Kids have a special bond with their families, and learning together has proven to strengthen that bond! Parents are a child’s first educators and thus play a vital role in their love or hatred for education. Family literacy doesn’t have to mean pinning your child to the study table and asking them to complete their homework. Instead, consider how all of the small events in the home and community, as well as a host of fun activities, can help them learn and grow. If you’re looking for family literacy activities for everyday life, we have 21 excellent ideas for you!
Kids love hearing true stories about their families and tales about their cultures. Through oral retelling, you and the parents of your students can bring rich narratives to light! These narratives can be celebrated for years to come when they’re recorded and preserved as the power of storytelling never dies!
Learn More: NCTE
2. Word Jar
If you want your kids to develop a rich vocabulary- a word jar is a great solution! In a jar, add chits with different words. Have your kids pick out one every morning and, as a family, discuss the meaning. Then, task them with seeing who can use it the most throughout the day. This simple practice will help them quickly bolster their literacy skills.
Learn More: What Do We Do All Day
3. Family Game Night
Why not host a family game night that’s centered around literacy? Choose a fun theme like Candy Land and bring on the games! Parents and students alike can then engage in games like Hedbanz; guessing what image is on their forehead, based on their partner’s description. Of course, the winners will walk away with the perfect prize- a new book!
Learn More: Conversations In Literacy
4. Family Movie Night
Which was better- the book or the movie? Let your kids decide for themselves! Many children’s books have been adapted into movies. Prompt your kiddos to read the book throughout the week and watch the movie on the weekend. In the end, this will spark endless discussions where everyone can compare the similarities and differences between them!
Learn More: Everyday Reading
5. Family Book Clubs
Book clubs are a popular way for friends to read books independently but gather to discuss all of the juicy details of the story. So, why not prompt your kiddos to rally their family members to join one? Together, they can choose a book that each person can read independently. Once complete, they can set aside a specific night for the discussion- with yummy snacks and fun crafts included!
6. Family Flash Cards
Here’s an interactive way to practice literacy skills with your kiddos. Create phonics flashcards with pictures or words. Make it a routine to practice the sounds of the alphabet and digraphs with them until they’ve mastered each card. After some focused practice, have them put their skills to use as they read you their favorite story!
Learn More: Crayon Lane Teach
7. Family Dinner Discussions
Family dinner is an excellent time for bonding and sharing special moments of the day. You can employ helpful conversation starters to get your kids to speak about their day, what they enjoyed, and so on. We love that this is a social/emotional learning activity and that each card includes the affirmation- “I love and accept who I am on the inside and know my emotions are nothing to hide.”
Learn More: Hutton and Hutton
8. Visit A Library
You don’t need to restrict your family’s literary activity to your home. You can visit a library and enjoy picture books, encyclopedias, and all the storybooks available there. This guide includes 8 helpful tips for visiting your library- like teaching your kids how to care for books, and spending time learning about their passions!
Learn More: Scholastic
Do your kiddies lack interest in reading physical books? Try changing things up and introducing them to the world of audiobooks! You can listen to the book together and then ask your kids questions about what they’ve heard.
10. Supermarket Literacy Activity
The learning doesn’t have to stop when your kiddos step outside of the classroom! Grocery shopping is the perfect opportunity for students to see that reading is a necessary life skill. If you have elementary children, teach them what macronutrients and micronutrients are so that they can understand the nutritional value of what they’re eating. Then, teach them how to read food labels and identify components in them; helping them make healthy decisions about what goes into their cart and bolstering their literacy at the same time!
Learn More: Very Well Family
11. Cooking With Kids
Cooking with kids is an easy way to boost your little ones’ literacy skills. There are several ways in which you can involve them- like making grocery lists, reading recipes, or arranging the ingredients in order of use. Savor those sweet moments when they’re learning through doing!
Learn More: Scholastic
12. Literacy Scavenger Hunt
Your next garden visit can easily be made into a fun and engaging literacy activity. Ask your kids to look around and find specific objects. Play a spotting game—spot something green (leaves, bushes), spot the letter O (on nameplates), spot a bird (on trees or flying), or find something that rhymes with the word, bee for example.
Learn More: Scholastic
Celebrate National Family Literacy Day by playing a game of bingo. You can create your own bingo card with a variety of activities like reading a comic book together, visiting the library, or playing a specific literacy game. Use the card for weeks; marking off each activity until they’ve reached BINGO! You can even add a book prize once they complete it!
Learn More: The Wellness Almanac
14. Collage Fun
Add a twist to story-telling by making fun collages from magazine and paper cuttings with your learners. With each unique collage, you can ask them to narrate the story that’s being told through their combined images. Another idea is to invite them to use family photographs that weave a tale about their family history.
Learn More: Scholastic
15. Virtual Field Trip
It’s probably not super realistic for you to take your kids to see the Egyptian pyramids or the Great Wall of China, but now you can take them there virtually! Many national parks, museums, and historic places have started virtual field trips. There are over 40 locations listed that offer your kids a unique learning experience that will be forever etched in their memories. Afterward, ask them to write a report on what they’ve learned to develop their writing skills!
Learn More: Kids Activities Blog
16. Reader’s Theater
Gather the family and distribute the roles because it’s showtime! Ask each participant to read aloud and act out a part of a chosen story. In a reader’s theater, the lines don’t have to be memorized, but rather they’re read fluently and with enthusiasm! Let your littles practice reading the story on their own first, and then put it together for a memorable reenactment!
17. Space-Themed Literacy Activity
Most children are enthralled by the moon, stars, and any type of space-related tale! Turn their curiosity into a literacy activity by having them learn a space-themed poem, write a letter to an astronaut, or write a story that’s set in space. For an art-themed literacy activity- have them draw the solar system and label the planets.
Learn More: Twinkl
18. Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals are a great way of prompting your kiddos to accept things as they are and be thankful for what they have. Encourage your kids to write about their day’s blessings whilst doing the same yourself. Once the page is filled in, ask your kids to read aloud what they’ve written and vice versa. This will foster a deep connection with your kids and give you some insight into their day!
Learn More: Mess For Less
With literacy practice and chores complete- we’ll call this activity a win! Teach your young ones about taking on more responsibility by having them participate in household chores. They can write their own age-appropriate chore list as you teach them related words, like neat, clean, soap, mop, and vacuum.
Learn More: Twinkl
20. Crossword Puzzles
Crossword puzzles are an engaging way to help your kiddies learn new vocabulary words! With puzzles related to so many topics on the market, there’s no shortage of learning opportunities! Find an age-appropriate crossword and let your kiddos fill in the answers after reading the prompts!
Learn More: Ruwix
21. Label Household Items
Prompt novice readers to take part in the activity of labeling household items. Write the names of common household items on paper and ask the kids to stick them in the right places. For younger kids, you can use letters instead of words. They’ll quickly learn that a spoon starts with an S, a chair with a C, and so on.
Learn More: MOMtessori Life