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Everyday Opportunities

Today’s families are busier than ever, and it can seem challenging to fit daily reading into an already hectic routine. Here you’ll find ways to incorporate reading with your child every day – and from anywhere!

Father playing with kids toys-playing is learning

Even on the busiest days, you can find opportunities to read – whether you’re at home or on the go. Children will better understand their surroundings if you read and tell the story of the world around them!

How to integrate reading into your everyday routine:

  • At the store, read your shopping list out loud with your child and ask for help finding items on the shelves. 

  • Read whatever is around you at home, whether it’s the back of a cereal box during breakfast, a magazine, or a letter you received in the mail.

  • Read road signs and billboards when you’re out driving or walking together.

  • Bring books with you wherever you go. Whether you’re in a doctor’s office waiting room or at the bus stop, use these idle moments as an opportunity to read together. 

  • Arrange day trips related to a book you just read. For example, if your child enjoyed a story about fire trucks, take a trip to your local fire station.

  • Visit your local library often and encourage your child to get a free library card. Many libraries offer activities for kids, including free story times.

  • Play games with words and letters. For example, have your child find all the letter P’s while driving to daycare or preschool. Or, have him help you look for a particular word in a book as you read together.

  • If you’re using your phone or tablet while with your child, read aloud what you are looking up or explain what you’re doing to continue to engage together.

  • Tell stories and describe what you are doing throughout your day. “Oral stories” are just like books, only without the written words!

We know life is busy. Remember that it’s the quality of the reading time you spend with your child that counts. Keep at it – you’re doing great!

First 5 California
Contributed by:
First 5 California
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