As parents, we all want our children to be the best they can be and to reach their potential. Strong literacy skills will go far as it allows them to understand the world around them and to express themselves and their ideas. In the early years, reading, talking, singing, playing and writing with your child gives them a great start, but what about as they get older? In your family and home life there is much you can do to help them develop their literacy skills that is fun for everyone!
Family Literacy refers to the many activities that take place in the everyday lives of families that allow them to learn together, develop literacy skills, and maintain relationships both with each other and in the community. ABC Life Literacy Canada sums it up nicely as describing the ways that families can learn together every day as “15 Minutes of Fun”!
To get started, try out some of these activities:
- Follow recipes, then cook or bake together.
- Make a shopping list together. Cross items off as they are found in the store. Take a calculator and keep track of the amount being spent.
- On the bus or in the car, point out street signs or play word games.
- Play a board game together.
- Tell each other jokes and riddles.
- On road trips, give them a map and teach them how to follow the route.
- Do an art or craft project together.
- Make up a song about your day and sing it at dinnertime.
- While walking up stairs, count by ones, twos, fives or tens.
- Read a book and see the movie together, then talk about the differences.
- Visit the library as a family regularly. Give each person time to look for music, magazines, movies and books that interest them.
- Encourage older children to read to younger children.
- Make a scrapbook together.
- Make up silly rhyming words or play rhyming “I Spy”.
And once you get started, don’t stop! Learning, literacy and fun as a family go hand in hand. For more ideas visit: www.thisisliteracy.ca or abclifeliteracy.ca/fld/family-literacy-day.
Submitted by Julie Brandl
Originally published in The Mom & Caregiver Magazine in March 2014