Tag Archives: kindergarten

10 Fun Ways to Get Kids Ready to Read

It’s back to school time, and the time of the year when parents are most prone to worrying about what their kids can and cannot do.  If reading is a skill on your child’s horizon (or just a fairly new skill), here’s some fun ways to help make it easier.

  • Cut some paper into strips and write a letter on each one.  Put a piece of tape or a sticker on top of each and ask your child to stick them to things that start with that letter.  You may want to save tricky letters like Q or X for later!
  • Dictate lists and letters.  Put your child in charge of writing up the grocery list or making up a wish list.  Help her write a letter to Grandma or a thank you note.  You can even help her write down her songs, dreams, stories or poems.  Don’t worry about over-correcting backwards letters or crazy lines.  Right now, the goal is to make it something she loves to do.  Provide fun, colorful pens and paper to make it even more enticing.
  • Play letter toss.  Draw a large chalk grid (of anywhere from 9 to 20 squares) on the driveway or basement floor.  Write a common letter in each square.  Find a bean bag or make one by filling a child’s sock with dried rice or beans and tying it.  Now take turns tossing the bean bag onto the grid and saying the letter name, the sound it makes and a word that starts with it.  Make it trickier by saying a word that ends with the letter if you want to make it harder.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt like this and fill your list with lots of letters and easy words.
  • Read Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.  Lots.  This was the single best book for all of my kids to learn to read.  Dr. Seuss did such a great job of showing how letters work with this fun book.  The words are large and change just a little bit, easily showing children how letters make up words in a totally funny way.
  • Play rhyming games.  Rhymes help children form mental connections that help them read.  Take turns making up sets of rhymes while you’re in the car, make up silly poems together and so on.
  • Make alphabet books and use them for games together.
  • Play this game, courtesy of Magical Mama Tiffany: Here’s something fun we did here. We called it "treasure hunt."  I hid a piece of candy under a hat.  I used  stickers with short words written on them as clues.  I would put the wrong sticker on the item, eg, a CUP might have the word MAP on it.  She had to read the word, find the correct place to stick the sticker.  On that item would be another sticker etc. etc.  She followed the "clues" until finding the HAT with the candy under it!!  It was great fun and she had no idea she was reading!!!  She keeps begging to do it again!!!!!
  • Read, read, read together.  Take time sometimes to trace words as you read them but don’t get caught up in teaching and take the fun out of reading.  Books should be a fabulous treat, a source of fun and together time and neat stuff.  Keep it fun and every book you read together will help make it easier for him to learn to do it on his own.
  • Be patient.  Children develop their skills on their own timetables.  Little ones learn to walk, talk, potty train, ride a bike, read and all of the other milestones at their own unique times and it has no bearing on how well they eventually do these things.  Trying to teach a child anything before he’s ready just frustrates everybody and takes the joy out of something inherently joyful.  Believe in your child and make it easier for him.  In the meantime, model the joy of reading and just have fun!


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Bread Making for Four Year-Olds (and Over!)

A four year-old made this bread!  Head on over to Steamy Kitchen for the directions for her delicious looking no-knead bread.  Magical Mama Claire tried it and proclaimed:

"You guys, this is so totally easy and fun and YUM!  Ya gotta try it!"

My girls and I are headed to a children’s writing workshop in the morning but tomorrow night I am definitely going to try a batch. 

Maybe I should make it with my boys.  They’re 2 and 6 so they’d average out to four…..

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