Family Reading Night for Preschoolers: Turkeys and Texts

Last night, I hosted my second Family Reading Night for my daughter’s preschool.  If you ask me, we really can’t start young enough when it comes to introducing literacy to children.  As a parent volunteer in her school, I do all I can to incorporate literacy into any extracurricular programming.  So, last night’s program was all about “Turkeys and Texts.”

The kids had two arts and crafts activities they could complete:  a handprint for a Thankful Tree, and Marshmallow Indian Corn, an activity that I borrowed from No Time for Flash Cards.  I also had Thanksgiving themed coloring sheets available for the children to color.  I had two Thanksgiving themed read–alouds and informational folders were available for parents to take home.  Each folder contained a free book and a resource of hands-on literacy activities parents could complete at home with their preschoolers.  In between the formal events that were set up, Thanksgiving and fall related books were spread around the room for parents to read to their children.  At the end of the evening, I conducted a book raffle.   Ten lucky families went home with a brand new Thanksgiving themed book.  Of course, we had Thanksgiving themed snacks as well!

As the holidays are among us and in response to a suggestion from the parent committee that I am a part of, I also added a charity component this year.  I prepared a Book Swap.  I asked families to donate their gently used children and adult books.  In return for their donation, families received one ticket for each book they donated.  The books were displayed so that when families attended Family Reading Night, they could browse the books and use their tickets to “purchase” “new” books.  All remaining books will be donated to a local hospital for use by their patients.

All in all, it was a great evening.  The kids had fun and it provided families with a little quality time together to just enjoy books.  I kept it very low key and pretty unstructured so that families could enjoy their time together.

Would you consider hosting a Family Reading Night for your preschooler?  Have you hosted/attended something similar for a preschooler?

©2009 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox.

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