20 Reading Activities To Do On The Go

Summer has arrived!

Two months of freedom = no homework, sleeping in, family vacations.

However, as a teacher, I know all about the dreaded summer slide.

The summer slide is basically the academic regression children have as a result of their two months of fun in the sun.

So how can we avoid that?

You might be thinking I’m going to say send your kid to summer school or get them a tutor. Well, I’m not. While those things do certainly benefit some children, I really shy away from jumping straight to it.

7 years as a teacher has really changed my teaching philosophy.

Our school systems and society, in general, have very high expectations for such young minds.

On one hand, I question the level of academic rigor we impose on six-year-olds.

While on the other hand, I know there’s good research behind the curriculums and guidelines we use.

So where does that leave us?

It leaves us with our students caught in the middle.

So how can we find a happy medium?

We should aim to foster good, complex thinking that encourages healthy, enjoyable learning.

As a mom, I want my son to be inquisitive and seek out answers. I want him to ask questions and try his best because he wants to learn.

One way to do this is to show him that the world around us is full out information just waiting to be grasped!

In this post, I’ll be sharing different reading activities you can do to foster your child’s reading skills at home. Many of them are great activities to do while running errands, hanging at the beach, or exploring new cities!

20 Reading Activities to do on the go

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20 Free and Easy Reading Activities

1. What’s that sound?

See if your child can identify the beginning sound of words. (ex. What’s the first sound in “ball?” /b/)

2. Letter or Word Hunt

Choose a letter or word for the day. While out on errands, have your child look for that word or letter (ex. Store signs, street signs, products, etc). Bonus: incorporate math by having your child keep a tally throughout the day.

3. Find things that start with ____

Choose a letter or sound (ex. /ch/) to focus on for the day. Keep a list of things your child finds with things that start with that letter or sound. As they get older, you could have them bring a notebook to practice writing the words they find.

4. List words that start with ____

You can play this game while driving, washing dishes, or walking the dog. See how many words you can think of together that start with the same letter or sound.

5. A-Z List

Choose a topic and work together to think of a list of items ranging from A-Z. Animals – alligator, bear, cat, dog, elephant, frog…

6. How many syllables?

Create a list of words that have a certain number of syllables. Or challenge your child to discover a word with the highest number of syllables. This will help them practice breaking up words into parts while also expanding their vocabulary as they try to learn new words.

7. Rhyming words

Give your child a word and have them think of other words that rhyme. Challenge them by going back and forth until someone gets stumped.

8. I spy

Change up the classic “I Spy” game by using clues such as sounds, syllables, or sound spellings.
I spy something that begins with the letter h. Or I spy something that starts with the /k/ sound. Or I spy something with three syllables.

9. Summer reading programs

Many libraries and bookstores have summer reading programs to encourage families to read. You could also set up your own program for your family, encouraging your children to read a certain number of books or to read for so many minutes a day. Create a chart to monitor their progress towards the goal! Don’t forget to establish a fun way to celebrate once they meet the goal (ex. Beach day, pool party, sleepover, ice cream sundaes).

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10. SURF

SURF stands for Silent, Uninterrupted Reading for Fun. Have your child pick books, find a cozy spot, and just read. Set a timer and explain that everyone’s going to read silently until the timer goes off (this means you need to read, too). Slowly increase the time as your child’s stamina grows.

11. Readers theater

Expecting a visit from the grandparents? Hosting a readers theater is a fun way to have your child build their reading fluency. Have your child choose a story to perform. Spend a few days practicing reading that story (or section of a story) with expression. Encourage the use of different voices for each character. You could even split the piece up for different readers to participate. Record their progress as they practice and their final performance.

12. Read-aloud

My students LOVE our daily read-aloud time. I spend about 10 minutes reading a chapter from our current Magic Tree House book. It allows them to hear what fluent reading sounds like while fostering their love for reading. You can incorporate read-alouds as part of your routine right after dinner or just before a nap or bedtime.

13. Partner Reading

A common misconception is that children need to read independently to truly practice their skills. While this is important, children also benefit from following along while you read to them. It also provides an opportunity for them to mimic your fluent reading.

14. Write a Book

Summer is a great time to make new memories! Use the opportunity to create a book to document all of your fun adventures. Pro tip: digitize your child’s work by having it printed as a photo book (Costco is my favorite site to create photo books).

15. Pen Pals

In a world full of technology, handwritten letters are becoming a thing of the past. However, writing letters to a pen pal is a great activity to help develop your child’s reading and writing skills.

16. Closed Captioning

Turn on the closed captioning whenever your child watches their favorite show. Pro tip: if your children are older, mute the volume and see if they can keep up with the captions.

17. School Funded Websites

Ask your child’s teacher if there are any website subscriptions that the school purchases that will be available during the summer. Many subscriptions last for a full calendar year and are still active during the summer months.

18. Try New Recipes

Build your child’s reading, math, and cooking skills by teaching them to follow recipes. As a bonus, you get to enjoy the final product. Yum!

19. Play Board Games

During your family game nights, have your child read the directions on how to play.

20. Study Maps Together

Include your child in your travel planning by working together to study a map of where you’ll be going. As they become familiar with the names of cities and streets, you can tie in geographic and historical facts!

Remember, learning does not only happen within the walls of a classroom. There’s a world full of learning ready to be explored!

I hope these reading activities will be helpful to you as you foster your child’s learning at home.

Words to Live By 

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12-13

How can you help your kids avoid the summer slide while still having fun in the sun? Here are 20 reading activities you can do on the go!
How can you help your kids avoid the summer slide while still having fun in the sun? Here are 20 reading activities you can do on the go!
How can you help your kids avoid the summer slide while still having fun in the sun? Here are 20 reading activities you can do on the go!
How can you help your kids avoid the summer slide while still having fun in the sun? Here are 20 reading activities you can do on the go!
20 reading activities to do on the go4

Work smarter, not harder

Stay up to date with my latest blog posts by subscribing.