By Nicole Smith
In case you were looking for a reason to celebrate today, I can give you two! Not only is it National Read Across America Day, but it is also Dr. Seuss’s birthday!
Every year on the birthday of quite possibly the most beloved children’s author of all time, we kick off National Reading Month with a holiday meant to inspire and encourage reading in our children and youth.
Established by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998, National Read Across America Day is a day to get kids excited about reading… To make it seem like less of a “chore” or “work” and more like something they can look forward to.
It takes some work on our end to motivate and inspire reading, especially in today’s world of cell phones, computers, and tablets. Start by keeping books everywhere. Different rooms of the house, your car, your purse… Let’s make sure our kids always have access to a book. Let them catch you reading. Be it a novel, or even just a newspaper or magazine. Children learn by example, so let’s set a good one. Read to your children, no matter the age, and have them read to you! Reading aloud strengthens their vocabulary and language skills. It also opens up opportunities for discussion, and let’s face it… We could all use a little help better communicating with our kids!
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child!”- Dr. Seuss
Need some ideas on how to celebrate BOTH holidays at once? Here are a few suggestions. Here’s to hoping they inspire a love of reading not only in our children but in us as well!
1. Throw A Reading Party
Share a love for reading by inviting friends over for a Dr. Seuss-themed reading party. Ask the attendees to dress up as their favorite Dr. Seuss character. Then, get comfy with Dr. Seuss books, enjoy some Dr. Seuss-themed snacks, and talk about the timeless classics.
2. Cook up Some Reading Fun
Have fun in the kitchen with your kids and serve up some green eggs and ham or make a tasty Cat in the Hat snack by providing kids with wooden skewers and red and white foods. Have the kids alternate the red and white foods as they put them on the skewer and let them enjoy the snack as you read aloud.
3. Oh, the Places You’ll Go
In the spirit of one of Dr. Seuss’ most popular books, map out all of the places you and your children have read or are reading about on a U.S. or world map. Inspire reading 365 days a year and keep the project going. Every time your child reads about a new location, he can mark it on the map.