Drop Everything And Read Day (April 12) is a fun way to show your kids how to make reading a priority in their lives and encourage them to read. In this post, I’ll share what it is and how you celebrate it with your kids!
**Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you click that link and purchase the product, I may receive a small compensation. I am, however, committed to honestly assessing the products mentioned. Please read my disclosure policy for more details. **
Do your kids love to read? If they don’t, have you ever wondered what you could do to encourage them to read more?
One of the best ways to encourage kids to read is to make it a priority in your life. When kids grow up in an atmosphere where reading is part of everyday life, they’re much more inclined to reach for a book themselves. (Of course, there are always exceptions, but this is generally true.)
For more strategies for encouraging your kids to read, check out this post.
And one fun way you can do this is by celebrating Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) Day on April 12!
Never heard of D.E.A.R.? Not sure what it is or how you can participate? Read on! I have the full scoop on this fun and enriching day.
WHAT IS DROP EVERYTHING AND READ (D.E.A.R.)?
Drop Everything and Read is a national celebration designed to encourage families to make reading a priority in their lives. While it is celebrated throughout the month of April, programs are typically held every year on April 12 — the birthday of beloved author Beverly Cleary, who first wrote about D.E.A.R. in her book Ramona Quimby, Age 8.
The goal of D.E.A.R. is to prompt kids and adults alike to make reading a part of their everyday routine. Many schools, libraries, and bookstores across the country participate in this fun day. And over the years, millions of people around the country have pledged to “drop” what they’re doing to read a great book.
WHY SHOULD WE PARTICIPATE?
- It’s a good way to show your kids reading is a priority to you
As I said in the introduction, modeling the importance of reading is one of the best ways to instill that value in your kids.
- It’s a fun family-bonding experience
Reading on our own is a great form of entertainment, but doing it together as a family makes it even more fun!
- You can take the opportunity to teach them literacy skills
Careful! Don’t get too wrapped up in taking advantage of all the possible learning opportunities — we want this to foster a love of reading, not suck all the fun out of it. But there are some really fun D.E.A.R. activities out there. Or you could simply use this as an opportunity to teach them how to pick out books they’ll love.
HOW CAN WE PARTICIPATE?
- Attend a local event
Ask around to see if your local library or bookstore is hosting any kind of event on this day.
- Host an event
If you can’t find a local event… host your own! Gather with a few other families and celebrate together. Find some fun activities online, make some book-themed snacks, and read a few stories together.
- Find reading and writing activities online
Here is a great resource for fun Drop Everything And Read activities.
- Shout “Drop everything and read!” throughout the day
If you’re home with your kids, a fun (and simple) way to participate is to shout “Drop everything and read!” at random points throughout your day. Whenever this happens, everyone must stop whatever they’re doing, pick up a book, and read for whatever length of time you previously determined.
- Read together as a family
If you’re not home with your kids, or if you really want to keep it simple, you can always read a few extra books or chapters that evening as a family. No action is too small — something is always better than nothing!For great read-aloud book suggestions, I highly recommend The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie!
Developing a habit and love for reading in our kids is an important thing to do as a parent. And leading by example is one of the best ways to do it. Drop Everything And Read is a wonderful program that will help you model the importance of reading and provide lots of family fun at the same time. I hope this encourages you to give it a try!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- 7 Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Love for Reading
- 15 Compelling Reasons to Encourage Your Kids to Read
- 5 Compelling Reasons You Should Read Every Day
- 25 Reasons to Love Your Library