If you've ever shared a book with a child, you know the joy and excitement this small but meaningful act can bring. Besides being an enjoyable past-time, reading can also improve your quality of life.
Below are just a few benefits that come from reading.
Knowledge. Reading is an active mental process. Children read to at home have a higher success rate in school.
Improved vocabulary. Reading increases your vocabulary and improves your spelling. Even the language in children's books is more advanced than the average conversation.
Expanded Horizons. I've never been to Egypt, but I am fascinated by it. Until I have the opportunity to go, I will continue to read books — both fiction and non-fiction — that increase my understanding of the area and culture.
Stress Reduction. Forget Calgon! A good book is an excellent distraction from the demands of life.
Stillness. Sitting down to be quiet and still for a little while has a calming effect on me and my children.
To get kids excited about reading and encourage more adults to spend time reading with their children, the National Education Association (NEA) launched Read Across America in 1998.
We have five fun ideas to make reading fun on March 2 — and every day thereafter!
1. Start with a silly joke.
Q. Why did the librarian slip and fall at the library?
A. Because she was in the non-friction section!
2. Take a shelfie.
Share your love of reading and books with your friends and family by taking a picture of your favorite childhood book, a stellar bookshelf in your home, your TBR (to be read) stack of books, or what you are reading now. Post your #shelfie on social media!
3. Have a Seuss party.
Have you ever hosted a Seuss-themed party? Take a hint from Dr. Seuss himself: "If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good."
Get crafty with a DIY Cat in the Hat mask, or make your own oobleck! Find loads of other themed ideas straight from Seussville, an online resource filled with printable activities, book suggestions, local events, and lots more.
4. Visit your local library.
Our Douglas County Libraries offer more than book loaning! Visit your local branch to learn about other programs, such as Reading Buddies, Slick Science, Camp DCL, Storybook Holidays, birthday parties, and discounts to local attractions through its Adventure Pass program.
If your child is at least 5 years old, getting their first library card can be an exciting moment that inspires a lifelong love of reading.
Plus, DCL cardholders have access to all sorts of fun perks, everything from free digital media to free online classes (in crafting, software, language, and more) to Check Out Colorado backpacks. Learn more about all the perks at www.dcl.org/library-perks.
5. Host a book swap playdate.
Set up a playdate and ask each parent and child to bring 2-5 books for a book exchange. You might be surprised by how excited your child gets telling their friends about a great book — and how eager all the kids are to read a new-to-them story!
If there are any leftover books, you can leave one at a Little Free Library in your neighborhood, offer them to your child's school, or donate them to Reach Out and Read Colorado, a nonprofit organization that promotes early childhood literacy. They accept new and gently used children's books to distribute to pediatric clinics throughout the state.