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Are your bags packed, decorations hung, or celebrations planned?  Well, before you
get too far into the winter break activities, I’d like to give you some ideas you can use at home or in your classrooms that keep the dreaded reading packet at bay.

Alternative ways to get (or keep) children reading this break:

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  • Get out the house.  Go to the park, bakery, grocery store or another favorite place.  Describe the sounds and smells you experience.  Get together with friends and talk about what you’ve read pr are currently reading (good model for the kids to do as well with guidance).
  • Go to the library.  I mentioned this one separate because many times libraries have activities for families and children to attend.  They can have a read-in, story time, or books into movies playing.  Check out their event calendar to gain ideas and plan, because these events will fill up fast.
  • Journal.  Write and draw about your time this break.  You could turn it into a book titled My Winter Break _______ (insert year here) or ________’s (insert child or family’s name) Winter Break Adventures for starters.
  • Make it a family affair.  Spend time listening to family stories and traditions and use it to write personal narratives during the break.  Make a favorite recipe.  Put together a new toy together.  Play games requiring reading, spelling, or writing.  Or make your own games using words students learned or struggled with thus far this year.
  • Give it a theme.  So you’re studying well-known Americans in class.  Or your kid’s obsessed with dinosaurs, computers, or basketball.  Maybe your kids want to understand why your family celebrates certain traditions.  What better way to become a subject matter expert than to go on an all-out digging expert for different books and reference materials about your favorite interests.  Then they can make a visual display or report about what they read.  Not only will this keep the kids interested throughout the next few weeks, but also keep them in learning mode so the new year won’t be too much of a surprise for them.
  • Make it a “contest”.  Have a book club among family or friends.  Spearhead a school-wide competition where students do a certain amount of reading-related activities.  Start an essay contest based on a given theme.  If you do a contest, make it optional and have an incentive to go along with it.  A school I know is using hot chocolate to attract students to read.  After doing 10 marshmallow activities that they cut out and glue to the coffee mug, they are invited to the hot chocolate party in January once they turn it in.
  • Mix It Up.  Have your kiddies read everywhere.  Whether it’s their favorite paper book, a delicious recipe for a special meal, or one of the over 10,000 ebooks on Big Universe’s website, let kids have options to read, especially if you’ll be on the go a lot this winter break.
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