Reading and writing are powerful skills to have, and set the stage for a wealth of learning opportunities. They give children the chance to let their imaginations run wild and open the door for them to ask questions, learn and discover!
We know that children learn at different paces and absorb information in different ways, and that’s where having a variety of fun reading activities comes in handy. Whether it’s encouraging a child to read an amazing adventure or setting up fun games where they don’t even realise they’re reading, we have you covered!
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Reading activities for EYFS
You’re never too young to start reading activities. Some professionals even believe that speaking and reading to babies whilst still in the womb has its benefits!
Nursery rhyme time
Songs can go a long way when it comes to language. For the youngest children, it’s a fun way to encourage them to join in and develop their listening skills. Using props, books or actions along with singing songs can also help children relate the words to physical objects.
As children become a little older, songs are the perfect opportunity to explore rhyming. Encourage children to finish the second line of the song by pausing and waiting for them to fill in the gaps; you’re sure to see the excitement on their faces as they realise they know what’s missing!
Letter ball pit
Who doesn’t love a ball pit? Probably not the people who clean them out at the end of soft play sessions, but we know kids love them! This activity not only focuses on letter recognition but also on hand-eye coordination.
What you’ll need:
- A ball pit or deep tray
- 12 plastic balls
- 12 white sticky labels
- A muffin tray
- A permanent marker
- A Large spoon or scoop
Write out a variety of letters on 12 balls, and then write the same letters on 12 labels to put in the muffin tray. Add the letter balls in with normal ones; then, give your child a large spoon and challenge them to find the ones with the letters and scoop them out. They can then try to match them with the letters in the muffin tray.
Act out a story
Give children the choice of a ‘Story of the Week’. Once this has been decided, find a quiet time in the day to read it together. Then, along with your child’s help, find ways to recreate the story.
For example, if you read ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, you could go for a walk through the local woods and play out the actions in the story. You could go as far as wellies and puddle suits and splash in big puddles or small streams. After reading the story, it’ll feel like a real adventure!
Reading activities for KS1
At this stage, children can really start to enjoy reading themselves and discovering books. As they learn to read and write, this will also create opportunities to have a lot of fun!
If there’s a book your child’s class has been reading together, you could take the opportunity to create your own quiz — only this time, it’s the children making up the questions!
Ask each child to write down a question related to the book on a piece of paper. Then, gather them all together to create a fun quiz for everyone to join in with. If you’re at home, take it in turns to write out a question and ask one another.
Ready, steady, cook!
Find or create a simple recipe for children to follow, such as making a sandwich or your own pizza (you can use pre-made bases for this one). Leave the ingredients somewhere accessible, along with the recipe, and let them get to work.
Remember, of course, that supervision is a must when working with knives or ovens!
This sort of activity is great for promoting reading skills in a fun, engaging way — and there’s also a real sense of achievement when they’ve created something delicious!
Reading activities for KS2
When we think about reading with children, it can almost be an automatic reaction to reach for fiction. However, you may find that some children engage more with factual books where their curiosity thrives and questions are answered.
Fun fact sheet
Spend a few weeks exploring a topic of your child’s choice, or one that supports your in-class teaching, through books, films and any other creative means you like.
Once you reach a point in the topic where you feel children know quite a bit about it, encourage them to create their own fantastic fact sheet or poster (the more colourful, the better!).
Finally, encourage them to display their work for others to see. If you’re in school, it’ll be a great opportunity for kids to learn from each other, as everyone will come up with different ideas.
Why leave all the fun to the authors… Let’s encourage children to do the storytelling themselves! This can be completely open to each individual child’s imagination, or you could give each child a title to spark their imagination and leave the rest up to them.
Before you get started, it’s a good idea to break down the process of writing a story, such as having a beginning, middle and end. Then, encourage them to create a plan for the story, including characters, plot and timeline.
Finally, let them run wild with their pens and paper and see what fantastic stories emerge!
With thousands of interactive exercises exploring reading and writing, DoodleEnglish is the perfect way to build your child or pupils’ reading skills and bring their learning to life.
Designed to be used for 10 minutes a day, it can be used offline on tablets or mobiles, making it ideal for even the busiest of schedules.
And best of all, you can try it for free!
And there you have it! Whatever type of activity you decide on, you can be sure that it’ll be fueling each child’s imagination and communication skills.
Most importantly, the power of writing can be really inspirational for children — and the thrill of a gripping story can stay with you for a lifetime.
Finally, for even more fun ways to enhance your child’s reading, don’t forget to give DoodleEnglish a try! It’s aligned to the national curriculum and is filled with thousands of fun, interactive exercises, helping them to master their reading and writing.