Reading Activities to Make

Make activities for cheap, using common materials from home or store. These reading activities to make are classic. Your kids will feel like they are playing, while you know the secret- they are practicing reading!

Reading Activities to Make from Cups

Use a permanent marker to write words, or phonics chunks on cups. The small plastic ones work well and are cheap, though bigger solo cups could be used. You write the rules and procedures for your own game. My rule is: You read it before you move it, and you move it once, not over and over unless you are reading it over and over. This goes for building and deconstructing.

Using a Box

Make a mailbox which can be used to collect personal notes and mail that may be sorted and delivered per child or family member. You could signify a specific day for mail sorting and delivery. Involve the children in the process, and encourage reciprocal writing back. Of all the reading activities to make, this is one is a favorite of mine.

Make a box game cube. Stuff it with something if you want to add weight. Tape it shut. Write WORDS on the sides or on tape that you change over and over. TOSS. READ. Super fun choice of reading activities to make at home!

Craft Foam, Plastic Letters, Place-mats

Craft foam, plastic letters, and sometimes colorful place-mats can be gotten for practical pennies. Personalize per reading lesson or phonics, and children will be happy to use these homemade reading activities over and over again.

Reading Activities to Make out of Egg Cartons

Use a permanent marker to write directly on the egg carton, on the top and in each egg cup. Writing on masking tape and then transferring it to the carton is an option, particularly if you find writing in the curved little cups difficult.

To use this game, use a small pebble or small candy such as Skittles (different color per person) as a marker. Drop the marker in the egg carton and close it. Then SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE (three times I say) and then OPEN, and READ where the marker is.

There- again, fun practice with reading activities to make at home with what you have at home.

Spin the Bottle

This is simple. Get an empty bottle. Decorate it by putting color stuff on the inside, or not. Glitter, pasta, colored ribbon, dyed rice… anything, or NOT. Arrange word cards around the circumference or write words on sidewalk with chalk. Spin bottle in center, and READ the word. You may even create different versions of this fun game, and it is a good motivational activity to build in to lessons regularly.

Reading Activities to Make to Practice Sight-words

Get a box, and fill it with salt or coffee grounds and glitter. Both make an interesting and motivating texture for little hands to finger spell sight words. Seeing the word, saying the word, spelling the word out loud and with fingers provides a sensory experience that promotes learning.

Also get cheap lotion from the dollar store, squeeze into a hearty or doubled, zipper bag (which I seal additionally with tape). Add tempera paint or food coloring for COLOR. Mix it up. Kids can write spelling or reading words on this surface for cool visual effect. Another favorite of reading activities to make at home!


Use a plastic table cloth or shower curtain to make a re-usable hopscotch mat. Put reading cards on the mat and kids jump and read… More super fun reading games using CARDS, here<<

Balls for Reading Activities to Make

Use the any cheap hand size ball(s) or big balls. Write WORDS directly on the balls or on masking tape that you change out. Kids have fun reading the little balls and tossing them in a hanging basket or bucket. Kids engage in tossing the beach ball all READ the WORD that say…. thumbs are closest to. Again, you make your rules, but you get the idea.

As always, hug your kiddos. Have fun, and share a picture if you would, at Smartsy Reading Teacher facebook page. Subscribe by e-mail, so that you get the password to our Resource Library.


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