March 02, 2012
Seuss inspired ways to connect with children through reading
Sylvan Learning is offering some "Seuss-inspired" suggestions on how to make reading fun and how to inspire children to develop a lifelong friendship with books while connecting with caring adults.
Oh say can you say? Read aloud with children. Reading aloud is right up there with eating chocolate in terms of pleasures. In fact, we could argue it's even better than chocolate: It's never too early for it, and there's no such thing as "too much." Reading to young children nurtures an interest in language, words, and communication. And strengthens parent-child relationships. For older kids, reading together can be fun and interesting. As reading aloud becomes a routine, it will not only help develop your children's reading skills, but will also create a basis for ongoing discussion.
I can lick 30 tigers today! Wrangling children's schedules can feel like wrestling tigers. But making the time to read every day—even for just 10 to 15 minutes—is worth taming a tiger or two. It establishes reading as a regular, daily habit.
One book, two books, red books, blue books. From baseball cards to comic books, children have always been natural collectors. Encourage your children to create their own treasure trove of books. By encouraging the creation of a personal library, you invite your children to create a magical kingdom that's right at their fingertips. Turn book collecting into a treasure hunt: Look for books at yard sales, in the book section at bargain stores, at the grocery store, and wherever else you can find them. Here at the Center for Children and Families, Inc. (CCFI), we offer a book barn that is stocked with free books for the children and families that come into our doors each day.
This just in: Horton heard a who. But then what happened? Children need to understand that there is more to a news event than the 30-second sound bite they hear on the television. Weekly and monthly general interest magazines can fill this gap. Kids like to be "plugged in," and these publications give them in-depth details to satisfy their curiosity. Plus, the vivid photographs appeal to children of all ages. Read an article together, and help your children with difficult words or abstract concepts.
Why did the Cat in the Hat cross the road? To get to the riddle book on the other side! Children enjoy riddles and jokes that rely on wordplay. Laughing together at clever jokes and riddles can make a Saturday trip to soccer or hockey practice more enjoyable and memorable. Next time you're at the library or bookstore, bring home some giggles to read together.
Oh, the thinks you can think! As anyone who has read a Dr. Seuss book knows, words can be fun. Turn vocabulary from a grind to a giggle by creating word games. Compile a word list, or ask your children's teacher for a word list, and make daily or weekly vocabulary games.
And to think that you saw that word on Mulberry Street. As you zip about town, learn new words on the road. Every trip, regardless of the distance, presents creative opportunities to introduce new words to your children. From bulletin boards to street signs, words are hanging out on every street corner, just waiting for you to drop by.
My Book...By Me Myself. Encourage your children to write original stories and illustrate them with their own drawings. It's a great way to increase comfort and familiarity with words.
Oh, the places you'll go! The Internet is a goldmine of great websites that provide reading lists for children. Visit Book Adventure, a free Sylvan-created interactive, reading, motivational program that can be found online at www.BookAdventure.com . Another great resource is a local library, Pioneer Library System here in Oklahoma offersgreat programs and resources to get kiddos reading.
Encouraging children to read helps transform reading from a chore to a treat. Then, this basic skill becomes a learned behavior and an intellectual habit. Among reading's benefits, many research studies have found that children who are read to or who read on their own at home do better in school.