Early interactions with your children, like sharing books, talking, singing, or playing, help lay the foundation for early language and literacy – essential skills for success.
Parents will find specially tailored and curated activities ranging from reading, recipes, rhymes and games specifically designed to build strong reading, writing and literacy skills in their child, and have FUN doing it!
Try this fun Family Literacy idea to countdown the days to Christmas!
With a Christmas book countdown to Christmas calendar, instead of a piece of candy or chocolate, your child opens a Christmas picture book every day. What a great way to count the days to the holidays!!
What you need:
So how many books will you need? If you want to start your calendar December 1st you will need to decide if you countdown to Christmas Eve or Christmas day. That’s 24 or 25 books total. You can borrow storybooks from the library, gather favourite stories from around the house or from friends and family, and maybe add a few new titles.
Wrap Your Books
Wrap enough Christmas and winter-themed books for every day of your calendar and add a numbered tag to each one. Next, unwrap books daily as a family event and have fun reading! The “togetherness” is part of the joy of this engaging holiday activity. *Tip: Rewrap after the holidays for your next countdown to Christmas!
Use Your Imagination
Here’s a chance to be creative and start your family tradition!
Stack your books from largest to smallest to create the shape of a Christmas tree.
Stack your books to resemble a snowman
Put all of the books in a basket or pail
Display the books on the mantle place
Hide your books each day for a fun twist
Other Holiday Book Traditions You Can Start
Start a “12 Days of Christmas” tradition with a different theme for each day. Have books to read, crafts to create, and movies or special foods to enjoy.
Keep a basket of Christmas and winter-themed books under the tree to read aloud during the holiday season.
Use a mixture of books and movies to create your countdown calendar!
Go outdoors to read your books about snow.
Wrap a new book for each child to put on their beds after they fall asleep on Christmas Eve.
Keep a collection of Christmas books that stay in a special basket during Advent.
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia literacy initiative in the USA offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. The Reading Rockets project includes PBS television programs (also available online and on DVD) and online services through the websites ReadingRockets.org and ColorinColorado.org:
TD Canadian Children’s Book Week connects Canadian authors and illustrators with children and teens across Canada. Tour participants speak to their audiences about the pleasures of reading and the delights of Canadian children’s books through their presentations and workshops. Meeting authors, illustrators and storytellers can be a turning point in a child’s life, inspiring a lifelong love of reading.
JOIN US! Eileen Cook will be at The Learning Exchange/CDC Vimont on Tuesday May 8th for a morning and an afternoon session. Eileen’s books will be given as prizes and Eileen will sign all book prizes!
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her newest book, THE HANGING GIRL, came out in October 2017. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program.
Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.
Finalist for the 2017 Amy Mather Teen Book Award
“Eileen’s energy and passion never flagged, the quality of her last workshop equaled the high quality of her first.”
—Librarian, Vancouver Public Library
“Eileen’s humour, expertise and pacing is respected and appreciated by teens and teachers alike.”
—Teacher, Earl Marriott Secondary
“Teen Services at Vancouver Public Library has hosted Eileen on several occasions since 2011 and we have always been impressed by her enthusiasm, professionalism, and ability to captivate a young audience. We have hosted her both as a workshop leader and a keynote speaker. Her workshops are always funny, full of great stories that are entertaining, convey knowledge and wisdom, and are age appropriate.”
—Vancouver Public Library
“Eileen was an engaging presenter who enthusiastically entertained and informed our students. Her humour has the students giggling and her interactive presentation had students talking, moving and playing. It is not always easy to engage teenagers: Eileen was able to do just that.”
—Librarian, Richmond School District
“Mrs. Cook was very gracious and funny, answering all questions in a kid-friendly way. One student even went home after the visit and was inspired to start her own story.”
—Teacher, Bellevue School District
“Eileen is the quintessential writer’s editor pithy, succinct, and with a brilliant eye for detail.”
—Kc Dyer author of Amazon bestselling Finding Fraser
“Eileen helped me focus my writing, streamline my scenes, and quicken my pacing. Her guidance and advice along the way, her generosity, and her amazing ability to kill my darlings (when I couldn’t) make her invaluable.”
I like to be an adult learner because I like to learn to understand more of life. To help my daughter, myself and the people around me. I learn how to use the computer and send e-mails to friends. So I am happy to learn more and more by reading books, speaking and communicating with people. ~Diko
It is fun being an adult learner because you are already familiar with many subjects.~Michael
I like learning and working. Math and reading at the library. Kosal is a friend. ~Jonathan
I like learning because it’s a form of knowledge. I am learning to like myself. I like learning in a group. ~Claudine
Laval Rockets hockey team are the best team at Place Bell. ~Petros and Kosal