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Help Children Learn to Read & Strengthen their Reading Skills:
Reading Activities

Suggested Reading Activities for Learning at Home


There are plenty of activities that help strengthen reading skills and prime young children's brains for understanding the importance of the printed word. Here are some ideas.

Preschool

Shhhh! This simple game of silence helps strengthen young children's listening skills. Choose a time, such as 20 or 30 seconds, and tell your children to close their eyes for that time interval - no talking, just listening. Then ask the kids what they heard.  A car swooshing down the street? A child playing outside? A bird chirping?

Letter Bingo & Letter Sounds Bingo Make your own bingo cards featuring letters of the alphabet. For letter recognition, use as many letters on the cards that you want to reinforce that day. For letter sounds, begin with common consonants (such as b, t, m, s, r), but don't use so many that children are overwhelmed. Call out the letters or letter sounds (example, "buh" is for bat) and have children cover the corresponding letter with a cheerio, a coin, or whatever else fits. Alternatively, make letter tiles by writing letters on squares of cardboard, and have children place the tiles on their bingo boards.

Letter Hunt Send kids on a hunt for letters - around the house. Books don't count, but letters on cans of food, pictures on the wall, the stove, and so forth, do count. Ask them to find a specific number of one letter. For example, "find 3 letter C's".

Alphabet Scrapbook Use a Hilroy notebook (or similar) and label each page with a letter of the alphabet. Kids need to find pictures of objects that begin with each letter in magazines, store flyers, and so forth. Kids can cut out the pictures and paste them on the correct letter page.

 

Kindergarten to Grade 1:

Favorite Recipe Re-write a simple recipe for a favorite food that you cook with your children. Use simple terms, but don't worry if some of the words are challenging to read. ("Sugar", for example, simply can't be simplified!). The idea is that you will revisit this recipe often and kids will learn to read the sight words over time. As you make the food, ask your child to read you the ingredients and instructions, offering help as needed. Eventually, he or she will learn it by heart. This exercise not only helps kids learn to read specific words and sight words, it demonstrates to them that reading is useful.

For example, my daughter loved to help me make pancakes - and loved to eat the finished product, too! We used this recipe:

How to Make Pancakes

Medium Bowl:
1-1/2 cups flour
1 big spoon baking powder
1 big spoon sugar
1/2 little spoon salt

Big Bowl:
1 egg
1-1/2 cups milk
2 big spoons oil

...where "big spoons" are tablespoons and "little spoons" are teaspoons. We'd measure the dry ingredients and mix them in a medium bowl, and measure the wet ingredients into a big bowl and mix. Then we'd drop the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix them gently (just until moistened - no over-mixing), and voila! Pancake batter. This was the most re-visited recipe, and the pancakes turn out fantastic.

Mail Time Write a letter to your child every day, and place it in the mailbox or in a special "mail time" box. Keep the words simple and legible.


 

 

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see also:

Learning to Read

Gift Guides for Children Ages 5-8

Fun & Learning with Digital Cameras

 


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