Welcome to Elephant Notes . . . our periodic take on some of the ideas, issues, and news impacting parents, children, and reading.
There are so many ways to develop essential literacy skills aside from sitting down and reading a book. Here are a few resources of alternative educational games and activities that will help support your child’s literacy development and get them excited about reading. Click on each link to learn more.
Searching for more resources for your child? Check out our reading resources for kids here.
Activities from the US Department of Education
The US Department of Education released their own reading tips and reading activities to help parents share this special activity with their little ones. Each suggestion is organized by age group, so you can find an approach that works best for you and your child. With tips like creating your own book out of scraps from magazines and newspapers, telling real stories about your own family and your own personal experiences, and making a homemade alphabet book, there are fun and creative options for everyone to try.
Education.com is a hub that has printable worksheets, guided lesson plans, read-alouds, and online games for kids. Their content is developmentally appropriate, educational, and, most importantly, fun! Through this website’s activities, your child can work on letter recognition, reading comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and so much more. And, not all of their content has to do with literacy–there are also programs for work with numbers, colors, shapes, and other important concepts, making this a great go-to hub for educational activities.
ABCya! is another great resource for online educational games for children. They have tons of games to help your child learn the alphabet and recognize their letters, as well as others to help learn more about rhyming patterns, alliteration, and syllables. Each of these games is extremely fun and interactive and is a great alternative way to read if today isn’t a good day to sit down with a book. Another thing that we like, in particular, about this website is that it has a feature where you can organize the games by what common core standard they meet so that you know exactly what kind of skills they are working on.
Fun flashcards are an exciting and easy way to learn the alphabet and practice identifying letters and sounds. You can post them on a wall at your home, carry them with you on the go to appointments, or bring them on vacations for moments when you have downtime and want to get some learning in. This article provides links to various alphabet flashcard sets that you can print for free. The article features different patterns and designs, so you are sure to find one that meets your needs and your child’s interests. You can also make this a DIY project with your kids and design your own flashcards!
Sight Word Flashcards
Sight words are words that are commonly used in the English language, such as “the,” “where,” “yellow,” and “tree.” Learning these words and being able to identify and comprehend them quickly allows children to dive into reading books with greater ease. As they come across these words in stories, they will be able to recognize them quickly and use them as clues for new words that they need to sound out. The website linked above has sets of sight word flashcards made for different age groups and skill levels, and it even allows you to customize the cards to include words that you might want your child to get some extra practice with. Each set is printable, free, and fun!
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