Reading is Fun!

Fun Ways to Help Kids Love Reading:


10 Literacy-Building Activities You Can Do At Home... FOR FREE!

1. Read! Read! Read! - Library cards are free and have activities for children. Most libraries allow you to check out multiple books at a time. Take advantage of this great resource!

2. Turn off the TV - Current research is starting to find that even "educational" shows are having negative effects on children's development. Children learn SO much more when interacting with people and materials. Hey, your power bill might even go down!

3. Converse - Talking with your child is one of the best ways to improve vocabulary, grammar, and understanding. Don't drill. Talk with and listen to your child, and ask lots of questions!

4. Play word and sound games - Play games and make up your own. Play the same ones over and over. For example, play "I Spy" or "Simon Says." Say, "I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with _____" and have your child come up with words that sound the same. Be silly!

5. Books on CD or cassette - The library has these available for free. If you do not have a cassette or CD player, the library should have facilities for listening to books.

6. Singing & rhyming - Sing favorite songs and rhymes and make up your own. Sing and rhyme about things around you, something that happened that day, people you know, etc.

7. Environmental Print - Point out words, sentences, logos, symbols, signs, etc. to your child. Any print you see at home or in the community is an opportunity for learning.

8. Exposure - The more topics you discuss and expose your child to, the better his/her vocabulary, content knowledge, and understanding of concepts will be. Talk about everything - animals, space, buildings, other countries, cooking, sports, etc. Share your expertise.

9. Spell name aloud - Very simple, but very important. The letters in your child's name are going to be the most important ones and they will help him/her understand the importance of letters.

10. Nature - Spend time outside and there is no limit to what you can do or talk about. Listen to sounds, meet new people, talk about the things you see, use sticks to make letters, write in the mud, etc.

10 Literacy-Building Activities You Can Do At Home... Under $5!!

1. Magnetic letters - Buy a bunch of these, stick them on the refrigerator. Let your child play with them, try to write words, talk about letter sounds, write a message for your child, etc.

2. Alphabet Puzzles - These can be inexpensive but give your child experience with "touching" the alphabet and gives you another opportunity to talk about letters.

3. Magazine Letter Sorting - Get some old magazines and cut out as many letters as you can find. Sort them into groups by letter, by upper and lowercase, etc. Glue them to paper and make a book.

4. Tracing - Provide some cookie cutters, cans, jar lids, etc. or anything that can traced around. This will increase your child's hand strength and ability to use writing tools with more control.

5. Cutting & Tearing - Have your child cut and tear paper. You can even have your child cut out the shapes he/she traced. Using scissors builds hand muscles, which they need for writing.

6. Drawing Dictations - Have your child draw a picture, then ask them to tell you about it. Write down each word they say. Or, have your child tell you a story, write it down, and have him/her illustrate it.

7. Write name - Get in a routine of having your child write his/her name every day. Provide an example of your child's name written down. Do not expect perfection. Just ask him/her to do it, encourage your child's efforts (even if they do not look great yet) and you will see improvement over time.

8. Open packaging - Ask your child to open snack packages such as straws, wrappers, Ziploc bags, plastic containers, etc. This is building your child's hand muscles which will improve handwriting.

9. Flashcards - Use flashcards for conversations and games. Drilling is not appropriate for this age group and playing will have much faster results with less headaches. You can make your own or buy them.

10. Clay & Playdough - Have your child tell you about what he/she is making. This improves oral language skills. You can use other materials such as stones, sticks, toys, cookie cutters, etc. to make it more fun. This is also another hand muscle building activity. You can make your own or buy it.

Don't stop with these activities! Be on the lookout for other opportunities to enrich your child's vocabulary, content knowledge, familiarity with the sounds of language, etc. Every moment is a teachable moment.


*These activities are from the following website: