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It doesn’t take much encouragement for any member of our family to “drop everything and read” and now that all my chicks have grown and “flown the coop,” I have even more time to read!
There are many amazing book-related holidays out there and one of my favorite ones is D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything and Read) on April 12.
D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. Because, what’s more fun(damental) than reading, really?
Different than family story-time, D.E.A.R. accomplishes a couple of things. First, it sets an example of the importance of reading in a family setting. When your children see that reading is important to you, it will also become important to them. As they see you read a variety of material from newspapers, magazines, and books, they will also want to model that behavior of having an eclectic mix of reading material.
Secondly, D.E.A.R. time is a great way to transition kids from the hecticness of their day into a “quiet time” that begins with the preparation dinner together at 6:30 and then shifts gears into reading time. Lastly, as your children learn to read more and more on their own, D.E.A.R. Time gives them independent reading time with a book or magazine that they think they will enjoy.
The one question I am asked over, and over again in a variety of ways, is how do I get my child to love reading? The answer is simple ……just read. If you spend 30 minutes each day reading, you can read on average 40 books a year. Maybe you’ve heard of the adage, “Practice makes perfect.” The truth of the matter is, that practice makes permanent. So the more you read, the more you will want to read and then reading becomes a part of your daily rhythm.
D.E.A.R. Time is a continuous commitment, not just an “April 12th thing.”
I suggest doing it the same time every day. A time that works best for your family. If 30 minutes to start with is difficult, be kind to yourself. Start with 10 minutes and work your way up to a half hour a day. The more everyone reads, the more and longer periods of time they will want to read.
Need some book and reading suggestions? Many people don’t realize that reading material can take the shape of many things. Just because it’s not a book doesn’t mean your youngsters aren’t “reading.” If your kids are reluctant readers, keep their D.E.A.R time simplified. Simplify as in; offering them easier Bite-Sized Reading Tricks to keep them reading and inspired.
Reading isn’t just for books only. On the breakfast table, family room and screen porch coffee tables, and in certain bathrooms, I leave bite-size reading materials like trivia, jokes, riddles, and quizzes which keep readers engaged. Reluctant readers do especially well with “snippets” of information.
D.E.A.R Reading Ideas | Magazines
Magazines are a great “portable” reading options for kids and again, is “bite-sized” information to keep them interested and learning. There are so many wonderful and educational kids magazine available these days too. Some of our favorites include:
- Chop Chop
- Time for Kids
- Kids and Code
- Owl Magazine
- Military Kid’s life
- National Geographic kids
- Your Big Backyard
- Ranger Rick
- Stone Soup for young writers and artists
Amy at Teach Mama has a wonderful Brain Teaser Activity for Kids!
Inspiration Laboratories has some excellent number cypher/secret code game ideas as well. “Creating secret messages is always tons of fun. Check out these secret codes for kids that involve number cyphers!”
Another “mom trick” I used when my kids were small was what I call “Cereal Box Trivia.” Next time your brood gathers around the kitchen table, notice how each kid grabs a cereal box to read the back as they’re eating their breakfast. I noticed that habit with my then reluctant reader and thought, “Why should I give this great reading opportunity to a bunch of advertising on the back of a cereal box?“
That was when “Cereal Box Trivia” was born. I began pulling all sorts of resources from my shelves such as Trivia books, jokes, magic tricks, brain teasers, and riddles and photo-copying one page for each cereal box. I then taped one of these trivia pages to the back of each box for early morning dining/reading fun.
One of my favorite books for this purpose is “Every Minute On Earth: Fun facts that happen every 60 seconds” by Steve and Mathew Murrie, illustrated by Mary Anne Lloyd.
D.E.A.R Reading Ideas | Picture Book Booklists
And if you are looking for some ideas on good-old-fashioned BOOKS, here is a whole blog post on books and April holidays that will keep kids reading for hours!
FREE Gift! Free 180 Multicultural Book Ideas ebook to inspired fun Summer Reading!
School is out and our youngsters are settling into a new summer routine of sleeping in and hopefully doing some exploring and discovering. With the hectic days of summer just beginning, oftentimes one of the first habit to go by the wayside is the habit of daily reading.
Reading is always an important part of our children’s lives no matter what time of year it is so I decided to wrap my knowledge of fun kidlit books and activities up with my experience as one of the co-founders of the very successful Multicultural Children’s Book Day and create a unique resource for parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer. Reading is important, but so is helping our young readers learn about other cultures, religions and traditions through the pages of these books. Here are some great booklists and resources that I have created over the years at Jump Into a Book that will not only give parents and readers great ideas on diverse kids’ books, but fun activities related to books that will bring stories to life!
Sign up below for quick and free access to 180 Multicultural Book Ideas: World Travel through Kidlit Summer Reading!
Enjoy and let us know how it’s going. We would also love to know what you’re reading.