Wednesday, March 20, 2013

5 Simple Ways To Encourage Reading and Writing in Your Home

We all know there are countless ways to encourage our young children to read and write. Today I'd like to share 5 of the many simple ways we inspire our children to engage in reading and writing in our home. These also can easily be adapted to work in an early childhood classroom as well.

1. Clipboards- Kids LOVE clipboards! I have several placed strategically around the house for the girls to use during play. I attached a string and pen/pencil and add clean paper to it when needed. This allows for easy use- how inviting for a child to see clean blank paper with a pen already attached. It practically screams "Pick me up and use me!" I usually rotate them every so often but we currently have one in our art area and on the train table where we store many our building/blocks toys. Placing near an area where they build things is also a great way to encourage them to draw what they built!

2. Cozy Reading Area- We have a reading area down in our playroom and of course there's an entire bookcase filled with books in the girls bedrooms but we also set up a cozy inviting reading area in our main living area. We have a child sized rocking chair and basket filled with books right next to it. I rotate the books every so often to keep it interesting. Setting aside a space for only kids to read really does send the message that reading is valued and fun for everyone!

3. Basket of Themed/Season Books- Along with a bookshelf in the girls bedrooms I also have a basket of books that go with the season/holiday that is occurring. Back in January/February we had Winter/Snow books and currently we have Spring/Easter books in the basket. I rotate them out every season or holiday to keep interest. Often the girls are excited about whatever holiday is coming up or interested in the current season. Having the books all in one place really helps with bridging their natural interests and excitement with literature. They love to see a fresh "new" set of books in there all celebrating the current season every few months.

*Tip- I have quite a collection of season/holiday books from my years of being a preschool teacher but I also take advantage of my daughter's Scholastic School Book Fair Monthly Flyers. You can find great deals that way.

4. Little Notebooks- This is similar to the clipboard idea. I found these great mini notebooks and ordered them in bulk at Discount School Supply. They are great for role-playing and placing in the kid's kitchen area. In this particular instance my girls were using it to play "restaurant". I also have some by my office area with pens and while I'm making my "lists" (groceries, errands etc.) I hand one off to the girls and they make "their lists" as well. I highly recommend having a stash of these as they are so versatile and can be used often.

5. Journals- This is an idea taken from when I taught preschool. I used to have the children engage in daily journaling. They each had a notebook and wrote/drew in it daily. They could draw/write whatever they wanted and when they were done I asked them to tell me about their page. I then wrote down their dictations word for word. I have implemented this same concept into our nighttime routine. We don't do it every night but a few times a week the girls "write" in their journals and tell me about their page. They love it! Having them witness you writing their words down is such a great way to demonstrate that words have meaning. It's also a fantastic way to show them that their words matter and their thoughts are valued!

As I said before these are only 5 of the many ways we encourage reading and writing. Do you have any to add to the list?

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  1. Lots of good tips here Tricia. We have multiple book baskets in different rooms in our house and they get lots of use. My eight year old loooved keeping journals when he was younger and still will from time to time. The mini notebooks bring back memories too. That reminds me I could probably start introducing them to my toddler. I love that picture of your daughter in the little rocking chair.

  2. Fab post

    Would love for you to link it up at my new Empty Your Archive link party which is a chance to dust off great posts from your archive - there is a focus this week on reading - would really love to see you there, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x

    1. Hi Alice! Thanks so much! I just linked to your party! Thanks for the invite!!


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