No matter how old your child is or what type of schooling he or she receives, supplementing literacy education at home is super important. If you want your child to be a life-long learner, enjoy reading and get the most out of their language and literacy education, you need to be an active participant in teaching them. It certainly doesn’t have to be a chore and should feel like fun to both you and your child! If you’re not sure where to start, here are ideas for 10 hands-on literacy activities for ages 6-9.
1. Board Games
From ages 6-9, kids are more interested in structured games with specific rules and have better attention spans and strategizing skills. Capitalize on these developments when you plan learning activities for your child! Here are some board games that focus specifically on language acquisition skills: Silly Sentences, What’s Gnu?, Pop For Sight Words, Tell Tale, Brain Quest.
2. Flash Cards
While flash cards aren’t ideal teaching tools for every child, they’re an excellent way to switch up activities, take along when traveling or waiting for appointments, or for solo play time. The good news is that flash cards don’t have to be boring! Here are several sets that are sure to spark interest in kids: Spelling Flashcards, My Favorite Things Flash Cards, Alphabet Animals Flash Cards, Alphabeasties, Rhyming Words Flash Kids Flash Cards. There are also some great DIY flash card tutorials: Tactile Sight Word Cards, Free Alphabet Flash Cards, Wooden Alphabet Cards.
Put many different small objects/toys/cutouts in a bag. Sit in a circle and begin your story with “Once upon a time…”. Take turns drawing an item from the bag without looking and fitting it into the story. Pass the bag around the circle to continue the story until you run out of items.
A word family is a group of words that share a common combination of letters and sounds. This game is an example of successfully scaffolding and building from what your child already knows. Use pictures from a magazine or your own family photos with words attached and have your child group the individuals into family units within a “photo frame.”
This is a mash-up of an “I Spy” book and a sensory bin, with practice on reading, hand writing and motor skills thrown in. You find actual toys with names your child could read, throw them in a bin, make a list of them, and have your child read the list, find the item and write the item down on their own list. Easy to recreate and easy to learn.
6. Rhyming Jars
Gather a few jars and write a simple word on each. Write words that rhyme with each jar on craft sticks and have your child choose which jar the sticks go in.
Create a “parking lot” on a piece of poster board with a sight word in each parking space. Give your child cars and direct them to a spot by calling out a word.
Using materials from the dollar store, you can easily create this tactile game where kids scoop words out of a “bowl of soup” and identify them. It’s a fun way to work on letter or word recognition, spelling, reading and fine motor skills.
9. Fiddle Sticks
Directions and a picture can be found here. To create the game, write sight words on the end of craft sticks. Color the tip of one or two sticks a bright color. Put the sticks right end down into a cup. The players take turns drawing one stick at a time and reading the word out loud. If they can’t read it, they put the stick back in. If they draw the stick that’s colored, they must put ALL of their sticks back. Play continues for a predetermined amount of time and the player with the most sticks when the time is up wins.
10. Multi-Sensory Activities for teaching Sight Words
Basically, have your child create the sight word with any number of different “sensory” objects. They can start by copying the sight word from a flash card and move on to spelling it out by themselves after you say it. Different sensory items they can use to create sight words: play dough, shaving cream (spray it out and have them trace into the cream), sand or salt (have them draw the letters in the sand or salt), pipe cleaners, or yarn.
Looking for more ways to engage your 6-9 year old? Try these tips for supplementing your child’s literacy at home.
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com