Nurturing Your Future Bookworm-Inspiring Kids to Love Reading

Getting children to be enthusiastic about reading can sometimes be a challenge. Compared to the television, with all of its stimulating jingles, colors, and characters, reading may seem quite boring. That’s why the earlier they begin their lifelong love of books, the better. Books with vibrant art, rhyming, and lively characters is a great place to start. Soon they’ll be hungry for new words, worlds, and of course, special time with you.   

*Make sure to read with them daily. Although schedules get hectic, carving out 15 minutes for a story goes a long way.  

* Take turns reading aloud, alternating pages.

*Use funny voices or accents sometimes just for fun.

*Get them a library card and show them how to use it. Spend time there together and allow them to choose subjects of interest. You may also want to participate in some of the activities/programs that your branch has to offer.     

*Bring them to the used bookstore for new reads and encourage them to donate or share books they’ve outgrown.

*Make story time your uninterrupted one on one time together.

*Laugh! Reading should be enjoyable and fun.

*Discuss the story and characters- always encourage questions. Rouse their imagination by asking how they would’ve chosen the story to end or what happens afterward.        

*Have lots of literature at home and available to them. Make it a fun project to build and decorate a bookcase for their bedroom filled with favorite books.

*Prompt them to bring books along for trips, car time, waiting areas, picnics, etc. 

*Teach them to respect books, their pages, and to take good care of them. Allow them to develop a bond with reading in general.  

*Create decorative book markers together for every season for some craft time fun.

*Be an example. If kids see that reading is your norm, it’ll be theirs.

*Most of all, inspire them to make books and reading a part of their everyday life. Read signs, menus, games, flash cards, magazines, comic books, etc. Take them to libraries, bookstores, annual book sales, and flea market tables. Sound things out together, teach alternative meanings, challenge, and praise them often.

“What is another word for mommy?” Bibliophile. Bibliophagist. Logophile. Bibliomaniac. Bookworm. Happy.           

A December Day in Pittsburgh

It’s 6:15 PM on December 13th as I sit at my keyboard, distracted by the fat, beautiful snowflakes falling outside my window. Suddenly, I realize just how much I love Pittsburgh during the holiday season. If the seasonal weather, spectacular lights, sporting events, holiday-themed activities for both adults and children, outdoor skating rinks, music, and traditional downtown window displays doesn’t have you feeling the least bit festive, then you may want to re-read How the Grinch Stole Christmas

‘The Burgh’ has so many wonderful things happening throughout the year but the holiday season is where you’ll undoubtedly fall in city-love. Here are a few activities that are sure to cement amazing memories and lift your spirits high into the snowy, (or rainy) Pittsburgh sky!

Start your season off right with the traditional Light Up Night Celebration.

Light Up Night kicks off the opening of the Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Market Square. Lots of food, music, and fun. {November 18-December 23, 2016.} Receive a complimentary snapshot with Santa if you make a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.  

Layer up for some ice skating at Mass Mutual Ice Rink. With the holiday tunes playing, snowflakes falling, and nearby art displays in view, the ambiance is amazing.

Cruise on over to the PPG Wintergarden for some hot cocoa and to explore the Spirits of Giving From Around the World exhibition. Kids love the Gingerbread House and Train exhibit. You’ll surely enjoy Carnegie Science Center’s Miniature Railroad & Village as well

Kennywood’s Holiday Lights begins in November and has close to two million gorgeous lights! Sing along with the local choirs, hang out with Santa, ride the Gingerbread Express, or just walk around and have some food.

Pittsburgh’s Cultural District has annual performances of The Nutcracker, A Musical Christmas Carol,  A Christmas Story, & more.  

Need to expend even more energy? Take the family out to screams their heads off at a Steeler or Penguins game. (Ohhh yeah!) 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra World Tour at the arena is something you MUST experience at least once. Fantastic!

Even if you do none of the above activities, there’s something festive going on inside nearly every store, mall, library, or restaurant. There are local storytime events, sales, visits from Santa, giveaways, free concerts and holiday music playing most everywhere. Hopefully when you hear that familiar Salvation Army bell ringing outside the store entrances or along the wreath-lined street corners, it brings out the part of you that loves to give to the less fortunate. 

The holiday season is a great time to count your blessings. Not everyone has access to warm blankets, coats, shoes, a place to live, medical care, or food and there are many programs in the Pittsburgh region in need of donations. Coats, blankets, canned goods, money, toys, & books, are just a few items that you can donate to someone in need.

Pittsburgh has always been a festive, charitable, diverse, resourceful, humble, yet proud city and I’ll always be proud to call this place my home. #HappyHolidaysPittsburgh