1. Check out audiobooks.com where you can inexpensively download books for MP3 players. Use them around the house or in the car.
2. Plan activities that relate to a specific story: look for caterpillars after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar or eat blueberries while reading Blueberries for Sal. Play hide and seek after reading The Runaway Bunny or wear caps while reading Caps for Sale.
3. Place written labels on every day items. "table," "lamp," "chair," "door." Children will learn to understand that spoken words have written symbols.
4. Have your child make out your shopping list and then be in charge of crossing off items as they are found.
5. Ask older children to read to younger children, this benefits both age groups.
6. Plan a book activity where children can see that books help them learn more about activities they love. Check out Sebastian Quigley's books on making Lego characters or books on designing paper airplanes or books on magic tricks. Try Ed Emberley's drawing books or Cooking Art: Easy Edible Art for Young Children by MaryAnn F. Kohl.
7. Put up a map or globe and have a geographic Question of the Week written on an index card and reward those who can find the answer.
8. Using magnetic letters, have a Word of the Week on the refrigerator. Maybe pass out a reward to those who can give the definition or properly use it in a sentence. I knew this idea worked when Grace came home from kindergarten and said, "I don't feel jovial today Mom."
9. Consider magazine subscriptions as gifts such as Sports Illustrated for Kids, American Girl, Zoobooks, Cricket, or National Geographic for Kids.
10. Encourage children to keep a journal.
11. Keep joke books in the car where your kids can get at them. Play Mad Libs on road trips.
12. Plan family trips around book-related places. Prince Edward Island for Anne of Green Gables fans, Cape Canaveral for space enthusiasts or Concord, Massachusetts for Louisa May Alcott fans. This can also work in reverse, where ever you vacation, find a book to read as a family about its history, literature or culture. White Fang anyone?
13. Encourage children to write to an author, usually through the publishing house. Celebrate a favorite author's birthday.
Have you entered this month's Write-Away Contest yet? The deadline is November 21st.
Or think about entering the latest group writing project at MamaBlogga, deadline there is this Sunday November 11.
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