I am currently teaching my third son to read, and one thing that I have noticed about beginning readers is that they are WIGGLY! When my oldest son was learning to read, he would put the book on the floor and balance on his hands while he kicked his legs out behind him over and over while figuring out the words. It was not the cozy cuddling on the couch experience that I envisioned! He eventually started sitting still while reading, but in those early days when his brain was working SO hard to sound out the words, his body had to be constantly moving. My second son is a more low-key kind of guy, but he still went through a wiggly reading phase.
Owen (almost 6) has always been extremely high energy, and (no surprise!) he absolutely cannot sit still while reading either! He does sit at the table and do some phonics work each school day, but it helps to mix in some active games.
Here are some ideas that have worked for us to keep things active in the reading department!
1. Build a Sentence with Word Cards
I made a set of index cards with words that Owen knows. We build sentences on the table, and Owen can walk around the table and read the words. We make all kinds of silly sentences like, “The man has a fat cat in his car,” or “Owen will run and fall!”
Hint: Kids love to read sentences about themselves! 🙂
2. Playdough Letters and Words
It’s fun to roll out the dough and form letters, or stamp letters and words with our Melissa and Doug Alphabet Stamp set.
It’s fun to roll out the dough and spell words or stamp them with our Melissa and Doug Alphabet Stamp Set.
3. Clothespin Spelling
I created the cards for this simple game by cutting up Owen’s (used) Explode the Code phonics book. It’s a great way to review the words that he already knows! I wrote the letters needed on clothespins, and he pins on the correct letters for each picture card. There are not enough clothespins to cover every card at the same time – he has to take them down after he builds them.
4. Twister Spell and Read
Owen was starting to work on blends by the time we did this activity, so I covered our Twister game with single letters and a few blends. Then I called out words for him to spell by covering the letters with his hands and feet. This was a favorite game!
The crazy poses cracked us up!
5. Simple Word Family Puzzles
7. Letter Sound Slap – This was was also a favorite!
8. Free Printable Books for New Readers – “Cats” and “Bugs”
Need More Ideas?
Here are 30 Hands-on Word Family Activities from I Can Teach My Child
Shoot the Sight Word from 1plus1plus1equals 1.net
30 Kinesthetic Activities for Teaching Reading from This Reading Mama