Do you ever wonder how you can encourage family members to read to their children at home? Create some Home Literacy Kits! Parents can sign out a kit for a week and enjoy the book and some related activities with their child. To really increase their interest, read books from the kits in your classroom each month; the children will want to tell their families all about those books.
A kit should include a children’s book and activities that relate to the book and extend learning. These activities could include:
- A writing journal with erasable crayons or paper and crayons so children can draw pictures from the story
- Simple games (picture bingo, matching games, flash cards)
- Toys (e.g., finger puppets or small toys to retell the story, manipulatives that relate to the story)
- Or any other items that are relevant to the book
When you first introduce the concept of the kits to your program, you can also create a flyer including some information about reading to children at home. Here are some items you can include:
Great reasons to read to your child at home:
- Reading aloud can help your child successfully learn to read.
- Reading to your child helps to activate the part of his brain that helps him to understand the meaning of language. The more you read to a child, the larger his vocabulary will grow. The language of books is more descriptive than the language used in daily conversations.
- When you read to a child, you’re sending the message that reading is worthwhile.
- Reading aloud lets a child use his imagination to explore people, places, times, and events beyond his own experiences.
- It’s fun! You’re creating memories that will last a lifetime. When your child sees an adult excited about reading, she will catch your enthusiasm.
Some tips for reading with your child:
- Talk about what you’re reading either before, during, or after you read. Encourage your child to ask questions.
- Use different voices for different characters; encourage your child to make up character voices too.
- Read for as long as your child pays attention. Her attention span will grow over time.
- Ask your child what he would like to read.
- Don’t be afraid to read the same book over and over each time your child picks it. Why not try reading that book after reading another book?
- You can read to your child anywhere: at home, on a blanket in the park, at the dentist’s office, or waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store. The opportunities are endless.
- Even after your child learns to read, it’s still important for you to read together.
- Take home one of our Home Literacy Kits!
For additional information, see the following:
- Reading is Fundamental