Reading together is one of the best ways to prepare your child for future success in school and long after. But there are ways besides reading a book that can help them engage in literacy, hone their skills, build vocabulary and comprehension, while having fun!

CLiF’s website has TONS of fun, free or cheap ideas for building literacy skills in the classroom and at home.

Here are a few of our favorites that can easily be done at home this summer.

Book Spine Poetry

Grab some books from your shelves or the library and stack them so the spines are all facing the same way (chapter books work better than picture books because you can see the titles more easily). Put them in an order that reads like a poem. Take pictures and/or write down the poems you come up with. Learn more here.

A guide to being born where the forest meets the stars,
Where the line bleeds, at the edge of the Haight –
Home everywhere.

Alphabet Museum

Use small boxes (crackers, cereal, shoe boxes…) and write a letter of the alphabet in each of them. Then challenge your youngsters to find objects in the house that start with each letter which can be displayed in the appropriate boxes (A for apple, B for Bread, C for crayon, etc.). You could make it competitive where the first person to fill all their boxes wins. Learn more here.

Where Have You Been?

Pin a map to your bulletin board or wall and have each family member put up a pin for the places they’ve “visited” through books. Pick a color for each family member. Who has the most pins? Where haven’t you been? Can you find books for all the places you want to go? Learn more here.

Alphabetical Autobiography

Have your child write each letter of the alphabet vertically. Challenge them to come up with a word/phrase about themselves or a memory for each letter. You can also try it with their names. Learn more here.

Drop Everything and Read

Your child might be used to doing this in school, but reading at home is important, too, especially during the summer. We know you’re busy, but, if you can find 20 minutes to take off from everything else, it will benefit your kids, and you, too. Pick a time where you do nothing but read for 20 minutes, either together or on your own. If they’re ready to read on their own, make sure they see you reading, too. It shows them that reading is important and something you prioritize and will encourage them to do it more.

We’re always looking for new creative ways to engage kids in literacy. Got an idea? Send it our way!

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