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Parents can use creative ways to get children reading

Published 11:55am Saturday, July 7, 2012

QUESTION: Are there good ways to help our children read besides books and magazines?

ANSWER: As so many of us are getting more focused on our iphones for information, it’s good to remember that the newspaper can be a great way to help children read. Here are several ideas:

•Shopping — Read the ads and encourage your child to note prices of various food and clothing items.  Decide on a certain amount of the family budget and have him total the amount of the items in the ads and subtract the total from the budgeted amount.

•Vocabulary — Encourage your child to pick a “word for the day” from the newspaper. It should be an unknown word and she should use the dictionary to look up the word meanings. Then let her see if other people in the family know what the word means.

•Map Skills — Put a world map up on a wall. Have your children clip out headlines of articles from the newspaper that take place in various places in the world and attach the headlines to their locations on the map.

•Comic Strips — Select any comic strip, cut it apart and place the pieces in mixed order. Ask your child to put them in proper sequence.

•Coupon Clipper — Encourage your child to clip discount coupons for a weekly shopping trip. Your child can then use her skills of classification in putting the coupons in the right groupings.

•Pick A Question — Pick a question for the day. “What’s showing at the movie theater this week?” “What’s listed in the Community Calendar for Friday?” Encourage your child to look through the newspaper to locate the answers.

•Headlines — Have your child examine the headlines in the newspaper. Then clip some headlines from various articles and have your child match the headline with its appropriate article.

•Celebrities — Children enjoy reading about famous people in the news — entertainment, politics and sports. Encourage your child to keep a scrapbook on interesting famous people by clipping their pictures out of the newspapers, as well as some articles about them.

As valuable as reading time is, even more valuable is the time you spend interacting with your child as you do any or all of these activities.

If you would like to talk with a parenting specialist about the challenges in raising children, call the toll-free Parent WarmLine at 1-888-584-2204/Línea de Apoyo at 877-434-9528.  For free emergency child care call Crisis Nursery at 1-877-434-9599.  Check out

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