My husband and I are avid readers. We met in Journalism school, and both had specializations in English. To say we like reading is an understatement. I mean who willingly takes multiple college English courses, even Shakespeare more than once, and actually enjoys them? We did!
Reading As A Family Foundation
One of the things that attracted me to my husband was our ability to have long conversations about books. We often read the same book together (audio or taking turns reading out loud to each other) or we pass books to each other when one of us has finished a particularly juicy book.
Reading has been a foundation to our marriage and our house shows it.
We constantly have books stacked on the kitchen counter top, on each of our bedside tables, on our dresser, the kitchen table, and actual bookshelves. We even have some stacked in the bathroom and closet. Oh, and of course we have our digital books on our phones.
Now that we have a son, our books have tripled. He even has his own bookshelves. Yes, I said bookshelves in the plural form. He has many shelves in his room and the hallway going into his room because the one in his room ran out of space. We just can’t say no to books. Long ago we decided we don’t mind having a house full of books. We’d rather that than a lot of other things.
There is tons of research to show how important early literacy is to children.
According to a Scholastic.com article, “A study from The Ohio State University found that young children who are read to five times daily…will hear nearly 1.5 million words by the time they turn 5…” That’s a lot of vocabulary!
So what are some things you can do with your kids to celebrate World Book Day and have a house full of bibliophiles? Well try one of these ten ideas!
- Go to the library with your kids and get books! This seems obvious, but I know lots of people who don’t even have a library card. There’s absolutely no reason not to have one. It’s free! Free books!
- Go to a bookstore and buy a new book for each member of the family. I know that could seem like a lot of money, but think of it as an investment in your family’s literacy future. If your kids have something they actually want to read, they are more likely to start reading.
- Start a reading log for each member of your family. Decide individual goals and try to stick to it. I have a personal goal of reading one book a month. Twelve books a year is very doable for me. As for my son, he is on track to have read more than 1000 books before Kindergarten.
- Make reading a part of the bedtime routine. My mom started reading to my sister and I as part of our bedtime routine when I was a kid, and it has stuck with me throughout adulthood. Even on nights when we are slightly behind on our set bedtime, we still take the time to read to our son. It’s a great way to calm everyone down for the night. And remember, a kid is never too old for family read aloud time. Plus it gives you something to talk about (I’m looking at your middle school and high school parents).
- Donate some books to your children’s school. As a former Language Arts teacher, I always appreciated when parents would send books to my classroom. It was always a nice surprise and helped me grow my classroom library.
- Email or call your child’s school and find out if you can come read to the class sometime. I know lots of classrooms that invite parents and community members in to read aloud to the kids.
- Make a list of real world reasons why reading is so important. I know from experience how hard it can be to convince a middle schooler to read. I found that discussing future jobs, and the reading that’s necessary in those jobs, often helped to convince them.
- Ban electronics for the day in favor of reading instead. Heck, even banning the electronics for an hour in favor of reading would be a great way to celebrate World Book Day.
- Start a book series as a family. I highly suggest the Harry Potter series. It’s a great read for the whole family. And no, just watching the movies doesn’t count. The books are way better.
- Have your kids act out their favorite book. We have done it with play-dough, toy figurines, and even cardboard creations.
No matter how you choose to celebrate World Book Day, the most important thing you can do is READ.