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Simple Ways Families Can Help Children Become Readers

Read to and with your children for 30 minutes every day.
Have a wide variety of books available to children.
Encourage children to look at books on their own and spend time reading together everyday.
Let your children see you read and write.
Use cooking as a reading tool – ingredient labels, recipes…
Sing and play rhyming games with your child.
Keep books and books-on-tapes in the car.
Carry a ‘book bag’ when you run errands.
Encourage your child to draw and write on her own.
Provide lots of writing materials-chalk, markers, crayons, and pencils.
Visit the library to peruse books and attend story time.
Talk with your children as you do daily activities together.
Restrict the amount and type of television your children watch.
Talk together about things that interest your child.
Introduce new vocabulary words when you talk with your child.
Read any time - on the bus, at the doctor’s office, or waiting in line at the store.
Read throughout the day – morning, afternoon and evening.
Make reading a special time of snuggling and attention.
Shelve books in an easily accessible place that is inviting to children.
Visit your local library story hour to build even more enthusiasm for reading.
Keep books in the car for portable and educational entertainment.
Find special reading places: under a shady tree, on a porch, in the park, or in a hammock.
Make a tent with blankets for a reading corner.

This is part of a handbook I wrote for parents called Reading for Life.  I'll gladly send you a free copy, if you'd like.  Just email me at


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