No, I'm not talking about pizza. (Though if you're ever stuck for a way to explain to your kids how a pie chart works, I recommend a half plain, half pepperoni.)
One of the best ways to engage your kids with reading and language -- and in the process, give them a real-time sense of the world around them -- is with the daily newspaper.
In honor of National Newspaper Week, take some time to share your local paper with your child. There's so many ways a newspaper can encourage learning, creativity and curiosity. Things like:
1. Try a word search. Has your child just learned a new vocabulary word? Pick an article and see if you can find the word there, or words that start with the same letter, or words that mean the same thing.
2. Make me laugh. Give your child a section of the paper, and take one yourself. See who can find something funny the fastest.
3. Shopping list. Look through circulars or advertisements and see if you can find brands or items you use in your home.
4. Learning the "5 W's". Read an article together, or have your child read one aloud. Then try to identify the basic tenants of any good story: who, what, where, when, and why.
5. Time capsule. Does your child have a birthday coming up, or an other special day to remember? Make sure you save a newspaper from that day, or look online for headlines from the day he or she was born. Or, share the headlines from the day YOU were born. ("Daddy, who was Richard Nixon? And what's AM radio?")
And even when you're done reading, the fun isn't over. Paper mache anyone? Super-cool newspaper hats? A boat that actually floats?
Plus, here's a great printout to make your own newspaper story, along with a colorful picture, courtesy of Crayola.
Long live newspapers!