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Your 7-year-old now
Simple activities can reinforce a beginning reader's enthusiasm for the activity. Try these:
- Make bookmarks. Use laminated paper or poster board. Cut long book-sized strips an inch or so wide. Punch a hole in the top, through which you can thread ribbon or yarn. Set your child loose with glitter glue, markers, sequins, or other decorations.
- Help your child write a letter to the author of a book he loves. Many current children's authors have websites for their young fans and encourage comments. You can also look up publishers' addresses online and send snail mail care of the publisher.
- Attend readings. If you're lucky enough to live in an area where children's authors come to libraries or bookstores to read their works to kids, take advantage. It's exciting for a child to connect the person standing in front of him with the name on the book cover. Failing this, attend story time at your library (sevens still love to be read to) or go to performances of favorite stories by children's repertory groups.
- Hear the same stories in different mediums. In the car, listen to a taped version of a story you've read in a book. Or if you see a movie based on a book, read the original afterward and talk about which version was better, and why.
Your life now
Are your childless days as a couple a fuzzy memory? In the din of everyday family life you sometimes have to be intentional about connecting with your partner.
Consider arranging a standing babysitting appointment one evening a week to get out together, whether or not you have a party to attend or tickets to a fabulous concert. Date night is a good idea even if you just get away to a local bistro where you can talk in complete sentences — preferably not about your child.
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