Fun Ways to Incorporate Literacy into your Summertime Activites

Hi everyone! I know some of you teachers have been on summer vacation for weeks or even a month, but my last day of school was just over a week ago! I have been thinking about ways you can incorporate literacy during your summer and keeping it fun for your kids. And literacy is more than reading, but reading is the backbone of it - don't forget about things like writing, rhyming, phonics and poetry as part of summer literacy! Here are some ways I think you could keep literacy in your summer and keep it  fun!

Kids love jokes- even bad ones! Grab some joke books or even read the silly jokes that are on popsicle sticks. If your kids already know a lot of jokes, a summer activity could be making their own joke book. 
Here are a couple books that might tickle your kids' fancy! 

Laugh out loud jokes for Kids by Rob Elliot and The Everything  Kids Giant Book of Jokes, Riddles and Brain Teasers (click to learn more)


Restaurant Menus and Placemats!
Many kids' menus have fun facts, word searches and other literacy activities. Your menus may also be great for reading and learning. For example, a restaurant I was at the other day had some interesting facts. It was in a building from the 1800s and was originally the city’s first gas utility building.  Gas from the building would be used to light the gas lamps. 

The License Plate Game
What a fun game for traveling! You can do it while taking long (or short) car rides. You can play it informally, you can keep a notebook in the back seat for your kids to record what they see, or use a formal game product like the one below by Melissa and Doug. You can also look for vanity plates and a fun challenge- trying to figure out what the license plates say when they are missing letters!

Melissa and Doug's License Plate Game (click for more info)

Find a Pen Pal
Kids love pen pal - both for handwritten letters and e-mails. International Pen Friends helps hook kids and adults up with pen pals from more than 150 countries. Click here and of course, supervising your kid's communication might be wise! Also this website, called Great Kids! has a fun pen pal project. Learn more here.

Scavenger Hunts
The possibilities for scavenger hunts are endless. Kids can write the list of items or you can. The things to find or do can also include writing or reading!

Funny Stories
I still use Mad Libs with my class. They love them! If you can't get your hands on Mad Libs, you and your kids can make your own, or make up your own silly stories! Type them, write them, or video them!

Sight Word Hopscotch
At home, or when you travel, try some sight word hopscotch. Draw a hopscotch frame and instead of numbers, write sight words and hop away!

Record Your Own Audio Book or Book on Video
Either your kids or you can read a book and make an audio recording (there are plenty of apps that can help) or try reading a book and recording a video of it! Kids love being on camera! A twist on this is to make your own reader's theater version of a play and record it. My mom used to make little plays from scratch with my brother and I. We'd make props of cardboard, aluminum foil and whatever we had around. It was so fun!

Writing with Word Magnets
Grab some word magnets and make sentences or short stories. You can also make your own by writing on magnetic tape.

Here's some you might like!


Imaginary Play
Kids love to do imaginary play right? Well, there are ways to incorporate literacy in that play! If they are playing store or restaurant, they can make a menu or a “catalog”. Kids  can write receipts or checks for their sibling's or friend's purchases.

Museums or Zoos
There is a lot of possible reading and learning when you visit a museum or a zoo!

Make Your own Word Search
My second graders love to do this on graph paper or you can have them pick the words and you can make them. You can also use free online websites that will make the word searches (or crosswords, word scrambles, etc) for you!

Travel Journal or Scrapbook
Help your children make  a travel journal if you’re traveling! Simple and involves reading and writing!

Read and Sing!
There are lots of books that are also songs or easy to sing. Check out some of these rhyming books you can sing! Click on any to learn more.

Miss Mary Mack and other Other Children’s Street Rhymes by Joanna Cole and Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christelow 

Who Took the Cookie from the Cookie Jar by Rozanne Williams and Rain Rain Go Away by Caroline Church  

You are my Sunshine by Caroline Church

Also, you may like to check out my previous post, Keep Kids Active and Engaged while Learning Reading Skills! I originally wrote it for teachers but parents can definitely do some of the activities at home this summer. Click here to check it out!

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