Oct
13

Family Literacy Day Is Nov. 1: Four Fun Activities for Kids

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November 1 is Family Literacy Day. Cheers! What fun family activities for kids are you planning for that day?

It’s the Sunday after Halloween. Hmm… Are there ways to combine family literacy with Halloween?

Remember: Literacy is about more than simply decoding words, although decoding is the basic skill. Literacy is about understanding. Family literacy is all the activities in the home that provide kids with the foundational experiences upon which comprehending the written word is based.

So to my way of thinking, anything you do with kids that expands their understanding and knowledge of the world and how it works and of human experience, is a family literacy activity. Of course, reading is a rich avenue for expanding understanding, but it’s not the only one.

Here are four ideas for celebrating Family Literacy Day (and Halloween):

1) Have a Post-Halloween read-aloud picnic or party: Invite friends of all ages to pack favorite kid foods (and a LITTLE Trick-or-Treat candy) and bring a favorite short book, poem, or personal writing. Then everyone gets to stand up and read their choice, while others are munching.

2) Put a gently-used children’s book in someone’s Trick or Treat bag: Go through your bookshelves and see if there are any you want to give away. When you see the right-age child at your door, slip the book into his or her bag along with a treat.

3) On Nov 1, take a trip to a museum, historical spot, or place of interest—perhaps one that you’ve been putting off. Notice any Halloween decorations they may have put up. Expand your children’s background of knowledge about that place and what it represents. Read aloud together any brochures you find about that place or exhibit.

4) Do a neighborhood or town Halloween Decorations tour, either walking or driving: Talk about why ghosts and goblins are associated with Oct. 31? Why spiders? Are there old medieval stories to discover? Why are pumpkins such a big deal? Do a little research on the internet or in books—that’s certainly a family literacy activity.

Perhaps you have other suggestions for Family Literacy Day? Feel free to add them in the comments section here.

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