School's out; play time and summer reading are in!

“What’s red, round and shiny and tastes great in pie?”

Longer daylight hours and no homework signal the perfect time for families to enjoy some leisure time together. Whether your child is already in early elementary school, entering Kindergarten this fall or is still in preschool, summer is the perfect time to brush up on school readiness skills. Go out with your child and explore. Take walks, run errands, or lie in the grass in the sun! All of these are the perfect way to spend quality time together and learn through play at the same time. Questions and answers, guessing games and observing your surroundings give you, the parent, all of the materials you need to help your children grow into stronger readers, competent mathematicians and good classmates as they head into their “career” as student.

Here are some examples of simple ways to build literacy skills in your child every day!

  • The Power of Observation: Ask your child questions about the landscape as you walk around the block: How many houses on the street are white?
  • Sharpen sentence structure and listening skills: Have your child complete your sentence about your journey in the car. That green truck is… (very noisy, going slow, the color of broccoli).
  • Sorting and Matching/Comparing Contrasting: Involve them in tasks around the house. While doing laundry, match all of the pairs of socks or ask who’s shirts are bigger - yours or mine?
  • Details and description: Use the grocery store as the back drop for a good game of eye spy. "I spy something red, round, juicy and tastes good in pie!"

Be sure to visit our free Family Literacy Playroom “Little Heights” located at the CH-UH Main Library with your kids ages 2 - 5 over the summer to help build on all of the school readiness skills that will set your child up for success.

Mondays: 9 - noon
Thursdays: 3:30 - 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

For more information go to or call 321-0079.

Ellen Barrett is the Program Director at Heights Parent Center She has been with the Center for 12 years and is a life long resident of Cleveland Heights. She has two sons Ryan and Peter who are in college.

Read More on "Got kids?" Corner
Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 2:51 PM, 06.16.2008