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Reading—Then and Now

My husband is on a mission! It’s called ‘de-cluttering.’ Lately he’s been pulling out boxes of old photos from the shelves with a plan to divide them up and give them to the kids. That’s about seven shelves, and it doesn’t even count the dvd’s since photos went digital!

So far we have six small piles of photos to give away. Mostly we look through the boxes and ‘remember when.’

‘Back then’ kids liked hide and seek, sand boxes, and bikes. They liked playing games of all kinds and reading stories. Kids still like the same things, but what’s different in today’s world is the many ways that kids can do those things.

They still count to ten out loud when they play hide and seek. They still dig and build roads in sand boxes, and they still ride bikes. But when it comes to games and stories, it’s a brand new world.

Today some games can be played on a board at the table, and some can be played outdoors. They can also be played on a video screen, hand-held or desk-top, or with many different game systems. Electronic games have their place, but just as ‘back then,’ kids still enjoy the interaction of having someone who will sit down and play a game with them.

When my kids were young, books-on-tape was something new. I remember them listening to a tape of BEDTIME FOR FRANCES. They would listen to the part that says “U is for underwear, down in the dryer,” giggle, and re-wind the tape and play that part over and over. The thing is that they had the book in front of them and turned the page when the ‘beep’ sounded. They were reading along with the tape. Just as today kids can read along on an e-reader. I think that our kids still enjoyed the stories best when we all sat close together on the sofa and read them out loud.

Today books can be listened to on cds and on all kinds of e-book readers. Have you ever watched a baby swipe his hand across a book page, waiting for it to change the picture? Some of these babies know more about electronics than I do! E-books can be interactive, read-only or with someone reading it as you go along. It can show the spelling of a word in the story, make a dog bark when you click on it, and more.

Electronic books or the board and paper kind—it’s all reading. The difference is the format. What electronic games and books doesn't change is the personal interaction, bonding, and closeness of playing together or reading together. No matter what the format, we can still read books together out loud, sitting close together on the sofa.

Hoping that this summer all kids have someone to play games and read books with them, no matter what the format. Happy summertime!  Read More 
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