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7 Easy Back-to-School Reading and Writing Activities

Prepare little ones for going back to school with these simple and fun reading activities! Get this new school year off to a great start. We’ve compiled some fun activities for kids that introduce letters, sight words, and reading practice. Whether you’re child is attending their first day of school as a kindergartener or returning as an elementary student, these ideas will help set up your child for a successful school year. Reading takes lots of time and practice. Once a child can read full sentences, they are introduced to endless book adventures. Books expand a child’s imagination and creativity. They can teach kindness and compassion. Books help children develop into well-rounded adults and leaders. Try a few of these back-to-school reading activities for kids and celebrate the joy of learning!

7 Reading and Writing Activities for Kids

Read Aloud Story Comprehension

Select a new or favorite children’s book to read aloud. Parents or grandparents can read a picture book aloud to the child. When teaching reading strategies, it’s helpful to apply them to real reading. When children are exposed to real books at a very young age, they will be better equipped to pick out words and sentences in books at school. Personalized children’s books are especially engaging, because they feature the child’s name and photo in the story. A personalized book such as My Very Own Name helps children to learn the alphabet and spell their own names. Once you’ve chosen your story, create a sheet of paper with questions and prompts for the child that you can use during reading and after reading. Here are some question examples:

  • Who is the main character in the story?
  • What are they doing?
  • Stop reading in the middle of the story. Can you infer what is going to happen next?
  • Let’s create a sentence, based on the main character and the action. The adult will say the sentence and the child will repeat it.
  • Write the sentence on the paper, using correct capitalization and punctuation.
  • Check your work and highlight what needs to be changed.

This is an easy reading activity you can practice during the day or at bedtime.

Sight Word Bingo

Help young learners recognize sight words with this reading game for kids! Create a Bingo sheet that displays numerous sight words such as: me, we, I, can, is, the, like, for, if, can. Write these sight words on pieces of paper. Adults will draw a sight word and announce it. The child will find the right word on their card and place a marker on the space. The first to get 5 in a row wins! This is a fun competitive game to play with multiple children in a family or to play with friends! It’s also packable for on-the-go learning. Bring it to the park, on vacation, or in the car to bust road trip boredom.

Sentence Building Activity

Help kids build sentences with this fun activity that combines words with pictures! This is a great back to school lesson that supplements dictated sentence practice. For this activity, you’ll need to print off different pictures and cut them into squares. Try to theme your activity to a fairy tale story like “The Three Little Pigs” or “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” In this case, you would print off images of Goldilocks, bears, a cottage house, etc. Then, under each picture, write the corresponding word. Separate the images based on people and objects. On a piece of paper, create a box with words like “I, see, a, in, sleeps, eats, etc” and another box where the child can write their sentences. Here are the directions for this lesson:

  • Read the fairy tale aloud.
  • For an older child, ask them to create a sentence based on the story using their words and pictures.
  • For younger kindergarten-age children, try using dictated sentences. The parent can first read a sentence aloud, based on the story, such as “Goldilocks sleeps in the house.”
  • Ask the child to repeat the sentence.
  • Then ask: how many words are in this sentence? There are 5 words.
  • The child will use the words and pictures to re-create the sentence and write it down on their paper.

All About Me Craft

Kids will practice building sentences to describe themselves! This writing activity improves vocabulary and reading skills. Create an All About Me page template. Leave a large box at the top of the page, where kids will draw a self-portrait. In the bottom half of the page, create a writing prompt that says: My name is…I am X years old…I like… The child will fill in the blanks. If the child needs some practice choosing words for the “I like” section, they can select from a vocabulary box with suggest words such as: sports, summer, vacations, candy, reading, books, toys, etc.

To take this craft even further, try completing a personalized All About Me activity book together! Kids can draw pictures, answer questions about their favorite things and play illustration games. This is a great book to kick off a new school year and serves as a sweet time capsule!

Hide and Seek Letters Game

In this reading game, children will draw a word from a hat such as: run, can, sit, or from. The child will close their eyes and count to 20 as the adult hides paper letters around the house. When time is up, the child will hunt for the letters in the word. But be careful! There might be some extra letters hidden that aren’t found in your word. Make sure to look for only the letters that spell your word. In this reading games, the child must read the word carefully, spell it out, and then visualize the letter as they search. This is a fun and active way for children to practice reading at home!

Alphabet Fishing Game

Fish for the correct letters to spell your word! For this game, you’ll need to print, cut out, and laminate the alphabet letters. Instead of laminating, you can also use clear tape to wrap around the paper letters. Create a fishing rod by tying string onto a wooden craft stick or chopstick. Wrap painter’s tape at the bottom of the string, sticky side facing outward. The child will draw a word from a hat and “fish” for the correct letters to spell the word. When they cast their fishing rod, they’ll need to make sure the tape sticks onto the letter and pull it up.

Word Practice Board Game

Practice spelling and writing words in this reading-based board game! Draw a game board with a road cut into squares and a finish line. As the adult, you will speak a word aloud such as “rock” and then ask: How many letters are in this word? The child will spell the word on paper and count the letters. If they are correct, they will move their game token that number of spaces on the board. The child can play with other family members, friends, or school mates. This reading game will help young children recognize letters and spell before going back to school.