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10 Fun Ways to Celebrate National Read Across America Day

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Alyssa is an avid reader and has a passion for education. She is a wife and mom who drinks copious amounts of coffee.

March 2nd is Read Across America Day. How will you celebrate?

March 2nd is Read Across America Day. How will you celebrate?

March 2nd Is Read Across America Day

March is National Reading Month in the United States. In 1998, the National Education Association designated March 2nd as Read Across America Day. This program drums up excitement and fosters a life-long love of reading in children. It also serves as a way to celebrate cherished children's book author Dr. Seuss on his birthday.

As a parent, reading with your child is one of the most rewarding activities you can do. Not only do you get to explore new worlds and go on fantastical adventures together, but you also create lasting memories. Reading to younger and older children alike helps teach valuable life lessons, increases vocabulary, sharpens listening skills, and sparks a love of learning. As your children get older, it's also beneficial to allow them to read to you. This helps them develop confidence and is a great bonding activity.

Below I've compiled a list of 10 fun ways you can celebrate Read Across America Day and National Reading Month with your child at home. If you are in the midst of remote learning or have a child enrolled in an online school, these also serve as great enrichment activities.

1. Attend Local Events

Visit your local library's website to see if they are hosting any events to celebrate. To keep the fun going, be sure to check out your library's event calendar. Many libraries host fun events throughout the year for families to enjoy.

Plan ahead for the library's summer reading program as well. This is a great way to keep your kids engaged and excited about reading. Be sure to also check with your child's teacher. Many schools also host fun events to celebrate.

2. Revisit With Your Favorite Childhood Stories

One of the true joys of being a parent is sharing the stories you loved as a kid with your own children. Revisit your favorite characters, settings, and stories. Discuss what about the story intrigued you and why it was your favorite.

Re-reading these treasured stories as an adult offers perspective and humor. Who knows? Your old favorites may just become your child's new favorites. Perhaps one day, they will look back on the memories you created and be able to share them with their own children.

Several years ago, I shared the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Series by Betty MacDonald with my son. It was incredible to revisit that upside-down house and introduce my son to the eccentric, kind-hearted Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. We both had a blast reading through the novels and chuckling at her creative, magical cures. This series quickly became one of my son's favorites and we devoured all six adventures in a single summer.

3. Read Your Child's Favorite Stories

Get older kids involved by allowing them to share their favorite stories with you. Whether they choose a favorite from when they were younger or something more current, it's sure to be great bonding time!

Attending a book swap (or planning your own with neighbors) is a great way to refresh your collection and find new reading material.

Attending a book swap (or planning your own with neighbors) is a great way to refresh your collection and find new reading material.

4. Attend a Book Swap

What better way to expand your horizons and try something new? Set up a book swap with your friends or neighbors and their children. Each party could choose a few favorite books to either physically swap or provide as a list for other parties to read. You could select books for the children as well as the adults to get the whole family involved.

This would also be a great way to include grandparents or other extended family, especially if they live far away. Cousins could swap book ideas, while grandparents might enjoy sharing their favorite childhood stories with the grandkids.

5. Listen to a Read-Along Online

YouTube is one of my favorite resources for so many different things. While searching for educational content a few years back, I came across several channels that hosted read-alongs of popular children's books.

Some creators are authors themselves, and others are teachers. You can do a general search by typing "children's book read aloud" into the YouTube search bar or look for a specific favorite. This would be a wonderful way to switch up reading time whether you have the physical book or not.

Below I've shared a read aloud of one my favorite children's books. Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld was a book my son and I found several years ago at our local library.

6. Donate Your Old Books and Buy or Borrow New Ones

If you're like me, you have a collection of books sitting on bookshelves collecting dust in random areas of the house and even more stacked in boxes or tucked away in closets. When you're a book lover, it can be hard to part with these treasured items. However, if no one is planning on reading them, it might be time to give them a chance for a new life.

Check with your local library to see if they are accepting donations. If not, check to see if your community has a book box where you could donate gently used stories. Pick out a few to save for grandchildren down the road and pack up the rest to be donated.

After that is done, either pick out a few new books to purchase online or head to your local library to see what they have. You could let your child pick out a few to purchase from the quarter store (if your library has one of those) or spend some time browsing the shelves to find something interesting to borrow.

7. Use the OverDrive and Libby Apps

Sometimes it isn't feasible to get to the library. For the past few years, I've been using the OverDrive app to get my reading fix. As someone who used to need a physical book in hand for the experience, I've grown accustomed to the convenience of eBooks.

It's simple to open an app on my phone, select a book I want to read, and be able to return it with a single touch. It also makes it easier to read in bed at night. I no longer have to juggle a flashlight and a physical book. My son loves being able to read a book right on his tablet, too.

The OverDrive and Libby apps are completely free to download. All you have to do is sign up with your library card to start borrowing books. They recently introduced a feature where you can place books on hold and when your turn comes, you can either borrow the book or keep it on hold if you're not ready to read it yet. You never lose your place in line, and they will email you when your book is available.

8. Look for Enrichment Activities Online

Check to see if your child's favorite book has a website with enrichment activities. This is a great way to keep the stories alive through games and crafts.

When my son was little, he loved Pete The Cat by James Dean. HarperCollins Children's Books has an entire website dedicated to this fun-loving series. James Dean has numerous songs that go along with the books. There are read-alouds and sing-a-longs, games, and numerous other activities to keep kids engaged.

9. Make Your Own Bookmarks

I've always loved to read, and as a girl, I built up an extensive bookmark collection. Every time my family went to the mall, I'd ask to go to Walden Books. I'd browse through the aisles and rifle through the bins, lost in a magical world.

Before my parents dragged me out, I'd take a moment to look over the bookmark selection. There were always standard ones with quotes, but the ones that caught my eye were unique and fun. Over the years, I streamlined and only kept my favorites. I keep them safely tucked away in a file folder, occasionally pulling one out for my son to use.

In addition to those I've saved over the years, my son and I love to create our own. A few years ago, we made cute penguin origami square bookmarks. It was a fun activity that came in handy when it was time to mark a place in a book. I've shared a video of how to do that below if you would like to make one with your child. You could also get out the craft supplies and let your child create one however they would like.

10. Set Goals to Keep Your Reading All Year-Long

Keep the joy of reading going all year-long with these suggestions:

  • Set a weekly or monthly goal for reading. Keep a prize jar to reward your child for meeting their goal.
  • Visit the library regularly or use the library app. Allow your child to pick out books that interest them.
  • Read a book and then watch the movie. Compare and contrast.
  • Get creative with writing. Challenge your child to write an alternate ending to a book or a new adventure for a favorite character. Encourage them to create their own stories from scratch.

Comments

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 01, 2021:

Agreed! I hope parents are still making the time to read with their kids.

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 01, 2021:

Thank you so much John! I hope you have a wonderful week! :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 01, 2021:

I completely agree Dora! Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week! :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 01, 2021:

Thank you Pamela! Have a lovely week! :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 01, 2021:

Now that's a holiday I could eagerly celebrate. So important to read to children. I wonder if these numbers have declined over the years, or do parents still read to their kids in great numbers? I hope they do. :)

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on March 01, 2021:

Children should be encouraged to read and it is a good idea to take advantage of this National Read Across America Day. It is good to celebrate Dr. Seuss birthday too. I enjoyed this Alyssa. Nice writing.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 01, 2021:

Great ideas. No greater topic, no greater event than reading for the children. I like the bookmark and the exchange ideas.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 01, 2021:

This is an excellent article, Alyssa. Some of my favorite memories are reading books to my sons. You have a lot great information in this article.

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