for Writers of All Ages
• Make lists. Start with simple topics, like "10 things that remind you of spring" or "Five of your favorite animals." Then, see how your child can incorporate these ideas into a story, essay, or poem. Remember, they can be as imaginative as they'd like!
• Use artwork, pictures, or photos for inspiration. You can even see if your child would rather draw a picture first before writing. Then they can use that drawing to create a story. Hint: These make great character or setting sketches!
• Write a how-to piece. Let your child choose write about what their favorite thing to make, do, or practice is. For example, if she loves to ride bikes with friends, let her see if she can put together interesting directions on how to ride a bike. (It's harder than you probably think!) This allows the writer to really strip down their writing technique and get to the core of their writing. It's just a great way to practice simplifying your writing.
• Make an "I Remember" collage. This exercise is inspired by author Joe Brainard, who wrote a collection of memories using "I Remember" at the start of each recollection. You should definitely do one too! Then, come together and read them out loud. You'll even sense a poem unfolding as you read/write these.
A Few Resources
Check out Second Story Window for some fun, prompted writing activities for kids, including workbooks, worksheets, etc. For example, find writing activities and crafts for each month of the year here.
Reading & Writing Readiness Pinterest board has some great resources for kids' writing and storytelling activities as well.
Inspiring Personalized Book for Young Writers
Hooray for You! Personalized Book
Hooray for You! is the perfect gift to show someone how special they really are. What better way to celebrate a child's unique traits than by giving them a personalized book made just for them?
More Bears! Personalized Book
Warning: More Bears! is not a bedtime story—it was written to be read (and yelled!) out loud. This delightfully silly personalized book is sure to have your child calling out "More Bears!" within the first few pages!