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9 Ways to Integrate Reading into Everyday Life

Build a fun, language-rich atmosphere at home with these great tips and activities you can do in minutes.

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Word Collages
Cut up magazines and catalogs with your child and have him make a collage that uses the words on the page. Encourage him to use words in creative ways — make a cloud out of words like "fluffy" or put word "thoughts" into a person's head.

Greeting Card Creator
Encourage your child to make her own birthday, holiday, thank-you, and "just because" cards to give to friends and family. Challenge her to come up with her own "brand" and funny messages.

Make a Word Ladder
When you're in the car, play this game: start with a small word (like "to") and challenge your child to make new ones by adding one letter at a time. So add an "n" to "to" and it becomes "ton." "Ton" plus an "e" equals "tone"; add an "s" and it becomes stone!

Letter Search
Take a page from a magazine or newspaper and ask your child to circle every occurrence of a letter. To make it more challenging, tell him to circle only lowercase or uppercase.

A Very Local Weather Report
Instead of watching the weather yourself, have your child watch the weather and present her report to you. She'll develop weather-related vocabulary and build skills in reading symbols and numbers.

Secret Word
Every day, teach your child a new word and then if he reads or hears that word all day, he gets a "prize." If you're not around when he hears it, encourage him to "prove" he heard it by retelling you the sentence — which reinforces the word's meaning in context. If daily secret words seem too much, make it a weekly event.

Lots of Lists
Encourage your child to write down lists, from "to do" lists to things she's done. She can even create a journal entirely made of lists — favorite songs, foods, words, people, and places.

What's Cooking?
Having your child help read recipes and measure ingredients while you're preparing a meal is a great way to build measurement and food vocabulary. It also helps him learn how to read and follow directions.

Make Up a New Song
Build your child's sense of rhythm and encourage creativity through language by coming up with new lyrics for a familiar song, such as "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or "Jingle Bells."

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