Reading games

Statistics like these always shock me. According to the Family Reading Partnership, only 39% of parents read to their children in America on a regular basis. The National Reading Campaign states that one in four Canadian children enter kindergarten lacking the skills to read. In America it is 35% of children.

Why should it matter, you may be wondering? Literacy is important. For example, according to the Canadian Council on Learning, how literate you are will affect your chance of being employed, how much you will earn, and what type of job you will get. National Reading Campaign quotes some surprising Statistics Canada statistics, including the fact that 15% of Canadians cannot understand medicine bottle labels.

It is unfortunate that so many children are not reading these days. The selection out there these days is amazing. There is something for every age and every interest.

So what to do if your child is not excited about reading, but you are trying to motivate him or her. One father came up with a great idea for his reluctant reader son. Treasure hunts! Brilliant. Making learning fun is key to those who are reluctant.

The book Steve Cohen wrote that is full of these reading games is called Learn-to-Read Treasure Hunts.

Written by a father who wanted to motivate his son to read, but also reviewed by educators, the reading treasure hunts are meant for ages 5-7. However, some children may want to start earlier, and it may be appropriate for those who are older.

The treasure they suggest is stickers, but you can certainly modify that to suit your child. Although my five-year-old daughter enjoyed doing the treasure hunts, she thought that you should get actual (pirate’s) treasure at the end of each hunt.

This Christmas, what gift are you going to be giving to your child? How about following the lead of the program called “a book on every bed”.

After all, you want the best for your child.

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3 thoughts on “Reading games

  1. Research shows that reading TO children is the best indicator that they will become readers. I taught in an inner-city school for ten years. The parents were illiterate, yet we had to keep sending home notices that said “Please read to your children for 30 minutes each night.” – Good idea except they couldn’t even read the notice! What really amazed me was that the teachers in this elementary school didn’t read to their classes – not even in kindergarten. There were a few other teachers who greatly valued reading and writing (like myself) so we started a campaign for classroom reading. Teachers got a sticker on a hallway poster for each book they read to their class. When they got 10 stickers, they earned a video in their classroom. It didn’t take too many months before they were reading to their classes because they were enjoying the books too.

  2. I love the idea of treasure hunts, and I agree with your daughter that pirate treasure would be a great find. Five-year old grandson, Andrew, also loves pirates and their treasure. When a pirate chest turned up with just a few “coins”, we went to Party City and got bags of coins and “jewels”. I’d also suggest that if a child is reluctant to participate in the treasure hunt, have them “help” a favorite stuffed animal follow the clues. Or switch roles and have the child write (words and/or picture) clues that the parent has to follow.

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