Our Five Ring Circus: 7 Awesome Ways To Build Language and Early Reading Skills with Dr.Seuss

Friday, March 2, 2018

7 Awesome Ways To Build Language and Early Reading Skills with Dr.Seuss


We are celebrating National Read Across America Day today, which is the birthday Dr. Seuss! Between four kids, we have an expansive book collection, and some of our favorite books were written by this beloved children's author. Reading is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, so it's essential to encourage this habit while kids are young. Boosting language and early reading skills will help kids become confident and successful readers for life!

Like many families across the country, we have been celebrating all week! Lily's school has been having fun with special dress up days: Pajama Day, Wear Your Shirt Backwards Day, Wear Your Favorite Color/Number Day, Fox In Socks/Crazy Socks Day, and Dress Up Like Your Favorite Storybook Character Day. They even went on a field trip to the local library to continue the celebration! I loved seeing how excited she was this week! (Liam's preschool will be celebrating next week.)

Although we are celebrating more this week, I try to remind my children every single day just how important it is to read. Not only is it a fun hobby, but reading boosts learning in so many ways! Thankfully, 3 out of my 4 kids are bookworms like me, so I don't have to work too hard. That teenager, though...

One quick glance at our kids' bookshelf in our living room will reveal many books written by Dr. Seuss. One of my parenthood goals is to own them all one day! We love Dr. Seuss books for so many reasons! The silly, nonsensical stories capture the hearts of kids of all ages, the simple stories full of sight words make great first books for beginning independent readers, and the stories help kids learn rhyming words, letters, numbers, and colors. We are BIG fans of these quirky books that make reading so much fun!


7 Awesome Ways To Build Language and Early Reading Skills with Dr. Seuss

Keep the books within reach.

We have a bookshelf in almost every room in our house! I keep them full of books all of my kids enjoy to inspire them to read more often. I also keep a crate of books next to the most popular spot in the house - the fireplace! This month, it's full of our Dr. Seuss favorites. (And it once had a fun banner attached to the crate, but Liam decided to undecorate it!)


Pair the books with flashcards to boost learning skills.

After reading a Dr. Seuss book that includes counting (like 10 Apples Up On Top!) or letters (like Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book) to Liam, I follow it up with flashcards to reinforce counting and letter recognition skills. The Target Dollar Spot always has a great selection, and during this time of year, they often have Dr. Seuss flashcards!


Have fun with rhyming!

After reading a fun, rhyming story by Dr. Seuss, inspire kids to come up with their own rhymes! Choose a word from the book, and ask your child to come up with a word that rhymes. After a few rounds, get silly! Allow your child to come up with a rhyming word that isn't real. It's sure to result in a lot of laughter! Bonus points for using rhyming clip cards, too! (You can find color matching tools at the Target Dollar Spot.)


Build speech and language skills by reading to your child EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

Encourage a love of reading, by reading to your child when they are a baby, and make it a part of your daily routine from that day forward. Kids learn from repetition, and hearing your voice, so reading to your child can really boost their language skills. It can be especially helpful for kids who have a speech delay!

Liam has Down syndrome, and with it comes a speech delay. If I read to him very slowly, and take time to enunciate each word, I notice that he tries to repeat the words. After we make it through the book, we go back through it, and I ask him to point out an object, color, letter or number on each page, and then say the word slowly to get him to repeat it. He has learned qute a few words this way!

Even more beneficial, is the simple act of bonding over a book. Kids thrive with positive attention, so taking the time to read to them each day shows them that they are important. When a family reads together, they stay together!


Learn those colors!

After reading a Dr. Seuss book that includes colors (like My Many Colored Days), reinforce that skill with a color matching wheel! Then choose a variety of objects from your own, and have your child sort them by color. Kids do best with varied ways of learning.


Inspire them, build their confidence, teach them that they are unique in their own ways, and show them that they CAN. 

Many Dr. Seuss books are very inspirational. Raising happy, confident kids is so important in today's society. These books can inspire kids to be themselves, and show them that no matter which path they take, they can still succeed. Reading one of these books (like Oh, the Places You'll Go!) when kids are feeling down about themselves can show them that they CAN! A confident kid = a successful learner!




Be a good role model! 

If your child sees you reading, they will be more likely to read on their own! Think about it...kids love to mimic actions. So why not be a positive influence and show them that reading each day is part of a healthy lifestyle for people of ALL ages! They will most likely follow in your footsteps!


Our 11 Favorite Dr. Seuss Books 

I asked my kids which Dr. Seuss books were their favorite, and here's what they choose:

  1. Hop On Pop (This is a book we started to read to our kids when they were babies! It's full of fun rhymes and sight words for early readers!)
  2. Ten Apples Up On Top! (This book is also full of fun rhymes and sight words, and it inspires kids to count along.)
  3. There's a Wocket in my Pocket! (This is my FAVORITE nonsensical Dr. Seuss book, and I think all of my kids chose it because we started reading it to them when they were babies. It always made them giggle!)
  4. The Foot Book (This is a cute, rhyming story that's perfect for young kids!)
  5. Green Eggs and Ham (This Dr. Seuss classic is a favorite among even school-aged kids! My kids always thought it was so funny how the "refrain" continued to build throughout the story. Green eggs and ham for breakfast, anyone?)
  6. one fish two fish red fish blue fish (This silly story is also a classic, and it inspires kids to learn opposites.)
  7. I Am NOT Going to Get up Today! (This funny book is one that school-aged kids can easily relate to!)
  8. The Cat In The Hat (This is a fun story that makes kids laugh!)
  9. Oh, the Places You'll Go! (I cannot think of a more inspirational book than this one! Liam actually owns several shirts with quotes from this book on it. And it's so popular that it became a school keepsake for kids to collect messages from their teachers in!)
  10. The Lorax (This is a fantastic classic that encourages kids to treat the Earth with love and respect. It's a concept that is often difficult for young kids to understand, and I feel like this story explains it quite well!)
  11. Sneetches And Other Stories (If there isn't much time for a long book before bed, kids are sure to love the short stories in this book! Their personal favorite is Too Many Daves! Oliver Boliver Butt gets a laugh every time I read it!)


We love reading, and we love Dr. Seuss! Today might be the day to celebrate reading across the nation, but my family chooses to celebrate reading every single day. It's a very important part of our lives!


What is your favorite book by Dr. Seuss? How are you celebrating National Read Across America Day?

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  1. No one knows my favorite Dr. Seuss book - The first of Octember!

  2. We have been celebrating all week, too! So much fun!

  3. Reading is definitely something worth celebrating. This is the first year we didn't do something Dr. Seuss related and I definitely missed it.


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