10 Fun Holiday Reading Activities for Kids

Holiday Reading Activities for Kids

The holiday season is known to cause a pronounced dip – or ‘slide’ – in children’s reading skills. With an abundance of distractions and a shake-up of routine, getting your child to read over the festive season can be a great challenge as a parent.

But with a bit of thought and preparation, the holidays can actually be the perfect time to enjoy fun and meaningful family activities based around books and reading. Here are some great holiday ideas to keep the magic of reading alive at home.

1. Pair books with day trips – The night before you visit a museum, landmark, or special exhibition, find books and websites to read with your child to help plan your trip together.

2. Create a holiday reading list – Take a trip to the library and put together a list of books your child would like to read during the holidays. Display the list somewhere you’ll see every day, like on the refrigerator, and reward your child with something small each time they check off a new title.

3. Make ‘DEAR’ time fun time – DEAR stands for ‘Drop Everything and Read’, where everybody in the house must drop what they’re doing and read a book. Make it spontaneous and exciting, similar to announcing a special treat!

4. Read to relatives – Encourage your child to show off their new reading skills to grandparents or relatives by reading them a story. Most children love being the focus of attention, and grandparents are usually more than happy to encourage their progress.

5. Follow a recipe – Cooking together is so much fun over the holidays and provides a great opportunity for your child to read out the ingredients and steps. Afterwards, help them write a menu for guests and family members, using as many descriptive words as they can.

6. Create a family book tree – Cut out the shape of a tree from a large sheet of construction paper and invite the whole family to decorate it, adding the words ‘My Family Book Tree’. Hang up your tree near your usual reading area, and as each person reads a book they can write down the title and add a new leaf.

7. Re-enact stories and perform them for relatives – Choose a well-loved story with fun and interesting characters and re-enact it from beginning to end. Prepare some props and perform your story as a family for relatives when they come to visit. Here are some great tips for raising a reader through dramatic play.

8. Start a reading circle with some friends – Host a weekly reading circle at your house and invite your child’s friends and family to join in. They can take turns choosing which books to read together each week.

9. Play fun literacy games on long car trips – If you’re planning a long road trip during the holidays, games like ‘I Spy’ and simple category games can be great for building essential literacy skills. Don’t forget to also stock up on good books for the road!

10. Mix things up with joke books and comic books – Encouraging your child to read a variety of texts is great for setting them up to become lifelong readers. Choose books you know they’ll love and don’t be afraid to experiment with joke books, riddles and comic books, which all offer their own unique benefits to young readers.

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning online reading program that children love! With hundreds of guided reading lessons, fun games, lovable characters and exciting rewards, inspire your child’s love of reading this holiday with a free trial of Reading Eggs today.

 

5 Fun Christmas Activities That Build Important Literacy Skills

iStock_000018307007_Large

The festive season is the perfect time to rummage through the old stationary drawer, pull out some glue sticks, scissors and pencils, and get creative!

Christmas is a great opportunity to celebrate with fun, hands-on and educational activities to keep those creative juices flowing over the holiday break. The Reading Eggs Team have put together a list of some of our best-loved holiday activity ideas designed to keep your child entertained and practicing important literacy skills, while getting right into the festive spirit. Enjoy!

1. A Christmas Poem

Get your child to brainstorm things that remind them of Christmas. Encourage them to think about items, animals, foods, activities and emotions (e.g. excitement, surprise, happiness). Once they’ve thought up a good list of Christmas-related things, help them compose a two-verse poem, verse one beginning with the words “It’s Christmas outside when…” followed by some descriptive sentences, and the second verse beginning with “It’s Christmas at home when…” followed by more sentences.

2. Create a Christmas Scrapbook

Flip through newspapers, catalogues and magazines together and find things that remind you of Christmas to paste into a Christmas scrapbook. You can add your own drawings and family photos too! Get your child to label each of the things they have included in their scrapbook and encourage them to write the words clearly. For example, if you choose a photo of snow, have them write “This is snow.” as a caption. Say the words aloud or show them how to write certain words first if they need some extra help.

3. Write to Santa

Let your child practice their letter writing by reviving this traditional Christmas pastime! Get your child to draft a wish list in proper letter form, complete with a date, salutation, a body paragraph, closing note and a signature. You can even get them to personalise the letter with information about themselves and how good they’ve been in the past year.

4. Santa Claus Alliteration

Alliterations are literary devices that children are expected to learn and recognise by the fourth grade. Just in case you’ve forgotten, alliteration is the repetition of the same sounds or the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words, a common feature in tongue twisters (e.g. Peter’s piglet pranced proudly).

Have your child divide a piece of paper into three sections lengthwise. In the first column, write the heading “What Santa looks like”, in the second, write “What Santa does” and in the third “What Santa likes.” Brainstorm some descriptions for each column and work together with your child to come up with some silly, fun and nonsensical words that begin with the same letter or sound (e.g. “Santa sometimes steals soft socks to step into snowy streets”).

5. Santa Claus Adjectives

Imagine that you and your child have to explain who Santa Claus is to an alien! Encourage them to think of as many adjectives (describing words) as they can and get them to write a list of words to best explain who Santa Claus is. Discuss what an adjective means with your child first and ask them to point out examples in a paragraph or storybook beforehand.

Do you have any fun Christmas activity ideas? Share them with us in the comments below.

Happy holidays from the Reading Eggs Team!