I love to travel, and this year we have been at the airport a lot as a family. Oregon, California, Spain, Portugal, and we haven’t even finished the school year yet. On every single one of these trips, we have taken books, some the old fashion kind and some high tech. When your mom is the author of a book titled How To Raise A Rock-Star Reader you don’t get to play video games all day no matter where you are.
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Here are six simple tips and tools to encourage reading on the go for your family:
- Audiobooks. You can sign audio books out of most public libraries or use programs like Audible to download them straight to your phone. Of course, most libraries also have book CDs too which saves space on your phones for more important things like pictures of your kids being silly on vacation. On family road trips audio books can also serve as family bonding time as you all immerse yourselves in the same story.
- Epic! Have you heard about Epic!? The easiest way to explain it is to say it’s like Netflix but for children’s ebooks instead of movies. It’s a fantastic service because you can access it from any device and there are no in-app purchases which as any parent knows are the WORST. Thousands of books are at your child’s fingertips, and the titles are all ones your kids will recognize and love. This is particularly rad for families with readers at different levels. Epic is running a Summer Reading Promo right now –> click here to get it!
- Visit bookstores and libraries at your destination. Have a lazy afternoon in some air conditioning browsing books at a store or library wherever you are visiting. Even in countries where English is not an official language you can often find an English Language bookstore.
- Wordless Picture Books. This tool is wonderful for 2-7-year-olds because it allows them to be completely independent and to make up stories for the book. My favorite book for this is In The Town All Year Round because you can pick that book up and tell a new story every time. When children practice story telling they are developing wonderful literacy skills as well as taking a break from asking you “Are we there yet?”
- Choose Your Own Adventure Books. These books pack a big punch in a relatively small package. A child can read and re-read the same choose your own adventure book all vacation long and never end up with the same exact story. These are especially fun for middle-grade readers which is roughly defined as 8-12-year-olds.
Simple right? Here is my simplest tip yet!
- Bedtime Reading NO MATTER WHAT. Excuse me while I climb on my soapbox but if you create a bedtime routine that always includes reading it’s much easier to stick with it, and you’ll know that for at least 20 minutes every single day your child will read or be read to even on the go. It’s never too late to start this, try it tonight. Above my son took over my bedtime reading duties with my then five-year-old when I was seated across the row on a flight.
For more tips about slipping learning in while traveling check out the post below.