Word Girl is the star of her own PBS show and my muse for celebrating Read Across America Day. It's March 2—Dr. Seuss' birthday, but you can observe the day anytime you are feeling the urge to generate enthusiasm for reading among the kids in your life. Fact: It is important to motivate children to read. Making it fun for them ups the probability that they'll be imprinted with good vibes about the reading experience. Here's how to make someone's day with a reading circle:
- Invite your kid's friends over, especially the ones whose mom might need a little "me" time. Enlist a trusty sidekick to help with the event (perhaps a high school or college student friend might volunteer).
- Do some cabinet-diving for super and crafty stuff. As soon as the kids arrive, get them involved making a Word Hero Costume; old sheets/pillowcases make great capes! Decorate them with alphabet stickers, vinyl or felt letters, fabric pens and letter templates. Use fabric scraps to make arm bands with letter "shields." If you're up for it, grab some plain half-masks (they start around $2.99 a dozen at Oriental Trading Company and decorate with letter stickers to round out the look.
- Download bookmark templates, coloring pages and word games from Word Girl to engage the kids.
- Serve a simple snack like alphabet soup or mac 'n' cheese made with alphabet pasta.
- Pick a Dr. Seuss book to read aloud. After reading the book, teach the kids to recite the Word Hero mantra ("Three books a week, what a treat!"). Just insert the number of books appropriate for the kid's age range and make a date to read together again!