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Free Ideas to do with your kids

1. Talk more with your kids
Close the word gap between children in low-income households and their higher-income peers by providing a comprehensive picture of their children’s daily auditory environment and offering coaching and resources to boost their children’s adult daily word count.

2. Read aloud to your kids
Reading aloud to children, even after they are old enough to read on their own, is a strong predictor that they will be frequent readers throughout school.

3. Go to the library and find books that kids will WANT to read
Kids read more if they find more books they like, and younger kids usually want more books with characters who look like them.

4. Visit the Vroom app to learn how to have educational interactions with your child
http://www.joinvroom.org/
Parents are the first and most important teachers in their children’s lives. The Vroom app provides daily tips for parents on best practices for brain development.

5. Learn how to enhance your child’s health by reading this guide:
Growing Healthy Readers: Taking Action to Support the Health Determinants of Early School Success
This website shows how to create an action plan to improve children’s health and learning priorities for improving school readiness, school attendance and summer learning. Healthy children are likely to be more attentive in school and less likely to miss school days due to illness.

6. Go on field trips
Field trips to art museums, science museums and history museums open up all kinds of activities that are related to history, math, science, geography and social studies. Not only do children benefit from mutual discussions about field trips, but also from reading, drawing pictures and writing stories about what interested them about their excursions. In the Lewiston area, Museum L/A and the Bates Art Museum are two great field trip destinations. A little farther away but equally good field trip destinations are the Portland Art Museum, Nezinscot Farm and Range Ponds State Park.

7. Use cooking as a learning opportunity
Cooking is a great way to teach about measurements and how to use fractions.

8.  Additional ideas
Ideas adapted from the brochure, “10 Things Your Child Needs to Know Before Kindergarten,” created by United Way of Greater Portland and United Way of Androscoggin:

  • When your child asks a question you don’t know the answer to, look up the answer togethe
  • Play board or card games
  • Read to your child. Every day, starting from birth
  • Go to farmers’ markets
  • Take your child to reading time at the library
  • Feed the ducks at a local lake
  • Halfway through a book, ask your child what he or she thinks is going to happen next
  • Explore Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary

For more ideas, visit the Literacy for ME website: http://www.maine.gov/doe/literacy-for-me/summer-literacy.html

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