Activities for Home

Here are some extra activities that you can enjoy with your child at home to help prepare him/her learn to read. Enjoy!

1.   Now You Hear It, Now You Don't - You will need a list of words with two parts, like baseball, raincoat, sunshine, and motorcycle.  Sit beside your child. Tell the child that you will say a word and then you will leave off part of the word. Ask your child to tell you what part you left off.  For example, tell the child, "Let's say sunshine without sun; what part is left?  

2.  Same Sounds Game – You will need a set of index cards or pieces of paper on which you've written a few capital letters of the alphabet--one letter on each card. Make another set with the same letters. Start with 8 to 10 letters. Add more letters as your child learns more.  Mix up the alphabet cards and place them face down on the table.  Tell your child, "We're going to play a game in which you try to find two of the same sounds. When you find two that are the same and you say the sound, you get to pick up the cards.  Your child turns over one card and says the sound, then picks a second card and says the sound. If they are the same, your child gets to keep the cards. Then your child gets to pick two more cards. If the cards are not the same, turn the cards face down and have your child try again.

3. Letter-Sound Grab Bag – You will need a set of cards on which you've written some letters of the alphabet, (Start with just a few letters; add more letters as your child learns more.) a small paper bag, and  timer or watch with a second hand.  Put a few letters having sounds your child knows into a paper bag. Tell your child that you want to see how many sounds he or she can name in one minute. When you say Start, your child will reach into the bag and pull out one card and say the sound and then reach in to get another. He or she will keep picking out the cards until you say Stop. If your child does not know a sound, tell it to them, and have them put it back in the bag.  At the end of the minute, count the number of sounds your child named correctly.

4.  I Spy - Make an "I Spy" game out of finding print that your child recognizes in newspaper advertisements, on billboards, and during trips in the car or walks down a city street. 

5.  Making Birthday Cards - Encourage your child to make birthday cards, lists, and signs as part of playtime. Let him or her independently explore how to do it, but provide gentle assistance when asked. Don't worry about what your child actually writes…letters, scribbles, or pictures are all fine.

6.  Picture Play – You will need a story that has pictures on each page and a piece of paper to cover the pictures.  Select a good story with colorful pictures. Cover the picture on the first page and read the page. Stop reading at the end of the page. Ask your child to tell you what the page was about. Then ask your child to guess what the picture will show. Show the picture and talk   about it. Then go to the next page and play "Picture Play" again.

7.  Rhyme Time - Think of words that rhyme. Say two words that rhyme, such as cat and hat. Then say, "Listen to these two words that rhyme, cat (pause) hat." Then say, "Now I'm going to say other  words that rhyme with cat and hat. Here's another one, rat. Now you tell me another word that rhymes with cat, hat, and rat (such as fat)." Repeat this game with other words that rhyme.

8.  I'm Thinking of a Sound – You will need the names of objects. Say to your child, "I'm thinking of the sound    sssss as in sat. Can you tell me another word that begins with sssss?" Your child names one word. "Can you tell me another word that begins with sssss?" Repeat this game using different sounds.

9.  Words I've Heard and Silly Words - Sit beside your child. Put the three containers in front of you. Place      vowels in the middle container. Put consonants in the first and last containers. Tell your child, "We're going to       make words using letters in these containers. Some will be words you've heard, and some will be silly words. I'll    show you how to make a word." Pick a letter from the first container and say its sound (for example, t). Pick a letter from the next container (for example, i). Pick a letter from the last container (for example, g). Now, I'll put the sounds together, tttiiig. The word is tig. Ask your child, "Is that a word you've heard or is that a silly word?"

10.  Your Story Ending – You will need a story your child does not already know and a pencil and paper.  Read the story to your child. When you are close to the end of the story, stop reading. Ask your child how he or she would complete the story. Let your child say the words to you as you write the ending. Then finish reading the story. Talk about how the story's ending and your child's ending for it are different or the same.