Creative Ways to Practice Reading with Kids
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Help children learn how to spell and read with these creative reading activities! These ideas will hold a child’s attention and bring reading to life. Children become fluent in reading over time. It requires a great deal of practice and patience. Reading helps a child understand his or her world. Reading can spark imagination and creativity. One book can open a child’s mind to the wonder and beauty all around us. Although learning to read is one of the most important skills a child can learn, it can also be frustrating and difficult—especially for children with special needs or learning challenges. Try some of these interactive lessons to keep the child interested and engaged as he or she practices. Designed for toddlers and elementary-age kids, these lessons enhance the reading experience—making it more hands-on and comfortable for parent and child.
7 Ways to Practice Reading at Home with Kids
Sight Word Practice with Movement and Chant
Sight word practice is an essential element to become fluent in word recognition and reading. When children can read words by sight, they can string those words together and begin reading! Repetition is often the key to helping kids practice sight words.
For this fun reading activity, we’ve combined movement and chant. First, come up with a fun chant for your sight word. For example: “t-h-e-y they. They, they, they! There is no ‘a’ in they. They!” As you chant, use your hands to gesture with each syllable or word. Kindergarteners and first graders will love the movement, which helps them focus on the rhythm and memorize the chant. Try doing this sight word exercise with other words like “of”, “want”, “see” or “can”.
To reward yourself for a job well done, try kissing your brains! We love this technique by teacher @itsmoniquesworld. Kiss your hand and then touch it to your forehead, to kiss your brain and thank yourself for working hard!
Engage Kids with Personalized Books
Help a child become engaged and interested in reading with personalized children’s books! A custom name book like Open This Name Book makes reading fun and interactive. With this book, kids must follow the story’s instructions—clap hands, flip the book over, shake it, etc.—to put the letters of their name in the correct order. Featuring a cast of hilarious monsters, this name book makes reading fun! For babies and toddlers, a board book like I See My Family! or 1-2-3 Blast Off With Me will get them excited about reading as they see their name and photo in the book. Personalized books bring a smile to a child’s face as they see themselves in the story. Try reading a custom book during storytime and fall in loving with reading!
Reading Craft for Kids: Stained Glass Letters
Help kids learn letters and words with this interactive reading activity! You’ll need tissue paper, Mod Podge® paste, and plastic wrap. Tape the plastic wrap to one or several of your windows. Then draw the outline of words onto the plastic wrap using a marker. Try a simple, kid-friendly word like read, run, or red. Mix the water and Mod Podge® together. The child will dip their tissue square into the paste and stick it to the plastic wrap on the window, making sure to fill the space inside the letter outlines.
When each letter is done, try sounding out the letter and then put the letters together to sound out the word. The tissue will stick for a long time, so you can keep practicing as long as you like! To remove, just take down the plastic wrap and discard. Try this reading activity on weekends or during the week. Kids will love seeing their word craft on the windows. It also serves as beautiful stained glass to brighten any room!
Create a Magical Reading Spot
Make reading a special part of the day. Create a comfortable environment where kids feel inspired and happy. When kids begin with a positive mindset, they will feel more confident to read. To set up a magical reading corner, try putting up a small tent and stringing lights inside. Add blankets and pillows for extra coziness. Then snuggle up for peaceful reading time. You can read aloud, or the child can try reading. Kids will look forward to reading every day!
Word Family Ball Toss
This game is a fun way to teach reading skills to kids at home. Teaching children word families will help them identify similar words and see patterns. For this activity, you’ll need a marker, small plastic balls (e.g., ping pong balls) and plastic cups. Label plastic cups with different rimes—the last part of a word. For example, -op, -at, -an, and -ack are all rimes. Then label plastic balls with words like hop, pat, can, and back. Kids will pick up a ball and sound out the word letter by letter. Try splitting it up by the rime: h-op, p-at, c-an, b-ack. Kids will locate the plastic cup with the rime that matches their word and throw the ball into the cup. This reading activity for kids is an engaging way to reinforce school lessons and practice word families!
Sensory Letter Practice
This reading activity is perfect for kindergartners and first graders who are learning to sound out letters and string them together to make words and sentences! All you need is a plastic bag, gel, and food coloring. Fill the plastic bag with the gel and food coloring. Mix it well and make sure the bag is sealed tight. On a piece of paper, draw words to look like objects.
For example, draw a snake in the shape of an “s” or the letter “b” with bee wings, stripes, and antennae. Kids will draw the letter or object on their sensory gel bag. Because it’s gel, they can smush their creation and start all over with the next letter. As they draw, kids can sound out the letter and then say the word it represents. S for snake. B for bee. This sensory reading activity is great for children who perform better with hands-on learning.
Reading Game: Word Scavenger Hunt
This reading game is perfect for elementary-age kids! Write two sets of words on flash cards. Tape a card to the front of an object like a pot, table, or chair. Then hide another card in that spot. Tape that hidden card’s partner to another object. Continue this process until all the cards except one are hidden. Kids will be given their first card as the “clue”. They will run around trying to find that word. When they locate the matching card, they will look in the hiding spot and find their next card clue! Then they will run around trying to find the matching word card.
You can also add little prizes in each hiding spot as a fun reward! Kids will love this reading scavenger hunt that helps them learn different words. It’s also a great game for a child’s birthday party or family gathering!
We hope these children’s reading activities and ideas make learning fun! Try a creative approach at your next reading practice and help guide your child through learning.
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