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 Ways to Create a Family Reading Tradition

family reading traditions

Reading together as a family is a great way to encourage your child’s literacy development, build closer bonds, and create beautiful lifelong memories. So whether it’s a regular weekend activity or an annual event that includes the grandparents, here are five ways you can establish a family reading tradition and start creating fond reading memories for you and your child.

1. Establish a dedicated reading area

It doesn’t have to be an entire room – you can establish a regular reading area in an armchair, on the living room sofa, or on top of a couple of beanbags huddled in a corner. Keep your reading area simple and functional, with a few shelves for books, comfortable seats and good lighting. A dedicated reading area for your family will make the reading experience feel comforting and familiar for your child.

2. Choose a regular reading time

Traditions are all about creating regular rituals to engage in again and again. The best way to create a family reading tradition is to do it around the same time, every time, whether it’s daily, weekly or even monthly. You might choose to read together on a family picnic every Sunday during the summer, or first thing in the morning on the first day of each month. Remember, one-on-one reading time should be more regular than those occasions where the whole family sits down to read.

3. Create a family book tree

A family book tree is the perfect way to encourage your family to read together and look forward to reading throughout the week. Take a large sheet of construction paper and cut out the shape of a tree, including some branches. Invite the whole family to decorate the tree with the words ‘My Family Book Tree’, and hang it up on a convenient wall near your usual reading area. As your family reads through different books, add a leaf for every book read.

4. Invite grandparents to create their own traditions

If your child is lucky enough to have grandparents in their life, encourage them to have their own reading traditions together. Have your child’s grandparents introduce special books that are only read when they’re together. Another great idea is to find books that are relevant to your grandparents’ lives. If your child’s grandparent was a gardener, help them find books about gardening, plants or flowers. This provides a great opportunity for bonding, and opens up conversations between your child and their grandparent.

5. Read family classics every holiday

Do you have any books that have become family classics? Choose a meaningful time each year to revisit your best-loved literary treasures with the whole family. Special books can be turned into annual reading traditions for birthdays, Christmases, Halloweens, or even saved as a special surprise for your child’s graduation day.

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 with a free trial of Reading Eggs today.

Travelling with Kids: Reading Games for the Road

car reading games

Holidaying with kids can be lots of fun – but the actual travelling part of it can be far from it! Children can often get bored and restless on long car rides, but luckily, there are some ways you can keep them entertained, all while building important reading skills.

Play ‘I Spy’: This classic car journey game is perfect for helping your child with phonics (i.e. developing an ear for sounds). Pay attention to your surroundings and take turns giving clues about an object you have spotted. For example, “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with mmm.

Sound Lotto: Developing strong listening skills is important for your child’s reading skills too. Make a list of the sounds you expect to hear on your travels, such as trucks, motorbikes, laughter, high winds, or a particular instrument in a song played on the radio. Each time someone hears the sound, they can shout ‘Bingo!’ Older children can play a more sophisticated version using the sounds in certain words.

Find a word that starts with the letter…: Word games help your child think about word structures and increase your child’s awareness of letters and sounds. Take a few minutes to search for words that begin with a particular letter, such as ‘B’. Kick the game off by giving your children a few examples, such as ‘barn’ or ‘baby’ and ask them to find more.

Make time for rhymes: Rhyming is a powerful way to develop phonological awareness. You can start off by taking your child’s first name and match it with words that rhyme. Then take turns finding other things you come across and coming up with words that rhyme with these too.

Put things into categories: Vocabulary is one of the five essential components of reading instruction. Pick a theme such as ‘red’ or ‘animals’ and have every family member find ten words that fall under this category. This game will aid in your child’s vocabulary development after they eventually hear someone’s suggestion and ask, “What does that word mean?”.

Licence plates and signs: Go on a letter hunt and have your child spell a word that they know, such as their first name. Start by trying to find the first letter on licence plates or road signs. “The first letter in your name is ‘S’, can you find a licence plate or sign with an ‘S’ on it”, and so on.

What would you do if…:  This game is a great way to spend your time together and get to know how your children think. It also uses the same processes of comprehension, analysis and expression applied when children are reading. Think of interesting scenarios and ask your child what they would do in that situation. For example, “What would you do if you discovered hidden treasure?” or “What would you do if you got lost in the shopping mall?” You can also stock up on riddle or joke books, or some educational apps on your phone or tablet device to give your child some positive educational screen time on your travels.

Do you have any other fun games you play with your children while travelling?

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning online reading program for children aged 3-13. With a comprehensive range of self-paced lessons and activities, the program is a highly interactive and fun way to build your child’s reading skills.Start your free 2 week trial today.

5 Fun Easter Activities to Help Your Child’s Reading

easter reading activities

Easter is a great time to get crafty and creative with your kids, and you can do it while building important literacy skills too.

To help you celebrate, we’ve put together some fun and easy activities to inspire some reading and writing fun this Easter. Plus, don’t forget to download your FREE Easter activities to practice important sight words with your children.

1. The Easter Hunt

The classic Easter hunt is a fantastic opportunity to practice reading and comprehension skills. Hide your Easter eggs around the house or in the garden. Write some fun clues on a piece of paper, for example, “I’m bound to get wet in the place I’m hiding” (shower, sink, near the hose), “You might find me admiring my reflection” (by the mirror), or “Flowery and green is where I can be seen” (plants).

Hand out your written clues to your egg hunters and encourage them to help each other read and decipher each one. You can also print out our Reading Eggs Egg Hunt activity sheet.

