If you’re a parent and…you need to do the dishes

Posted by on March 5, 2014.

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My only child celebrated her 100th day of kindergarten in February. As a parent new to public school, I was surprised that this is a milestone…and reminded that I have a lot to learn! Being new to CLiF, I have even more appreciation for how inventive schools, teachers, and parents are in designing programs that reinforce the message that books are fun.

If you are a parent, I’m sure you have struggled with your child’s endless pleas for attention on a cold winter’s evening. And while I absolutely love playing with my daughter, sometimes I just need to get the dishes done. But rather than leave her to her own devices to keep her entertained, I’ve tried to keep her engaged in reading.

There are many ways to make books fun for your family, even if reading may not be your children’s favorite—or your favorite—thing to do. As we push through the last of winter, here are some easy activities that involve books and allow parents and kids to interact, while giving parents some freedom to make dinner, fold laundry, check email, or take care of all the daily things that need to accomplish:

  1. Let your child build a fort that is a special place to look at or read books. We have used chairs, couch cushions, blankets, sheets, and pillows to create a child-sized hideout.
  2. Go on a scavenger hunt at the library. Pick an idea—we used skiing – to focus on in your quest. It could be race cars, fire engines, or ponies. Then explore all kinds of books searching for your idea in unlikely places.
  3. Check out the books If I Built a Car and If I Built a House by Chris van Dusen. Have your children dream up their ideal or magical house or car, and then draw pictures or write stories about it.
  4. Borrow an audio book from your local library. It is a wonderful way for kids – especially reluctant readers – and their parents to hear great stories.
  5. Celebrate World Book Day on March 6th and share a book with your child. As the 100th Day event proved to me, sharing new milestones makes a difference.

Happy reading!

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