“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”
Dr. Seuss had it right when he concluded that there is no age restriction on sitting down with a child and sharing a story. No matter the age, the mind thrives on imagination and information – Oh, the Thinks you can Think! This is why the NEA enacted the Read Across America (RAA) program, celebrating its 20th year, on Dr. Seuss’ birthday – March 2nd. The program is intended to motivate everyone, young and old, to read more by organizing local events and offering a smorgasbord of resources to make reading as easy as One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!
Let’s face it, In a People House we don’t all have libraries adorning our spare rooms, so if you’re limited on books don’t be discouraged! There are a ton of online resources to find a plethora of books and activities. You may also come across some summer reading programs that you and your young readers can make a pledge to commit to in order to keep the momentum going! Check out the Library of Congress for additional online books not specific to the Dr Seuss or RAA theme for continued adventures for kids, teens, and adults too (because You’re Only Old Once! – okay, we’re stretching it here…)
Do you need some ideas for inspiring the young readers in your life? Of course, a quick Pinterest search will reveal a ton of printables and activities at your finger tips. For toddler crafts, my personal favorites are Thing 1, Thing 2 blow painting! Pull out your favorite book on the adventures of these two crazy characters, like the Cat in the Hat or How Do You do? by Thing One and Thing Two, then have your Little One blow into a straw to turn some watered down paint into crazy blue Thing hair! Another favorite in our household is Oobleck! Let your older readers (6+) save the kingdom by mixing this recipe of special slime after reading about Bartholomew and the Oobleck! If you enjoy these, here are some other activities to check out on a Rainy Day. If your reading adventures have left you exhausted, then before you Sleep Softly, kick back with some family time and watch Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat featuring Mike Myers, Alec Baldwin, Sean Hayes and Dakota Fanning.
For continued inspiration, you can get a calendar from the NEA that will outline a book a month with diverse topics as well as activities and resources that support the message of neighborhood and community. Literacy Central has a great set of tools that can help keep the momentum going for continued reading, such as a mobile app that will scan books bar codes to bring up free resources based on that title and they will soon be adding a Literacy Tracker tool to see how your child’s literacy skills will progress throughout the year! With all of these resources, you’re bound to be immersed in some fun stories and activities while teaching the importance of reading and exploration to our younger generation.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up those books and Go, Dog. Go!