Reading activities to help children at any stage of reading development.

 Stages of Reading DevelopmentOO

These are some ideas for helping children read at the different stages of reading. 

Adults working with children need to know:

  • Consonant sounds need to be learned crisply without adding an “uh” at the end.
  • Schwa (or lazy or UH) sound is the most common sound in the English language and all vowels sometimes make that sound.

1. Children learning to hear sounds in words.

  •    Music speeds up learning of the sounds.  We have fun music with our phonics. Contact us if you would like free music and books.  877-206-2214 
  •    Picture cards representing the sound, instead of something that starts with the sounds, is easier for young children to understand.  Example is the picture above from our Phonics By Spelling books.  The short oo sound is the sound you make when you lift something heavy like big books. Some words with that sound are; look, book, hook.  
  •    Rhyming games and activities.
  •    Reading and predictable readers.
  •    Show and Tell. Examples; Have children bring something that starts or ends with a sound or 2 items that rhyme. 
  •    Pick out the sounds in the beginning/middle/end from pictures of objects.
  •    Learn vowels and consonants.  Our Cinco game is fun for reviewing these letters and sounds.

2. Children starting to blend sounds: 

  •    Sounding out words aids in fluency and comprehension.  Don’t let children struggle by themselves to sound out for more than 1 or 2 seconds.  Help them sound out the words.
  •    Simple phonetic readers.
  •    Word families.   Make lists of words with the same spelling and sounds at the end like; dot, hot, pot, got, not, shot.
  •    Sound out 3 letter words with or without pictures.
  •    Have child unscramble simple words.  Find or print a picture of a simple word like “cat”.  Then print the letters for the word on card stock, then cut apart. Put the picture and letters together in an envelope.  
  •    Do different vowels in the middle of consonants.
  •    Do short vowel /long vowel chant with the silent e.  Make some cards with 2 words like; cap/cape, hop/hope.   Example of the chant:  cub & cube, cub & cube,  cub says ŭ, cube says ū.  
  •    Teach sight words.  Most words have some phonetic base but here are some basic words that break the rules:  one, said, says, give, have, many, they, are, any. 
  •    Teach high frequency words by their vowel sounds.  This is a list of about 200 of the most frequent words. High Frequency Word List

3. The Beginning Reader: 

  •    Have child read simple sentences.
  •    Have child unscramble simple sentences. Write simple sentences on the computer then print and cut apart. 
  •    Review sounds and sight words in a simple book.  Then help the child read the book.
  •    Help children sound out words.
  •    Help child to break multi-syllable words into syllables then sound out.  Cover with your thumb all but one syllable then uncover each syllable while sounding out the word. 

 4. Fluent Reader:

  •   They need to read out loud right into junior high.
  •   Read things at different reading levels.  Too high creates frustration unless read with someone. Too low helps with fluency.  Just right builds vocabulary.
  •   Read along with books with CDs.
  •   Build comprehension by having children tell you what is happening in the story.
  •   Use your finger to help break words into syllables to sound out words.
  •   Pick some words to look up in the dictionary.

If you have questions or would like help teaching reading to those you love, please contact us. 877-206-2214 

Sunshine Salad

Sunshine Salad             

Layer the salad with:

  •     lettuce leaf (optional)
  •     slice of canned pineapple
  •     scoop of yellow yogurt

Eat and enjoy!

(Fun for children to make.)

More fun for children on our website.


Little Miss Muffet


Little Miss Muffet

Objective:  Help children learn about spiders and counting through the nursery rhyme, “Little Miss Muffet”.


  • Find pictures of spiders.  (The internet is a great source.)
  • Find drawings or picture book of Little Miss Muffet.
  • Do the following for each sack puppet :
    • Cut a sheet of black construction paper 5 ¼” wide.
    • Cut off 3 ½” so you have 2 rectangles one 5 ¼” x 3 ½” (spider’s face) the other one will be 5 ¼ x 5 ½ (spider’s belly).
    • Using the remaining part of your sheet of black construction paper to cut 8 strips ½” wide for the legs.
    • Have pre-cut foam shapes, googly eyes, or other shapes of construction paper.
    • White school glue. 
    • Crayons for finishing the spider.
    • White crayons. 
    • Print and cut out the rhyme “Little Miss Muffet” from this link: little miss muffet

Read the rhyme then discuss;

  • Little Miss Muffet,
  • Sat on a tuffet,
  • Eating her curds and whey.
  • Along came a spider
  • And (or Who) sat down beside her
  • And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Define these words:

  • The word tuffet was once a common word for a short stool, such as a footstool.
  • Curds and whey are what we call cottage cheese.
  • Frightened means scared.
  • Discuss the concepts of BESIDE, AWAY, and ON.
  • Discuss spiders and insects. Explain that spiders have 8 legs and insects only have 6 legs.
  • Spiders are called Arachnids.

