I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Doctor Seuss! This week your LSS bloggers will be taking some inspiration from the famous children’s author, Theodor Seuss Geisel.  Check in every day this week for more.

LSS has 6 Childcare and Education Services locations and at each of them you could witness a variety of opportunities for children and youth that encourage literacy and reading. It seemed only fitting then that I kick off this blog series with one of my favorite Seuss books, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!

eyes shut

“The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go.”
-Dr. Seuss

Reading can give kids (and the rest of us) a window to the world. Through books, we can discover places, animals, people, or ideas that they would not otherwise be exposed to. Read on for a few tips on growing a reader.

  • Read with them! Kids crave attention from the adults in their lives. Choose a book you can both enjoy and read it together. Talk about characters, predictions, favorite parts and why you like a book.  Consider sharing a favorite book from your own childhood.
  • Read in front of your child. Be a role model for reading. Let your child see you with a book in hand and when appropriate talk about why you are enjoying a particular book.
  • Choose books that your child enjoys! Look at your child’s interests and styles and help them find books that match. If your child has a vivid sense of humor, look for a funny book. For the animal lover there are many books that are fiction and non-fiction that would be a great fit at all reading levels. Kids may love sports, crafting, fine arts, math or nature. There are fiction, non-fiction, biography, graphic novel, and picture books in such a wide variety of topics that there is a book for every reader.
  • Give books as gifts.  Choose a book series that your child can collect, pick up a book that is popular for their age group, order a magazine subscription or let your child choose their own book and purchase a gift card.
  • Limit screen time. Don’t force reading to compete with television, movies, computers and electronic games. If your child is an electronics lover consider using an e-reader or app that allows your child to borrow or purchase books to read on the screen.
  • Keep books close at hand. When books are convenient and easy to grab your child is more likely to choose reading over other activities. There are many ways to get books to put in your child hands. http://freebies.about.com/od/booksmagazines/tp/free-books.htm has a list of free ones. I find consignment shops to be a great way to give my kids access to affordable books.
  • Choose books at the appropriate level. In addition to topics that interest your child it is important to choose books that are at the right level to be sure it is both challenging and engaging.  However, if a book is too difficult children can lose interest or struggle to enjoy the story. If you need an easy way to help younger kids determine if the book is right, have them read any page of the book with five fingers up. They put down one finger for each word they don’t know. If they know every word the book might be too easy. 1-2 unknown words means the book is a great choice and 3-4 would be ok to try. A book with five or more unknown words in one page may be too hard for the child to read on his or her own but that is a great opportunity for the adult and child to read together.


Heather DeWit, Director of Childcare and Education Services

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