Include reading in all of your holiday activities. This places emphasis on reading and confirms to your child that you highly value reading. The unspoken (but highly important) emphasis is on family relationships since you are working TOGETHER! Let's look at one of the holidays coming up:
1. Take your child to the bookstore or library and help her pick out a Halloween picture book. Set a special time to read the book. Then, read WITH your child. Talk about the pictures, values presented and what she learned from the story.
2. Allow your child to accompany you to the grocery, pumpkin patch, etc. to select a pumpkin for carving. Talk with her about the prices and sizes of pumpkins. Then, after checking out, show your child the receipt. Identify the pumpkin on the receipt and locate the price.
3. Provide paper for your child and ask her to draw several jack-o-lantern faces that you could help her carve (helping as necessary). Ask her (or help her) to label the faces with one word that best describes each face. Help her (again, if needed) select the face to use as a model. Then work with her to carve the pumpkin. Last, place the candle in the jack-o-lantern and light. Turn the house lights out and watch!
4. Create a story about what you did together. Depending on the age of your child, you may be the one to write it down in a booklet form. Write one page for each of the above activities, leaving a page for your child to draw a picture beside each description.
5. An example: Trip to the Bookstore
We drove (walked, took a taxi, etc. ) to the bookstore. We couldn't find the Halloween books, so we asked for help. We looked at several books and their pictures. We decided we liked one Halloween story the best. We took it to the counter and paid for the book. We decided we wanted a snack on the way home, so we stopped and got hot chocolate. It was yummy!
6. Additional pages could be titled as follows:
-Reading the Halloween Story
-Trip to the Grocery
-Choosing A Pumpkin
-Buying the Pumpkin
-Designing the Jack-O-Lantern Faces
-The Winning Face!
-Carving the Pumpkin
-Adding the Candle
-The Finished Jack-O-Lantern - Yeah!
This homemade story can be read and re-read at bedtime. The above project takes time and energy. It takes a concerted effort and places great emphasis on reading AND relationship. It also generates the kind of memory that remains with your child for the rest of her life. It's time well spent!
I'm Susan Monson, Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist. My website is: Parenting Information Secrets.
My site offers articles to assist in the parenting of children, teens and adult children. My first children's book, I Forgot!, is available for purchase-a children's story written to strengthen and enrich the emotional and spiritual well-being of children. The adult section at the back of the book includes the moral of the story, values presented in the story, and an implementation section for parent/child action.
My parenting book, Parenting Secrets, is due out in the fall. Both books have been written based upon more than 21 years of experience in working with children of all ages, genders, economics and ethnicity.
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