Discussion Questions:

  • Who sat on a tuffet?
  • Who ate curds and whey?
  • Who frightened Miss Muffet?
  • Where did the spider go?
  • What frightens you?

Activity: Make Spider Sack Puppets

Have the children follow these steps::

  • Glue the face onto the flap of the paper sack.
  • Accordion fold the strips (legs) then unfold. (You can do legs straight.)
  • Glue or staple 4 strips to each side of the front of the bag.
  • Glue the belly on to the side of the sack below the flap on top of the ends of the legs. Take care not to glue the flap down.
  • Glue on eight eyes and designs.
  • Decorate the spider with crayons.  
  • Write the word “spider” with white crayon on the spider’s belly.
  • Glue the rhyme “Little Miss Muffet” to the back of the puppet.

Great lesson plans on our website;



Objective:  Children will learn the characteristics of spiders and how they differ from insects.  (This is a good lesson to teach after the insect lesson.)


  • Find drawings or pictures of spiders and insects from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Make word cards for the words, “insect” and “spider”.
  • Cut out 1”- 1 1/2″ hearts from foam or heavy paper. Any color will work, spiders vary in color.
  • Cut out 3” hearts from foam or heavy paper
  • Glue the hearts together at the points to form spider’s Cephalothorax (head and body) and Abdomen .
  • Punch holes around the sides of larger heart—4 on each side
  • Have chenille (pipe cleaner) stems 4 per spider
  • Have permanent markers of all colors
  • Make a web in the classroom to hang the spiders on. You can create your own with yarn or use synthetic spider web.
  • Suggested books:  Spider Names by Susan Canizares,  The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle, Spiders by Gail Gibbons


Read the book(s) then discuss while showing pictures.

Spiders belong to a group of animals called “arachnids”. Arachnids are creatures with two body segments, eight legs, no wings or antennae.

Most spiders have four or more openings, or glands, on their abdomen called spinnerets which produce the silk they use to create webs.

Discuss the body parts of a spider

  • Spiders have two body segments. The front segment is called the Cephalothorax. The spider’s eyes, mouth fangs, stomach, brain and the glands that make the poison are on this part of the body. The legs are connected to this part, as well. Most spiders have eight eyes, but some have less. Spiders also have these tiny little things called ‘pedipalps’ that are beside the fangs. They help to hold prey while the spider bites it.
  • The second part of the body is called the Abdomen. The back of the abdomen is where the spinnerets, the silk producing glands, are. The spider’s body has an oil on it to keep the spider from sticking to it’s own web. 
  • Spider’s legs are covered with many hairs. The hairs pick up vibrations and smells from the air.
  • Spiders have a hard outer shell called an ‘exoskeleton’.

Discussion questions:

  • Where do spiders live? Spiders live everywhere even in lakes and ponds.
  • What does it eat? Spiders are carnivores and most eat insects.
  • What likes to eat the spider? Birds, toads, lizards and monkeys.
  • What is the difference between spiders and insects? Insects have six legs and three main body parts. Spiders have 8 legs and most have 8 eyes.  Most insects have wings.
  • Can spiders hurt humans? All spiders have fangs! And, yes, they almost all have venom in them. Most spider poison will not harm people, however, because it is quite weak. There are a few spiders which include the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse spiders with poison strong enough to cause pain. If a bite from these spiders is left untreated, death could result.

Here is a very fun song to sing with the children to the tune of “My Darling Clementine”:

  • It’s an insect, not a spider.
  • It has 6 legs instead of 8.
  • 3 on this side and 3 on that side
  • And its crawling on my plate.


Picture Sort

Take pictures of insects and spiders and sort them by putting the insects by the word “insect” and the spiders by the word, “spider”.  

Foam Spider

Have the children add 8 eyes to the Cephalothorax and decorate the Abdomen with permanent markers.

