Yesterday, my daughter and I took a trip to Wordsworth Books. We bought 4 books but refused a bag. We didn’t even take them out of the store.books for kids 1

Let me explain.

Day 2 of the 12 Days for Good: FAMILY

Today’s the second day of the 12 Days for Good coordinated as a pay it forward campaign by the House of Friendship.

Today’s theme is “Family” which is described as:  to have and cherish those nearest and dearest to you, whether by blood, love or community

What came to mind for me was books and reading.

Reading together is a special family moment

Our kids love books. They are surrounded by books.

Little wonder since reading books together has been a special family time since they were babies.

Reading with your kids is a special moment for many parents and kids. The combination of a warm, caring moment and interesting story is a magical combination.

Naturally, you start with picture books but if you’re reading to them everyday, you’re helping their development. Reading picture books to you kids is a great way to help get them ready for school when they are at a crucial age (birth – 5 years old).

When I was a teacher, parents wanted to know how they could help their kids in school. My answer: Read to them. Sure have them read to you too but be sure you read to them. Kids can understand and discuss books that they can’t read themselves. It inspires a love of reading, a motivation to read and gets them to use parts of their brains that stories they can read can’t.

Our kids are only recently old enough for me to read longer chapter books but they enjoy the longer stories and can follow the plot and answer some questions. We’ve enjoyed books such as James and the Giant Peach, Winnie-the-Pooh, Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang and now Peter Pan.

Making books a part of your family life is easy enough. There’s great local stores like Wordsworth for new books or second hand stores like A Second Look Books. Our region is also fortunate to have four great public library systems that’ll keep you reading for free for a very long time. And now there’s a network of Little Libraries.

Share the gift of Books for Kidsbooks for kids 2

A special charity for me at this time of year is the Waterloo Region Record’s Books for Kids.I try to make it a part of how I celebrate the season and have organized new book drives for it a couple of times.

Toy drives get a lot of attention–and I can’t imagine Christmas for a kid without toys–but it’l also important that there’s books under the tree. Too many kids are not surrounded by books and I know that giving new books is tough for families on tight budgets–but that those are often the kids who could benefit from having more books in their life.

So I want to give the gift of books for kids. Join me. The ROI is huge! There are many drop off locations and some like the one we used is right in the same store that sold us the books.

The Record’s partners in this project are: Project READ Literacy Network and Salvation Army.

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