Family Literacy Week (January 21 – 28) is fast approaching, and this year the theme is Have a Family Party! While parties may not seem like the most obvious place to incorporate literacy, they are actually a fantastic place to do so. From the planning and preparation process to the actual party activities there are many ways to creatively invite literacy to the party.
Here are some party activity suggestions from Decoda Literacy Solutions, for toddlers to teens, to get you started.
Have a pool party for your little ones! Who would have thought a pool party in January would be a good idea? Let your baby explore sensory items instead of water. Fill a kiddie pool with different-sized balls, measuring cups, stuffies, or other household items. Sensory activities for your baby not only enhance their cognitive and physical development but also play a role in their social and emotional well-being. https://decoda.ca/resource/lets-have-a-family-party-babies/
Can you get a toddler to be still? You can if you play freeze dance at your party. Freeze dance is a great way to incorporate fun with learning. I was skeptical about doing this activity with toddlers, but they proved me wrong! It was amazing to see their bodies follow the lead of their caregivers and quickly learn to freeze in position when the music stopped. This activity helps young children develop listening skills and spatial awareness. The beauty of this activity is that you can do this with any age not just toddlers. https://decoda.ca/resource/lets-have-a-family-party-toddlers/
No party would be complete without music. Have your preschooler make their own instrument to play and jam to some tunes. There are many things in your house that can be transformed into a musical instrument. Look through your recycling or that cupboard with old bits of paper, stickers, and ribbon. We made tambourines using paper plates, beads, and ribbon then decorated them with crayons and stickers. A tissue box, a paper towel roll, and elastic bands make a great first-time guitar. https://decoda.ca/resource/lets-have-a-family-party-preschoolers/
Primary students are keen to craft and want to do things by themselves. So why not let them handle making the party invitations? Talk with them about who they will invite and what the theme of the party will be. Help them figure out the wording for the invites, give them a few invitation-making supplies and let them run with it. https://decoda.ca/wp-content/uploads/FLW24-Activity-Cards_SchoolAged.pdf
If you are looking for an activity that needs little preparation, can be played with just a few players or a large group, and can produce some hilarious results, put collaborative storytelling on the list of party games! To start the game, someone begins by sharing a simple statement like, “Once upon a time there was a curious cat.” Then, each player takes a turn to add to the story one sentence at a time. This game promotes teamwork, listening skills, and vocabulary development and is tons of fun. https://decoda.ca/wp-content/uploads/FLW24-Activity-Cards_Olderschoolage.pdf
January is a perfect time for a family party and it is a great way to celebrate Family Literacy Week! You can find more party ideas at these ABC Literacy Canada links.
If you capture any party moments on camera, enter Decoda Literacy Solutions’ Photo Contest. Your family could win a Literacy Gift Pack. Simply submit your photo to email@example.com or post it on social media using the hashtag #FLW2024Contest.
To learn what CBAL events are being hosted for Family Literacy Week in your community, contact your local Community Literacy Outreach Coordinator at cbal.org/communities/.
Community Literacy Outreach Coordinator – Castlegar
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy