6 Reading Activities to Get Kids Moving

6 Reading Activities to Get Kids Moving

In this installment of Lexia’s series on activities for families during school closures, we invite you to take a deep breath, stretch, and get moving with us!

With schools closed, students have been spending countless hours at home. Parents, this means you’ve had the added pressure of playing a primary role in your children’s education. And as if that weren’t time-consuming enough, you're still overseeing the day-to-day duties of seemingly endless loads of laundry, meal planning and preparation, yard work, and the like.

It can be hard for parents and kids alike to resist the lure of a comfy couch and digital devices, particularly during a global pandemic. While the value of R&R is undeniable, we also need to make sure that exercise—and all of its physical and mental health benefits—don’t fall by the wayside.

With myriad responsibilities to tend to and only so many hours in a day, why not try to check off multiple boxes with one activity? For those of you with students at home who are honing their reading skills, we’ve compiled a list of six reading activities to get kids of all skill levels moving and learning! The most you’ll need for any of these activities is paper, chalk, or masking tape, although many require nothing more than a little imagination. Let’s dive right in.

Foundational Readers:

Letter Leapfrog

Write letters on the ground with chalk or masking tape, and have kids jump to each letter as you say it. Bonus points for naming a word beginning with that letter!

It's Time to Rhyme!

Say a series of rhyming words, then throw in one that doesn't rhyme. Have kids do a jumping jack, perform a push-up, or touch their toes when they hear a non-rhyming word. To take things down a notch, try a quieter version of the game that involves kids tiptoeing around the room and freezing when they hear a non-rhyming word.

Staircase Sentences

All you need are some stairs and a book to reinforce the concept that sentences are made up of words! Read a sentence from a favorite book and have kids repeat it. Then, have them step up (or down) as they say each word.

Sound Scavenger Hunt

Listening for the sounds that make up each word is an important step in learning to read. Focus on three to five letters and review the sound that each one makes. Then, have kids look for objects that begin (or end) with that sound. Give them a list and a clipboard to make the hunt even more fun!

Foundational and Intermediate Readers:

Sight Words are Hopping!

Write sight words on sheets of paper and place each sheet on the ground, or head outside and write on asphalt with chalk. Then, have kids hop from one word to the next, saying each word aloud. Bonus points for using the word in a sentence! Printable sight word flashcards are available here.

Intermediate and Middle-School Readers:

Literacy Skill-Building Charades

An idiom like "It's raining cats and dogs" is a group of words that don't mean what they seem to say. To reinforce this concept, have kids act out the literal meaning of each of the following idioms, then award points to anyone who can explain the figurative meaning:

• To bark up the wrong tree (to look for a solution in the wrong place)

• To get the ball rolling (to get started on something)

• To throw in the towel (to give up)

• To go in one ear and out the other (to be told something but quickly forget it)

• To be on the fence (to be undecided)

• To turn over a new leaf (to have a fresh start)

• To be the tip of the iceberg (to be a small part of a bigger problem)

• To wing it (to make it up as you go along)

We hope our suggestions inspire you and your readers to take a leap and try something new!

Teachers, as always, feel free to share these suggestions with your students and families. Families, we’ll continue to bring you simple, at-home activity ideas to promote literacy over the coming weeks.

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Featured White Paper:

Academic Language:
Instructional Strategies for Elementary and Secondary Grades

Often referred to as “the language of school”, academic language encompasses the words and phrases that characterize the texts, discussions, and assessments that students encounter in educational settings. Read this white paper by Lexia's assessment experts for academic language instructional strategies you can use in both elementary and secondary classrooms. 


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