Children & Adolescents Clinic

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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Suggested Reading Activities

A love of literature is cultivated through pleasant experiences. The following activities generally progress from younger to older ages.

  • Set aside a special time of the day or week just for quiet reading activities. Forget you own a television set.
  • Take your child to the library to check out books and listen to storyhour.
  • Journey into the world of fantasy by making up a story about one of your child's favorite toys. Make it a continuing saga.
  • Act out a favorite story through puppetry or pantomime.
  • Suggest your child dress up as a favorite storybook character while playing make-believe or preparing for Halloween.
  • Make a book. Select a theme such as jungle animals, changing seasons, children's faces, or a day at the beach. Illustrate it with magazine pictures, photographs, or children's drawings. Use sturdy construction paper for the cover, and write a simple sentence about the picture at the bottom of each page.
  • Tape record a story in which you and your child both participate either by reading or supplying sound effects.
  • Read a poem, and then have your child draw a picture or make a collage about it.
  • Start a rhyme and have your child finish it.
  • Read or suggest a book that was one of your favorites when you were your child's age.
  • Make personalized bookmarks out of felt or colored paper and give as gifts.
  • Find books that complement past or future experiences in your child's life. For example, read books together about a vacation site before visiting. Learn about the geography, historical figures, or current events.
  • Build a book shelf with your child.
  • Start a book collection on a particular interest.
  • Give a gift certificate to a local bookstore.
  • Initiate a weekly family reading hour. Select a story of interest to the entire family and have the adults and older children read passages aloud. Alternate poetry, humor, mysteries, adventure, and biographical sketches.
  • Tell a story! (For details, see Telling a Story. )

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems