Shelf help banner

Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2018

Happy New Year! Remember when we made our 2017 reading resolutions? If you think WAY back you might remember the Shelf Help from last January which had ten resolutions to keep you and your kids busy reading throughout the year. How did it go for you? Didn’t get to them all? Me neither! So I’m thinking I’ll hold over the ones I didn’t quite get to yet (let’s be honest, this might be a multi-year endeavor).

We all start the year with good intentions, and we all know we need to be great reading role models throughout the year, but it can be difficult to be mindful of this role at all times, especially when life is busy and sometimes we would just rather be doing something else with our kids. Luckily, we can often tie other activities into reading or literacy development. Check out these five ideas for reading-related resolutions to make you feel good about things you are already doing to positively influence your kids.

  1. Resolve to plan a family vacation – Planning a vacation is a perfect opportunity to develop research, reading and wayfinding skills. If you have flexibility, pull out the atlas and involve your kids in selecting your destination. Take your kids to the library or hop online with them to research local attractions, restaurants and even hotel options. Have them read aloud about the history of the city or ask them to put together a proposal of all the sites they would like to explore. Finally, ask them to navigate by reading directions – to the airport or for your road trip route, to the hotel, and throughout your destination.
  2. Resolve to add value to screen time – Kids tend to love screens and parents tend to feel guilty when kids are interacting with them, so resolve to take an active interest in what your kids are doing online. Ask your kids to explain the game they are playing. Ask them why they like it, see if it is a multi-player game and if you can play as well. As an added bonus, kids are often reading online…maybe not books, but directions, reviews, game cheat tips, the narrative for their favorite game - and all that reading adds up!
  3. Resolve to ham it up with your kids – Even the youngest kids love to act out their favorite books or dress up as their favorite characters. Stuck inside on a rainy afternoon? Ask your kids to open a book and act it out, either word for word or with funny improv variations. And don’t forget to ask them to include a role for you! Want to impress the relatives? Look for a script online and invest some time in putting on a full-fledged production. There is a lot of reading and memorization involved in bringing a play to life.
  4. Resolve to get in on the joke – Knock, knock…who’s there? My. My who? My resolution to connect with my kids through humor! Kids of all ages love jokes and solving riddles, and analyzing jokes develops critical thinking skills for kids. Libraries are full of joke books to check out. Don’t think you’re funny? Well that makes it even funnier when you tell a joke, allowing you and your kids to bond over bad “dad” humor.
  5. Resolve to feed my kids’ hunger for reading – Cooking is a great stealth way to get kids to read. They may choose a dish from a book they are reading or just have a favorite food they want to help prepare. They will need to read the recipe and write down the ingredients. Then when they go shopping, it is the perfect time to ask them to read the labels and to determine the best cost per unit for each item. Remember, literacy includes more than just reading, it also includes numerical literacy.

Let’s face it, our busy lives as parents and teachers means we often just wing it. You notice I pared down my resolutions from ten to five, and that’s because I know we are all doing our best and even if we just do one thing this year to consciously promote reading with our kids, we have made a difference.

beth's signature
beth's signature