30 Days of Reading Fun for Beginning Readers

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As parents and teachers we never want learning to read to become a chore. Teaching young children to read should be filled with fun, meaningful, and hands-on activities.

Did you know the optimal window for learning in children is between the ages of 2-6? Children do their most complex learning during this period of time – learning skills that they will use for the rest of their lives (i.e.: eating, walking, and talking). Teaching reading skills during this window of time can make a big impact, and help eliminate many reading difficulties children experience later in life.

To teach reading to such young children it is important to have a balanced approach, which includes focusing on: comprehension, vocabulary, phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency.

Comprehension – Can your child understand and remember what they read.

Vocabulary – For beginning readers the focus here is on sight words. Sight words are the most common words in our written language and often do not sound out well or follow typical phonics rules.

Phonemic awareness – The ability to hear individual sounds, recognize them, and manipulate them within words. The focus is only on sounds here, not written symbols.

Phonics – Learning to associate sounds with written language.

Fluency – This refers to the speed, accuracy, ease, and inflection used when reading. The more your child reads, the more fluent they will become.

The following list activities focus on these five important skills, while managing to be fun at the same time – perfect for beginning readers!

 

1. Write letters and sight words outside with chalk



2. Practice rhyming words. Give your child a word and have them make up a rhyme, or give them two words and let them tell you if the words rhyme or not.



3. Play word games like “Don’t Draw the Dog” (a more friendly version of “hangman”)



4. Play memory with ABC cards



5. Make your own memory game with simple CVC words.



6. Use Post-it’s to label items around your house.



7. Use letter beads to string sight words or sounds out words.



8. Make a gel bag. Fill a Ziploc baggie with paint or hair gel. Seal the bag shut, and have your child write letters on the outside of the bag with their finger.



9. Use Playdoh to make letters or sight words.



10. Match small items/toys to the letter of their beginning sound.

12 Fun and Unique Sidewalk Chalk Activities

11. Give your child a word and have them clap out the syllables.



12. Give your child a word and have them “chop” up words in their hands – making a chopping motion for each individual sound.



13. Play I-spy with the beginning sounds of words.



14. Try some ABC connect the dots.



15. Use alphabet letter clothes pins to clip matching letters or sight words.



16. Write letters on ping pong balls and have your child sort letters and vowels into two different buckets.



17. Play ABC BINGO.



18. Write letters and place them on cork board. Have your child carefully use push pins to poke/trace of the letters.



19. Build words with magnets.



20. Grab some dice and try a game of roll and read.



21. Write sight words outside with chalk. Tell your child a word and have them spray the word off the ground using a spray bottle of water.



22. Practice punctuation.



23. Read fiction and non-fiction books.



24. For non-fiction books have your child write down what they already know before they read, and write what they learned after reading.



25. Read word family eggs. Simply spin the eggs to make and read word family words.



26. Read a chapter book together. Only read one chapter each night. Before reading have your child re-tell you what happened in the previous chapter.



27. Make some DIY index card puzzles.



28. Hang up alphabet letters or sight words around the room and have your child walk around with a clipboard to mark the ones they find.



29. Fill a bottle with rice and small letter tiles. Have your child shake the bottle to find the letters.



30. Have your child write notes to their friends/their friend’s names.


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