Sitting in a cozy spot, sipping hot chocolate, and reading a good book sounds like a perfect January activity to me. On the other hand, children who do not like to read might find this idea rather boring. While it can be intimidating for a child to sit down with a book, there are many alternative activities that are fun and enticing while still offering reading practice.
Fun Reading Activities:
• Many kids love playing on their parents’ electronic devices. Educational apps that enforce reading skills exist at a low cost:
A Great App for Beginning Readers: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/abc-pocketphonics-letter-sounds/id299342927?mt=8
A Sight Word App: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/see-read-say/id322313775?mt=8
• Have a family game night with board games that require reading to play (e.g. the cards in Sorry, Outburst Jr., etc.)
• Read simple instructions to cook a fun item or assemble a toy. You may need to create step-by-step instructions at your child’s reading level for them to read.
• Playing games on the computer can be motivating for kids, and there are many websites with educational games for free. The games require different reading levels and skills, so children should be monitored while they are playing and picking out these games:
Computer Games To Encourage Fun Reading:
- PBSKids has tons of games for children learning to read: http://pbskids.org/games/literacy.html
- Games for children at different reading levels: http://www.starfall.com
- Sight words games and various reading games: http://www.learningtoday.com/corporate/reading-games.asp
- Recommended for ages 3-6 http://resources.kaboose.com/games/read1.html
- Recommended for ages 6 and up http://resources.kaboose.com/games/read2.html
- Reading and Typing Skills http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/reading-games.htm
While the above activities are fun for reading reinforcement, make sure to keep your kids motivated to read actual books.
• Have children read books with their favorite characters (Dora the Explorer, Curious George) and get interested in series books (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Babysitter’s Club).
• If you child wants to see a popular movie based on a book, have them read the book first, with the movie being the reward.
• Provide incentive such as star charts (i.e. if they read for 30 minutes a day for two weeks straight, they get a small prize), or participate in existing incentive reading programs set up at the local library or school.
• Have family reading time. Everyone can grab their favorite place to rest in the living room and read a book for an allotted amount of time.
• Host a mini book club for a group of their friends. Everyone reads the book and then gets to come to a book club party. At the party, the group can discuss the book, watch the movie version , pretend to be their favorite character, or just enjoy the party as a reward for reading.