Back of spider

Help them feed the chenille stems down through the hole closest to the Cephalothorax on one side and come up in the hole farthest from the Cephalothorax on the other side.

Repeat previous step for each hole crossing over in the back.

Have the children bend the “legs” into an s-shape from the body.

Hang the spiders on your spider web somewhere in the classroom as a decoration.

Note:  Children love this activity and it is fun to do around Halloween.  

Check out our website.

Recipe–Ants on a Log

Ants on a Log


1. Wash and cut celery.

2. Spread peanut butter in the celery.

3. Put on raisins or peanuts.

4. Enjoy!

(Does it taste like ants?)

Fun to do with the short A or short I sounds. (A for ants. I for insects.)


Measuring  (Good math lesson to teach the week the short I is taught.)

Objective: Introduce children to measuring, inches and the tools and words used in measuring.


  • Make a word card for Measuring.
  • Have measuring tools like cups, measuring spoons, tape measure, ruler, etc.
  • Have small objects to measure with a ruler.  (books, blocks, crayons, pencils, tools, toys, etc.)
  • Have a wall measuring poster to measure each child.  Plan to leave this on the wall and measure again in the spring.
  • Print and make a small book (4 pages) for each child.  inches book
  • Get stickers 1 inch square, 3 in. square sticky note pad, yarn cut in 4 in. pieces.
  • Have a ruler for each child.
  • Suggested book:   ME and the Measure of Things , by Joan Sweeney


  • Put up the word card “Measuring”.  Talk about some of the sounds in the word.  (Mm, _s_)
  • Read the book and show some measuring tools and discuss how they are used.
  • Measure the height of each child on the measuring poster on the wall.
  • Have each child select one of the objects to measure or have them pick an object from the room.  Measure each object with a ruler.
  •  (You may also want to use a balance scale, ounce scale or postal scale to weigh the small objects.)


Give each child the book, Inches.   Help them read the questions? Help them measure and glue items to the page.  Have them write the number of inches on the line.  On the last page have them draw a picture of themselves and write how many inches tall each child is.

Read the book together.

More ideas for teaching young children.



Objective: Children will gain a better understanding of the body parts, life cycle of insects and names of insects.


  • Find drawings or pictures of insects from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Print out the attached template of fly sack puppet.   fly puppet pattern
  • Have green, blue, and purple crayons with paper peeled off.
  • Paper sacks.
  • Mix together green and silver glitter glue.
  • Cut ¾” x 6″ strips of black construction paper.
  • Suggested books:
  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  2. The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
  3. The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle


Before beginning the lesson have the children, paint the eyes for their sack puppet with glitter glue. Make sure they have a very thin coating so it will be dry when it comes time to cut them out and attach them to the sack.  (This can be done the day before or as soon as class starts.)

Read the book(s) then discuss while showing pictures.

Discuss the body parts of an insect. Here’s a link to a diagram:

  • Head
  • Thorax
  • Abdomen
  • 6 legs (attached to thorax)
  • 4 wings (some varieties)
  • antennae [an-ten-ee] (plural for antenna)

Discuss the life cycle of insects. Here’s  a link to a diagram:

  • Egg
  • Larvae
  • Pupa (cocoon)
  • Adult

Use pictures to help the children name different types of insects (bumblebee, moths, flies, ants, beetles, etc.) and ask questions and discuss each named insect.

Possible Discussion Questions:

  • Where does the insect live?
  • What does it eat?
  • What likes to eat the insect?
  • What does the insect spend its day and night doing?
  • How does it hide?
  • How does the insect defend itself?
  • How does the insect help humans/environment?
    • bees make honey and pollinate our plants.
    • flies eat and clean up our trash and dead animals.
    • insects can be a source of food for some animals including humans.
  • How does the insect hurt humans/environment?
    • Mosquitoes spread disease such as malaria, west Nile virus, etc.
    • Flies have been known to carry over 100 different kinds of disease-causing germs.

Activity: Fly Sack Puppet

  1. Glitter glue the eyes and let dry.  (Best done the day before.)
  2. Rub the wings with the side of purple, blue and green crayons and cut them out.
  3. Glue wings to the back side of a paper sack.
  4. Staple the 6 black legs with 3 legs on each side of sack. (Can accordion fold the legs.)
  5. Cut out and glue the eyes onto the flap of the sack

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