Talk, Read, Think Together.
Newspapers are great for kids of all ages and they can help build the habit of daily reading in your child. Even young children enjoy photographs and comics. Early readers can read the large print in headlines and ads. And what child doesn 't enjoy just talking with a parent? Special time alone together will go a long way to promote positive attitudes toward learning. Try some of these activities with your child.
For early readers
Find a newspaper picture that interests both of you.
Tell your child, in story form, about what happened in the picture. Stop occasionally and ask, "Then what do you think happened?" Ask your child to make up a different story. Or talk about what might have happened before or after the picture was taken.
Cut out some favorite comics.
Cut the captions off and ask your child to tell you a story about the pictures. Ask questions like, "Did something like that ever happen to you?" and "What do you think happens next?" or cut the comic strip into individual pictures and ask your child to put them in order, showing what happened first, second and third.
Look for pictures that show people 's facial expressions and emotions.
Look at photos and advertisements. Ask your child how each person feels. Then ask questions like, "What makes you happy?" "What makes you sad?" Look for pictures that make your child feel happy and sad. Ask, "Why does this picture make you feel that way?"
Look for a picture of a person
your child would recognize (the president, a famous athlete, a rock star, a police officer or fire fighter, etc.) Talk together about what these people do. You might ask, "Why is this person 's picture in the newspaper? What is happening in the picture?"
Read the newspaper 's weather forecast to your child.
Look for pictures that illustrate different weather conditions. Look at the forecast for tomorrow and help your child select appropriate clothes to wear. Or use the weather map to learn more about weather in other places, for example, "What is the weather like where Grandpa lives?"
Have your child cut out coupons from the newspaper.
Ask the child to sort the coupons into categories - cleaning products, snacks, breakfast cereals and so on. Or the child might sort the coupons according to size, color, value - or whether the child likes the products mentioned. As you make out your shopping list, have your child select the coupons you will need.
Using the newspaper's food section,
choose a recipe with your child. Prepare it together, asking your child to help you read the directions. Then serve it to family or friends.
For experienced readers
Ask your child to cut out a picture
of a famous athlete, movie star, politician or other person he or she would like to meet. Ask, "What would you say to this person? What do you think this person would say to you?"
Find a story or picture
of a group of people who need help (for example, victims of a fire or flood, the homeless, people in a hospital). Talk about ways your family might help by spending time, sharing talents or even contributing money.
Look through the classified employment section with your child.
Find jobs held by family, friends and neighbors: teacher, secretary, construction worker, messenger, driver. Read and talk about the kind of duties these positions require. Ask your child to find a few positions he/she would enjoy. Ask why.