Food for Thought

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Good food is a crowd pleasure in my family. We all enjoy gathering around the table for a nice meal, going out to eat or simply noshing on some goodies as we relax in front of the TV. I’m guessing your family is not much different. That’s why all of my suggestions today relate to food. When I was child, my mother was a master at making up clever names for foods that she served. Who wouldn’t like “magic cupcakes” or “angels on a cloud”? Everyone enjoys a twist on something ordinary. So, today, I’d like to serve up these treats with the hope that they will offer tempting ways to slip some reading into your family time.

HAVE A READING PICNIC                                                                                                        May can be a fickle month, but usually about the third week, temps climb into the 70’s and start to stay there. Spread out a blanket along with some great books and invite your family to the picnic. Don’t forget to include some favorite foods or snacks. Bask in the sun, read silently or aloud and simply enjoy a little downtime with your family and your books. Don’t be discouraged if the sun doesn’t shine, just set up the blanket somewhere inside. Few kids can resist a picnic.

HAVE A POT LUCK SUPPER                                                                                                         Invite everyone in the family to bring one or two texts to the table. Any type of text will do…book, magazine article, short story, graphic novel, etc.. The idea is to bring a unique, interesting text and introduce it to others. Set aside a specific period of time for everyone to choose one from the selection and peruse it. Much like a pot luck supper, you bite into the text and share your reactions with the others. Makes for a fun night and may just introduce kids and parents alike to a delicious new “dish”.

WHAT’S FOR DESSERT?                                                                                                            Everyone ears will perk up at the word dessert. Tell your family to bring a short text, along with a treat, as dessert for dinner. After the meal, each person will have a chance to  share their treat and read aloud their text. If you want, you could change this up by deciding on a theme. For example, jokes, poems, or articles about a particular subject. Try this for a happy ending to your family meal.


Adults: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity – Like most of this author’s books, this text reels you in and doesn’t let go. Take it outside, sit in the sun and treat yourself to a good story.

Grade 5 & up: Freak the Mighty   Heartwarming classic that youngsters won’t forget. Highly recommend it if you’re looking for a family read-aloud.

Toddlers/Pre-schoolers:  Bedtime Songs by Scarlett Wing – Sound books are very popular right now with our two little grandsons. This 11-button interactive sound book was a bit hit. Push the button and hear the song, read the text to learn the lyrics. Lovely book that would make a great gift.



About Rita K.

Educator and Certified Reading specialist
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4 Responses to Food for Thought

  1. Rita K. says:

    Thanks, BJ. So glad you enjoyed it. Four of my five kids came over on Sunday…social distanced on the deck. What a joy to SEE them! When I was teaching, I always found that celebrating with some food worked well. Usually after we finished a unit in writing, I’d invite parents/adminstrators in to listen to the students share their work and have a treat. They loved it. Have a wonderful day!


  2. Karen Lawler says:

    Hey Rita, This is a clever idea… You always have them…. πŸ™‚ The picnic thought is a catchy one and I agree with the thought of food mixed with books! I am now thinking I could even bring this to a small group (social distancing ) of adults and have a real pot-luck as we introduce new reads πŸ™‚ Thanks for being so clever, as always. πŸ™‚


    • Rita K. says:

      Oh, Karen, you are always so encouraging. I might steal your idea of doing a Book Pot Luck with adults. Maybe a book and wine pairing? The fun never endsπŸ˜€

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  3. bjdonaldson says:

    Hi Rita,
    I enjoyed this very much. Our family loves to get together…in fact 5 of my 6 children came over on Saturday to celebrate Mother’s Day. It was so fun! Your ideas of having a text potluck or dessert dinner sound so fun! I’m thinking about how I could bring that into our school for some professional learning/sharing that would be inviting and fun.
    Thanks for sharing!


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