Today we visit one of our favorite posts from Nanny Greta. It originally appeared July 10, 2010.
I have been focusing on reading this summer with the boys. Now we are not ready to learn to read (the boys are only 3) but I do have some goals for them. I created this game to accomplish those goals, while focusing on pre-reading skills:
- Develop a love for books, reading and story time
- Learn to respect and care for books
- Follow an order of directions, as a game dictates
- Discipline to sit and focus on a book, alone.
- Recognition of all letters – capitol and lowercase.
- Recognize that letters make up words, and words make up stories.
- Transition into a “quiet time” in the afternoon.
- Collaborate with other local nannies and children, encouraging a summer reading program.
I feel that this game can be used for children at different ages at the same time! Here is how to play:
The Reading Road Game
1. Create a game board
I chose to have 31 colored spaces to represent each day of July – our reading month. I put pictures of the “players” in the starting block, and the reward at the end. Our reward is an “Ice Cream Party” at TGIFridays with the CincyNanny group.
2. Prepare items
Along with the game board, you will need stickers to mark your journey on the road, a chair for each child, a timer, and of course a supply of books. We got these lowercase letter stickers, since this is one of my focuses. Each child has their own color.
3. How to play
We have clean up time preceding our reading time and quiet time. While the boys clean up, I set out their colored bean bag chairs around the main floor of the house, each day a different location. When ready to begin, I tell the boys, “OK, it’s time to play the Reading Game! Go get 3 books and find your chair!” The boys race happily to get their books and then look for their chair. When all have found and sat down, I say…
“On your mark, get set, READ!”
I start the timer for 5 minutes. I always sit with a book myself to show that I like to read and model a still quiet, body, in a chair. (5 minutes is just enough time to read a Proverb). When the timer goes beep, they take their books back to the bookshelf and return to claim their stickers. I let them choose their letter and we all talk about what letter each boy choose. Each day we get one day closer to our Ice Cream Party!
4. Mix it up
I plan to do this again and change it up as the boys grow older. Maybe it will be 7 minutes, then 10. Eventually they will be reading and they can choose their own books and read by chapters. This could be something that you do once a week, or on Christmas vacation. Kids could go to different rooms to encourage a peaceful atmosphere as they are ready. Make the reward something fun to look forward to! The boys know TGIFridays as the place for “Greta’s party!” This is where they surprised me to tell me that I was the 2010 Nanny of the Year award recipient. Fun people, balloons, flowers, gifts, tearful reactions, and surprises (not to metion chocolate cake and ice cream!!) that night made a big impact on them. They have been requesting, “I go there? To Gedda’s party!?” every time we pass the restaurant. Think of an opportunity your children want to work towards and allow them to feel the success of non-immediate gratification!
Read more about “Encouraging a Love for Reading”.
Do you have any other ideas to incorporate? We would love to hear your ideas! Do you have an idea for a Creative Nanny Wednesday? Email glenda(at)regardingnannies(dot)com