From third to fifth grade, your child may start to see reading as work — something done in school or for homework, but not for fun. But reading is also a deeply pleasurable activity. Remind child of how fun reading can be with these nine activities:
- Assign a News Story: Have your child investigate an everyday mystery. Give him a notebook and ask him to find out and report back on what everyone thinks about cuckoo clocks or zucchini or what the popular opinion is on bedtime.
- Tell Me a Joke: Give your child a joke book and encourage her to commit it to memory so she can develop a comedy routine. Kids of this age love jokes and will relish the challenge. If your child is a joke collector, suggest she starts a "joke journal."
- Board Games: Games like Scrabble Jr. and Boggle Jr. are an excellent way to build vocabulary and word recognition and are really fun to play. Why not pull the family together and hold a weekly board game night?
- Everyone's a Critic: If your child is hard to pry from the TV, encourage him to write reviews of his favorite shows so he can tell you why watching the show is valuable. This is also a great activity for music and movies.
- Keep a Calendar: Give your child a wall calendar and encourage her to write down assignments, dates, games, and even what you had for dinner. Simple tasks like this show how useful writing and reading can be and keep her practicing basic skills.
- Collrvy Comics and Baseball Cards: Keep your child reading in non-traditional ways through comic books, baseball, and trading cards. Since they're easy to carry, they're great for car trips and waiting in line.
- Tell Ghost Stories: Don't wait for Halloween to bring out the flashlights and spooky stories. Bring storytelling into your weekly routine and exchange a new eerie tale every week. Your child will enjoy searching for the next thrilling tale.
- License Plate Game: On long trips, challenge your child to find a license plate from every state on fellow travelers' cars. Or, see how quickly he can find the letters in the alphabet in order on license plates or billboards.
- What's the Word? Tell your child the definition of a word and challenge her to come up with which word it might be. Or, make it more open-ended and see how many synonyms she can come up with for a certain word, such as "happy."