With 24 hours in a day, 15 minutes seems so insignificant. But these 15 minutes added up over the course of a year equals 5,475 minutes. That’s over 91 hours! In the first five years of your child’s life, that equates to 456 hours. Those 15 minutes don’t seem so insignificant anymore, especially when readaloud.org shared that by spending those 15 minutes reading aloud to your child, you are doing the single best thing to prepare them for reading and learning.
Not sure what to do with 15 minutes dedicated to reading? We are here to help with fun reading activities and pre-reading activities that you can do at home with your child.
Many of these activities will help children with learning their letters and letter sounds before kindergarten, so here are a few of our favorite alphabet books to read out loud before you play:
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
- The Z was Zapped
- Construction Alphabet
- Dr. Seuss’s ABC
- LMNO Peas
You can also visit any of the Osceola County Libraries to check out what other alphabet books they have available. They even have weekly reading programs for the community that always include fun activities for the kids!
Read one of the alphabet books, then grab some letter manipulatives! Whether they come from a puzzle, magnets from the fridge, or written on paper and cut out, having hands-on experience with the alphabet will help children recognize and name the letters. Ask your child to name each letter as they sort them into different groups, such as does it have a hole (like A) or no hole (like Y), or simply dividing by color.
Take your reading activity outside! Use sidewalk chalk to write the alphabet in the shape of a circle and you will have countless activities that will engage your child. What can you do with a simple circle?
- Pair the letters with your letter manipulatives from the alphabet sort activity
- Call out a letter and they run to stomp on it
- Once they know letter sounds, pair with a phonetic object
- Have them sit on a letter while you read aloud, practicing staying still (We promise their future teachers will love you for this one!)
Practicing with Playdough
Pick a new alphabet book to read aloud with your child and then break out the playdough! Let them use the letters in the book as an example while they make the letters out of playdough. Want to make it a little extra special and messy? Make your own! Here is a recipe.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup salt
- 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
- Gallon-sized bag
Stir together flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large pot. Next, add the water and oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball. Remove from heat and place inside a gallon-sized bag or onto wax paper. Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth. Once it’s all mixed together you’re ready to play.
Store the playdough inside the bag once done to keep soft. Keeps for up to three months.
Reading isn’t Quiet Time
As you’re reading, engage with the story through conversation. These are the moments they will remember and will help instill a love of reading and learning! Talking about books also helps with their reading comprehension skills. Are you unsure of where to start when asking questions about books? Here are some question stems you can write on popsicle sticks to pull from (make it a game). You may be surprised how insightful their answers can be!
- What does this illustration show?
- How are you like … (character)?
- How would you react to … (the problem)?
- What is another way they can try to solve the problem?
- How would you feel if …?
- Did you learn anything from the character?
Have 15 minutes to read with your child, but don’t have a book handy? You can always log on to Footsteps2Brilliance and read aloud a book from their library!
Do you have other reading activities for preschoolers that you would like to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe you will see your idea in an upcoming blog or on our social channels!