Do you remember learning to read? I do …
nostalgic music strumming …
I was aching to learn to read. My big brother knew how. My big sis did too. But poor little Sarah was just not old enough. Or so she was told. However, across the street lived a retired teacher, who as it turns out, was aching to teach a young, sweet, and clever (ahem) child the ins and outs of learning to read. And so she did, and my life was never again the same.
Dramatic? Yes. But true all the same. Learning to read is HUGE and opens so many brand new doors.
The summer break is a great time to practice reading. It gives little ones a chance to learn at their own pace, and gives them a chance to learn in fun and engaging ways that may not be possible with lots of kids in a classroom.
Of course, one of the very best ways to teach children to read is to read aloud to them. I wrote a ton about that in this post on reading aloud.
Along with that, little ones must know letters, sounds, and the seven phonological awareness skills – all of which are neatly arranged for you in my eBook: Play into Reading Readiness.
Another great way to learn to read is to practice word families and sight words. This is the section my book finishes with, but I thought I would share some fun ideas here as well:
I hope you find some ideas that are just right for you and your little ones.
Stepping Up the Reading – This has been a big hit at our house recently! Perfect for practicing reading inside on hot summer days.
Teaching Word Families with Ping Pong Balls from Fun-A-Day – Use ping pong balls to make word families. They can be placed on golf tees or tossed back and forth while creating words.
Sight Word Stackers from JDaniel4’s Mom – A fun word game to play inside or out this summer!
Sight Word Soccer from Coffee Cups and Crayons – Kids can lick the ball around the backyard, reading words as they pass the cones.
Water Balloon Sight Words from Royal Bal00 – Grab the water balloons and help the kids learn to read! They can toss the words back and forth, or even read the words and break the balloons.
Twister Sight Words from A Mom with a Lesson Plan – What a fun and simple word game to play this summer! Set up your own game of twister based on words the kids are learning.
Pool Noodle Build a Word from The Educators’ Spin On It – Use cut up pool noodles to help children explore words and word families. Add the pool noodle letters to the pool for even more wordy fun.
Word Family Slam from Toddler Approved – A bouncy ball word game that can be set up in the living room or in the backyard. Simple, fun, and engaging reading activity to try this summer.
Sight Word Hopscotch from Mom to 2 Posh L’il Divas – Turn a classic chalk game into a quick reading lesson.
Sight Word Excavation from Mom Inspired Life – A fun way to cool down this summer. Children can explore melting ice while they practice making words.
Star Wars Word Run from The Pleasantest Thing – Mix sidewalk chalk, Star Wars, and early reading skills for one fun game the kids can play in the driveway.
Car Sight Word Knock-Down from Hands On As We Grow – Put those remote control cars and trucks to work with a knock-’em-down reading game.
Sight Word Swim Game from Coffee Cups and Crayons – Add sight word games to all the pool trips that are sure to happen this summer.
Summer Sight Word Game with Shells from The Educators’ Spin On It – Turn craft shells, or those from a recent beach trip, into a simple sight word game. A great addition to the sandbox or a sandy sensory bin on the back porch.
Sidewalk Chalk Sight Words Game from This Reading Mama – Have the kids grab their bikes and set up a word game for them to ride over. This is easily customized depending on what words or skills the kids are working on.
Word Building Travel Kit from I Heart Crafty Things – What an amazing idea for summer traveling! Grab a fun lunch box and magnetic letters, and then let the word building begin.
Word Family Dice from Playdough to Plato – Explore how word families work with these homemade dice. Great for playing inside on stormy summer days.
Water a Sight Word Garden from Mom to 2 Posh L’il Divas – Kids can help draw a beautiful chalk garden full of words they’re learning. Then let them wash it away as they read.
Great Day for Up Reading Game from Growing Book by Book – Use balloons to explore sight words and word families this summer.
Fire Hose Fact Practice from Coffee Cups and Crayons – Little fire fighters will get a kick out of hosing down words as they practice reading in the backyard.
We are still aiming for three or four structured activities a week this summer – and so far it seems to be just the right amount. Loads of time for my little guys to run, play, and explore, while still getting in some of the added structure for those skills I’d like to strengthen.
We have been having a fairly smooth summer and settling into a really nice rhythm. It took us a little while but we seem to be just about there.
All except that hour before dinner time … But that is no mans land after all.
I hope your summer is going well too friends, thank you for reading.