Summer is a favorite time for relaxing, vacationing, enjoying the outdoors, getting together for family reunions, and just plain having fun! It is always a challenge to keep our kids, or grandkids, engaged and hopefully not hearing too many “I’m bored” comments. Suggestions today will center around reading/literacy.
The local library usually has a few reading challenge programs so that kids view reading as fun and in some ways a ‘game’ as they earn points. There are also many IPad apps that have a wide range of books to chose from, such as EPIC. One of my favorite apps is STORY MAKER. Kids can hand write or type their own experiential story page by page, add pictures from a pre – set vocabulary, draw pictures, record their own voice, and retell the story. It is engaging and quite user friendly. For younger kids, Tab Tale and Grasshopper apps are great for engaging learning through animation. There is nothing wrong with encouraging the use of IPad apps, as long as the time spent on electronic devices is limited to not more than an hour to an hour and a half a day.
Other ways to encourage reading and writing include having the kids write notes with drawn pictures to their grandparents or friends, write the weekly grocery list (yes the use of invented spelling is great), write their personal invitation for play dates with friends, and write little notes to family members on post-it notes and leave on the refrigerator.
Parents and grandparents, don’t forget to model reading for your little ones! Keep a book or two in each room of the house that you have either read or are in the process of reading. My book for this week is “Column of Fire” by Ken Follet.
“There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all” (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis).