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- Share a meal: The next time you pass the mashed potatoes, think of the valuable learning opportunity dinnertime poses for your child. Research shows that the longer a family sits around the dinner table, giving everyone a chance to talk about their day or what they'll do tomorrow, the more exposure their children will have to vocabulary words and the more likely they will do well in reading, says Morrow.
- Go shopping: Before you go, make a list. Then, scavenger-hunt style, have your child find those items in the store, reading and comparing labels and selecting items that fit your needs. Read and talk about the signs you see in the store.
- Check out the news: The newspaper presents an opportunity to practice reading skills every day. Visually stimulating sections such as the comics or the travel section will catch even a young child's eye. Discuss what you've read, or keep a file of favorite clips.
- Read and write routinely: Read aloud to your child, and have your child read to you. Read silently sitting side-by-side. Talk about reading. Discuss books or magazine articles you enjoyed reading. Write little notes. Keep and share daily journals.
- Don't be a couch potato: Watch TV together and make TV viewing an active pastime by discussing critically what you see on the screen. Be a movie critic by discussing characters or ideas presented. Compare your review to others you find in newspapers or magazines. Write your own movie script together.