Ideas for Children's Literacy Week

Planning a children's literacy week encourages and fosters a love of reading in children. Learning to read and read well is also crucial to their future academic success. According to a 2010 Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report, students with below-level reading skills are twice as likely to drop out of school than those who read at or above grade level. Whether you are celebrating National Children's Book Week in May or simply planning your own literacy week to inspire your kids to read, incorporate a variety of activities that will motivate and excite them about reading.

Visit the Library

Start your literacy week off right with a trip to the library. Let your kids pick out a bunch of books that they want to read during the week. Check out any recommended books for your child's age group. If you are celebrating National Children's Book Week, which is held in mid-May, your library will likely have a list of books that are being highlighted that year. You should also participate in any special story time events that are going on at your library, where the kids can listen to a book being read by a librarian.

Reading Challenge

If your kids can read independently, challenge them to read a certain number of books this week. Encourage your kids to take a "No TV" pledge, devoting their free time to reading books instead. Award a special prize if they meet or get close to their reading goal. Ensure that the kids are actually reading the books by asking for oral book reports when they finish. If possible, talk with the parents of your children's friends to include them in the reading challenge. The kids can have a collective goal to read a certain number of books. If they succeed, throw them a pizza party at the end of the week.

Character Activities

Help your children work on a variety of art and craft projects related to their favorite book characters. For example, if your child wants to make Arthur from the Marc Brown book series, you could use a plain toilet paper roll. Have her paint the bottom half of the toilet paper roll blue to represent Arthur's blue pants and golden yellow on top to represent his sweater. Draw a oval shape with ears out of tan construction paper to make Arthur's face. Help your child draw Arthur's eyes, glasses, nose and mouth. Cut out the oval and paste it to the top of the toilet paper roll. Cut out small red sneakers to tape to the bottom of the roll. Another idea is to throw a book character party and have your child and her friend dress like their favorite book character.

Family Book Sleepover

Plan a pajama sleepover where the kids can bring sleeping bags into mom and dad's room for a night of reading. Make popcorn and smoothies for the sleepover. Everyone, including parents can pick out their favorite children's book. Help emerging readers read their books out loud. Older children can read out loud on their own. Discuss the books in detail after you read them. Have pads of paper and pencil ready and challenge older kids to come up with alternate endings if they didn't like the book ending. You can also do speed writing challenges, giving the kids five minutes to write their own short stories to read out loud.