2. Fun with Easter Puns

Experiment with words that begin with the ‘ex’ letter combination and sound like ‘eggs’ in words like ‘eggs-cited’, ‘eggs-plode’ and ‘eggs-perts’. Provide a large, egg-shaped sheet of paper. Have your child turn it into a character based on their preferred ‘ex’ word (e.g. “Mr Eggs-pensive” or “Ms Eggs-pert) by using crayons and other craft material to create a face, hairstyle and outfit that matches their ‘ex’ word.

For example, “Mrs Eggs-pert” might be wearing glasses, holding a book and sporting an academic dress. “Mr Eggs-pensive” might be wearing expensive jewellery and driving in a fancy car. Let your child create their egg puns and use their imagination to invent quirky new characters.

3. “When I think of Easter” Poem

Encourage your child to sit down and think about all of the things they associate with Easter, such as eggs, the Easter Bunny and hot cross buns. Write a poem titled “When I think of Easter”, made up of three stanzas that include six lines each. Write the beginning of each line for your child and have them fill in the end by inserting specific words.

Begin the first line for your child with ‘When I think of Easter, I think of’ and have them write two special features of Easter. Then begin the following lines with prompts such as ‘I see’, ‘I feel’, ‘I pretend’, ‘I wonder’, ‘I try’ and so on. Close the poem by repeating the first line.

For younger children, try writing an acrostic poem by putting the letters in ‘Easter’ down the side of the page. Then go back to each letter and have your child write a word, phrase or sentence that begins with that letter to describe Easter.

4. Hatch and match

Here’s one for preschoolers. Draw several medium, egg-shaped ovals on a large sheet of paper. In each oval, draw a zigzagged line in the middle to create a crack. On one side of each egg, write an upper case letter and on the other side, write the corresponding lower case letter. Cut each egg half out and scramble your eggs. Have your child pair each upper case and lower case letter. You can also download our Reading Eggs alphabet and sight words activity sheets.

For older children, you can mix and match compound words such as ‘armchair’, ‘barnyard’, ‘nothing’, ‘racehorse’, ‘milestone’, ‘toothbrush’ and ‘wheelchair’.

5. DIY Easter Wreath

Take some sheets of construction paper and create eggs by folding the paper then cutting out an egg shape. Make sure to keep one side folded so that the eggs can open like a greeting card. Then cut out a sizeable ‘wreath’ using a sheet of green construction paper.

Inside each egg, have your child write an Easter wish such as ‘Help a friend’, ‘Talk to grandma’ or ‘Make hot cross buns’. Decorate the front of each egg using crayons, magazine clippings or glitter. Attach the eggs to your wreath and hang it up on the wall.

Happy Easter from the Reading Eggs Team!

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning online reading program for children aged 3 to 13. With a comprehensive range of self-paced lessons and activities, the program is a highly interactive and fun way to build your child’s reading skills. Start your free trial today.

6 Fun Ways to Keep Your Child Reading Over the Holidays

School kids

The school holidays can be a tricky time to convince your child to continue with their regular reading schedule. But practising their reading doesn’t have to mean sitting still at the table and reading a book they don’t like until the timer goes off. Here are some ways you can keep your child reading and having fun over the school holidays.

1. Create ‘DEAR’ times at home. DEAR stands for ‘Drop Everything and Read’ and is implemented in many schools and classrooms. It’s simple: during DEAR time everybody in the house must drop what they’re doing and read. Plan how much DEAR time you would like to designate and for when, but keep it to yourself in order to create a sense of excitement and spontaneity, similar to announcing a special treat.

2. Take part in story times at your local library. Many libraries host story time sessions or reading groups for different ages. It’s a great way for your child to read and talk about new books with others their own age and to view reading as an enjoyable activity that can be shared. If you can’t find any in your local area, get together with your neighbours, friends or relatives to host a weekly reading session at each other’s houses.

3. Let your child show off their reading skills to relatives. The holidays are a great time to get together with distant relatives, and it’s always exciting when they come around to visit! Set aside some time for your child to show off their new reading skills to relatives by encouraging them to read them a story they might like or retell one of their most beloved tales from memory. Most children love being the focus of attention, and grandparents are usually more than happy to encourage their progress.

4. Read and talk about books in the car. Lengthy car-trips are a hallmark of the school holidays and are a perfect time for the family to enjoy having long chats together. Read a new and interesting book together the day before you leave and encourage your child to talk about what happened in the story. Ask reading comprehension questions like, “How did the story start?”, “Who was your favourite character and why?” and “How did the story make you feel and why?”

5. Write a special holiday reading list. Create a list of at least 5 books for your child to read each week over the holidays. Let them choose their books in advance and write down the list together. Display the list on the fridge and cross off each book once they have been completed. You can create some incentives by rewarding a prize for each book completed per week.

6. Cook holiday meals together and let them read out the ingredients. Cook and prepare your holidays meals together and let your child read out the ingredients and quantities for you. It will also be a great way to learn measurements and temperatures, and shows them just how useful reading can be for making their favourite foods!

Do you have other helpful tips on how to motivate your child to read over the holidays? What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in getting your child to read during academic downtimes?

Reading Eggs is the comprehensive online reading program for young learners aged 3-13. With hundreds of guided reading lessons, thousands of fun activities and over 2000 children’s e-books, Reading Eggs is the perfect way to keep your child learning, reading, and having fun over the school holidays. Try it today with a free two week trial