When it comes to activities that support literacy development, reading a book with your child is usually the first thing people think of. As a parent of three children, I know that setting time aside to read with your children regularly is a difficult task. Between working, prepping meals, household tasks, and children’s extracurricular activities, it isn’t always easy to find the time to sit down together and read. Fortunately, there are so many more ways parents, grandparents, and extended family can support literacy development beyond reading together.
Here are a few literacy activities that you can weave into your everyday lives:
- Sing songs and say rhymes
- Tell jokes
- Make a picture or word shopping list together
- Read a recipe, and cook a meal together
- Read words on signs or objects at home and when out in the community
- Have your child count out change when making a purchase
- Play board games
- Head out on a scavenger hunt
- Create a puppet show
- Draw a story and then retell it
- Write letters, emails, texts, or notes
- Visit the library
- Take part in a family literacy program (Every CBAL community has them! They are fun and free!)
It isn’t a big secret that spending time with your children doing engaging literacy related activities supports language development, strengthens imagination, expands vocabulary, and encourages social and emotional development. One of the biggest benefits for me as a parent was the bonding time and relationship building that happened with my kids. I remember when we were camping as a family and it was pouring rain outside – we spent the entire day playing board games. You would think it would be torture being stuck in a camper with three young kids, but it wasn’t. We had the best time! It is one of my fondest camping memories.
To learn more about family literacy programs in your community, visit cbal.org.
Community Literacy Outreach Coordinator Revelstoke
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy