Listen & Erase – Listening and Reading Game For Kids

reading games for kids

This is a mini version of a game I played with my son and before him with my 6th grade class when I was student teaching many many years ago.  I created the game for my 6th grade class because the kids weren’t paying attention while I read Holes aloud to them. A day after the class started playing the game while I read the kids were hooked. I knew they would love the book if they actually listened to it! This little version of the game gives younger children a chance to have some say in the game ( they pick the book) and you can make it as easy or difficult depending on who is playing. Reading games like these should be very short for little ones, not pose too much of a challenge if reading is still emergent and above all else be fun. Reading can be a big challenge and making it fun at the start can help color your child’s view of it being a great activity vs being one filled with frustration.

 

Gather your materials. You will need a little chalk board or little white board, some chalk or dry erase markers, an oddball sock ( please tell me I am not the only mom with more oddball socks than ones in pairs! ), and a book of your child’s choosing.listen and read reading game

Start by flipping through the book and finding words that your child can read. They can be anything from the book. For my daughter I chose six total, five I knew she could read because I’d seen her read them recently and one I wasn’t sure but was prepared to help her with. Lots of opportunity for success and a little challenge too.

Write the words on the board.listening reading game

Invite your little reader to snuggle up and read with you. Read over the words together. Let them try to read them all, if any are too tricky adjust the list before you start the game.

As you read the book tell them they need to listen for these words and erase as you read. Pop the sock on their hand and get ready to read.reading game

Read the book , making sure you don’t read it too quickly and they miss a word or two. listening game for books reading gameMake sure to use clear annunciation as you read. I never realized how much I mumble some words until I started reading aloud so often.reading game listening game for kids

Read , listen, erase!listen and erase reading game

After it’s all erased it’s time to draw with the chalk!reading and listening game reading game

 

Fun, simple, and it uses a book they already love and feel connected to. All of these work together to deepen learning by making a memorable and positive experience.

 

Exercise Eggs – Find & Move Scavenger Hunt

gross motor activities for kids I have been going through my photo archives and finding activities I have photos of but never posted. This scavenger hunt must have just gotten missed because it’s a great game and we’ve played it many times since, I don’t know why I have never posted it. The goal of the game is to get kids moving when it’s too cold or wet to run outside but it uses the novelty of finding and opening these sport themed Easter eggs ( which are already in the stores) to make it just a little more fun.

Please excuse the blurry photos – this was before I had a great camera or kids who’d freeze when I asked!

Gather your materials. You will need some plastic Easter eggs ( any theme will work), some paper, a pen, and scissors.easter egg gross motor activity

Start by cutting your paper into strips small enough to stuff into the eggs. Write different actions on the paper. If you really want to tire your kids out go big!gross motor eggs

Here are some ideas for you :

10 jumping jacks.
Sing the alphabet while skipping around the room.
March in place for 25 seconds.
Do a crab walk around the couch.
Stomp 5 times.
Touch your toes.
Jump as high as you can 5 times.
Sing Head and Shoulders.
5 burpees.
5 sit ups.
Dance like a maniac!

Pop those in and hide the eggs. Can you see any in the room? My little ones ( oh look how little they were…) were eager to find them all.sport egg

Search for the eggs. easter egg gross motor sports eggsAs you find them open them up, read it exercise eggs and do what it says. We all did the actions as a group but you can decide if the finder does it or everyone joins in. easter egg gross motor jumping

You can make this activity a quick brain break or a long full body workout. It’s all up to you. Either way it’s fast and fun to put together. So go grab some plastic eggs and get moving!

 

Rhyming Board Game – FREE Printable

rhyming printables free Rhyming is one of my favorite literacy skills to work on with children because it’s fun and rhyming is a vital part of literacy development. When children rhyme they play sounds and apply their abilities to new combinations of letter sounds. Rhyming uses a lot of different skills like listening, distinguishing specific sounds (phonemes), and being able to break a word into syllables. Obviously rhyming is important but it’s also fun. I whipped up this super simple printable board game and was so pleased when it was as big a hit with my 4 year old as it was with my 8 year old. Finding an activity that they both love and is educational is like winning the lottery. You can print it out for FREE and get rhyming right now!

Print out the game board.

rhyming game free printable

Gather your materials. You will need the game board ( click on the image above, save, and print) , a die, and some game pieces. We made ours with some LEGO. I also love using a tray with games with dice because it gives my kids a fence for their insanely dramatic dice rolling. This is where I lose my cool , I know it shouldn’t bug me but when dice are flying everywhere I get cranky. The tray keeps it in and keeps me from wrecking the fun with nagging.

rhyming board game for kids free printable

How to play:

Place your game pieces on start.
Roll the die.
Move how ever many squares you rolled.
When you land on the square read the word and yell out a word that rhymes with it.
The first person to get to the end wins.

rhyming board game for kindergarten

They were off to a great start and the game was an instant hit. rhyming board game for prek

When one of us ( yes I was playing too) landed on a word both kids would call out more than one rhyme. rhyming board gameIt was awesome! rhyming board game FREE printable

Luck was on my side and I won, but they kept playing.rhyming free printable game That is a sure sign that it’s a fun game. My son helped his sister reading some of the words on the game board and the majority of the words I’d chosen were words she’d be able to read herself. This built her confidence while having fun and having her brother their to scaffold was a great switch from me being in the teacher role. board game for rhyming free printable

Need some more rhyming activities? Try these 9 Great Rhyming Activities.

rhyming lessons for preschool

Squeeze Painting – Valentine’s Day Art Project

squeeze painting for preschool Squeezing isn’t just a fun way to burn off frustration, it’s also a wonderful exercise to build hand strength. The reason we want to encourage activities that build hand strength is that stronger hands leads to an easier time with handwriting, cutting, and even things like buttoning shirts and zipping jackets. This is especially true for doing any of those activities for a long time. Just like training for a marathon requires some strength training our little ones to write for a long time requires it as well. Working on developing hand strength doesn’t need to be work though. Using tools and materials that you squeeze with the whole hand is a great way you can encourage this at home or in your classroom. Tape resist is nothing new but instead of finger painting over the tape grab a few squeeze bottles and go to town. You can do this art project with kids of all ages and it’s a great option for multi-age groups. Here is how we made this squeeze painting Valentine’s Day wall art while working on hand strength.

Gather your materials. You will need a canvas, some painter’s tape, a box or something else to contain the mess, paint in 2 or more colors, and squeeze bottles.squeeze painting

Start by pouring your paint into the squeeze bottles and writing out the word you want on your canvas. You can do a shape if your child isn’t interested in letters yet. My daughter helped me with the letters telling me if I needed a long strip or a short strip of tape next for the letter.valentine's day canvas art

Next it’s time to paint. Do NOT worry about how this looks ( or how anything on this whole blog for that matter). This is really a process heavy project and I encourage you to try this simply with a canvas and no tape after. I try to make all our projects process heavy even if they have a product at the end.squeeze painting

Squeeze and splatter!squeeze paitning hand strength

She dumped a ton pf paint on and decided to move it around by tilting the box after. squeeze painting love sign for kidsThis way and that.valentine's day art canvas project

After all the paint was out of the bottles she continued to squeeze by blowing the air from the bottles and moving the paint around with the force of the air. I wanted to get closer photos but the thought of the little specks of paint on my camera lens kept me at a safe distance!squeeze painting for kids

After we let it dry for a long long long time we pulled the tape off together.love sign tape resist squeeze paint

Then together we found a great place where my daughter could SEE how much we valued her creation. love sign close up squeeze paintingWe settled on a spot in the kitchen.

 

Valentine’s Day Books For Kids

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the day it rained hearts

Day It Rained Hearts
by Felicia Bond is a sweet story that in my experience is a better bedtime story than circle time story especially for 4 and younger. The story is moving and lovely but in groups of children it just doesn’t grab them the way it does when they are snuggled up with someone they love. The story is about a little girl who collects hearts that fall from the clouds and makes incredibly touching gifts from them for special friends. The pace is just too slow for an active class that needs a hook, but perfect for bedtime when you want kids to be slowing down.

valentine friends

Valentine Friends
by April Jones Prince is one of my favorite Valentine’s Day books for 2 and 3 year olds. It’s simple, sweet, and has a great message about teamwork. The text is short enough for a circle time with very young children but the book isn’t baby-ish so older children will enjoy it too. The friends in the book all work together to make Valentine’s day treats and readers are left with the message that working together is a treat in itself.

10 valentine friends

10 Valentine Friends
by Janet Schulman is one of my daughter’s favorite counting books along with the other books in this series. While the rhymes are ta times forced the book itself is fun and it kept the attention of my 2-3 year old classroom who all participated in counting the valentines on each page. My daughter who is 4.5 likes picking out the details in each page and making up stories about the characters. I like that the children are all trying to make valentines for each other using the knowledge they have about the recipient. It’s a wonderful lesson about gift giving and how you should tailor gifts to the recipient and not just make something you’ll like.

 

Valentine’s Day Lego Challenge For Girls and Boys

lego challenge for girls Lego Challenges have become a great way for me to get a few minutes to check email while completely thrilling my daughter. She loves these simple challenges and for good reason, she is really good at it, and it gives her such confidence to complete the creations without any help. I love how deeply she concentrates and that I can do this with her pretty much anywhere in our house. She liked being close to me and I can set this up in the kitchen if I am prepping dinner like in this post, in the family room if I am reading or on my office floor if I am on a conference call. These are not only easy to set up they are fun, I love creating the shapes and don’t worry you don’t have to make specific items you can do super simple ones like these in our first Lego Challenge post. Here is how we made our Valentine’s Day Lego challenge for girls and boys.

Gather your materials. You will need some Lego bricks ( just make sure you have two of each that you need) , and some sort of tray to contain the bricks. I used a cookie sheet from the dollar store.

Sit down and create some shapes or you could do a pink heart, arrow, rose and red heart like I did for a Valentine’s Day theme. When I make these challenges I always make two exact items then take one apart to make sure I have all the right pieces.lego activities for girls

Pop all the guides and the pieces on a tray and invite your master builder to come and get challenged!

She dove right into the challenge! lego challenge for preschool heart

Challenges like these aren’t just great for fine motor skills and building confidence they are also working the same pathways as puzzles. valentine's day lego challenge buildKids tap into their spacial skills, Lego is a great way to build these skills that are used for daily tasks for our children like packing a lunch box and more far off endeavors like computer engineering and other STEM jobs they may one day have. It’s no surprise that we call my daughter our ” Little Engineer”. lego challenge roses

I loved to see how she lined her roses up to see if they were matching.

fini lego challenge pour sainte valentines

After she was done with the challenge she starting taking it apart to do it all again!