January 27th is Family Literacy Day. Family Literacy refers to the way parents, children and extended family members use literacy at home and in their community. Engaging in literacy activities as a family improves a child’s skills and also helps adults keep their skills sharp.
Did you know that in Canada, children whose parents often engage in literacy-related activities with them before they start school actually do better academically and socially?
Try some of these activities to incorporate family learning into each day:
- Family Book Club: Parents and children read and discuss books together, you could even invite other families to join you.
- Search for new Snacks: Go online together and find something new you can make together at home.
- Find A-B-C: Have an alphabet scavenger hunt to look for things that begin with each letter of the alphabet. If you can’t find some letters, go outside or try looking in books and magazines.
- Travel the World: Use your library card as your passport to check out books on different countries. Learn about their traditions and celebrations.
- Let’s go Shopping: Have children help write the family grocery list or have them write it out themselves. Let them check each item off the list as you shop.
- Number Walk: As you head out, choose something you want to count on your walk; dogs, trees, stop signs, cars. Keep track of how many you see.
- Word Wall: Learn one new word every day. Display them by creating a family word wall with Bristol board and markers or a chalkboard and chalk. Work together to sound it out, spell it and use it in a sentence.
- Family Journal: Keep a journal, each day have your child tell you about their day, what was the best part of their day, what are they looking forward to tomorrow.
- Snow painting: Use emptied dish soap bottles filled with water and food colouring to write messages and draw in the snow.
- Have a Book-nic: Organize an indoor picnic with books and tasty treats. Choose a theme like honey-flavoured cereal and read Winnie the Pooh.
- Game Night: Start family game night and play a different game each week. Family members can take turns reading instructions and game cards as well as keeping score.
- Family Literacy Portfolio: Save samples of your childrens reading and writing and collect them in a folder or scrapbook. You can include items such as drawings, stories, poems, handmade birthday cards, crafts, lists of books they have read or photocopies of the covers of their favourite books.