You Don't Have To Wait

The window for early learning closes quickly for preschoolers. If they don’t experience reading before kindergarten, they may never read above a third-grade level or finish high school.

It takes only a few minutes out of your busy day to set your little ones on a path to reading success – in their classes and beyond.

Why it matters

Their future depends on reading.


63%

of Kansas kids won’t pass their fourth-grade reading tests.1

4x

These kids are four times more likely not to graduate from high school.2

2/3

of them will likely end up in jail or poverty.3

MOST OF THEM WILL SEE A MUCH BRIGHTER TOMORROW IF THEY’RE EXPOSED TO READING BEFORE KINDERGARTEN.

Here's a good place to start

Get reading activities tailored to you.

I can find minutes each day

to read to my year-old child.

Activity:

Read with rhythm.

0-2 years old

15-20 minutes

Use fun, handmade instruments to add rhythm to your reading.

  1. Fill paper towel tubes with paper.
  1. Now tap them together to make a beat.
  1. Next, fill plastic bottles or containers with rice or dried beans.
  1. Tape them closed and shake, shake, shake.
  1. Now you’ve got your reading instruments.

Try it with a book.

Instead of reading a book to your baby, try singing it. Then use your new instruments to add some rhythm.


Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

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Activity:

Improve your baby’s listening.

0-2 years old

2-3 minutes

Prepare your baby’s brain for listening with this fun exercise.

  1. Place your baby in a safe area and leave her line of sight.
  1. Now call to her and observe her reactions.
  1. Next, use objects to make noises in high and low pitches.
  1. Make note of her different reactions.

Try it with a book.

When reading with your baby, alternate your tone between high and low pitches. This makes the story more interesting and shows if she’s picking up on different sound levels and tones.


Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

Don’t stop there! Sign up below to receive 28 days of free reading resources.

Activity:

Play with letters.

3-5 years old

15-20 minutes

Teach your child how letters work together to make words.

  1. Cut some letters out of mail or magazines. You can also use fridge magnets.
  1. Use them to spell words with your kiddo.
  1. Start with your child’s name. Then have her point to things she wants to spell.

Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

Don’t stop there! Sign up below to receive 28 days of free reading resources.

Activity:

Connect pictures with stories.

2-3 years old

20-25 minutes

Help your child understand how pictures and words go together to make stories.

  1. Take the front panels off of cereal or cracker boxes and cut them into sections.
  1. Slice some in half, some in thirds and some in quarters.
  1. Next, show your child how the pieces fit together.
  1. Now see if he can piece them together himself.

Try it with a book.

Encourage your child to try to read along with you. When pictures come up in the book, ask him how they piece together with the story.


Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

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Activity:

Grow their vocabulary.

2-3 years old

15-20 minutes

Expand your child’s vocabulary with this hands-on activity.

  1. Grab child-safe scissors and some material to cut.
  1. Try scrap paper, playdough, yarn, craft foam or wrapping paper.
  1. As the two of you cut the objects, talk about the materials you’re using and the sounds they make when you cut them.
  1. This introduces her to new words she may not have heard before.

Try it with a book.

Next time you read with her, “cut” phrases from the book by leaving a word off. Then have her repeat the phrase back to you with the missing word. “Jack and Jill went up the _________.”


Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

Don’t stop there! Sign up below to receive 28 days of free reading resources.

Activity:

Boost reading focus.

3-5 years old

5-10 minutes

  1. Fill an old sock with a cup of rice.
  1. Then tie it shut with ribbon or yarn.
  1. Now show your child how to squeeze and roll the bag with her fingers.
  1. Let her know she can use it to calm down and reduce stress.

Try it with a book.

When you’re reading together, let her use the relaxation bag. Massaging it can help her focus on the story.


Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

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Activity:

Read a recipe.

3-5 years old

5 minutes OR 45 min. to make the recipe

Teach your kiddo letters and numbers while showing her how you use reading in everyday life.

  1. Find a recipe – something simple and fun like chocolate chip cookies.
  1. Then read through it with your child.
  1. If you have time, make the recipe.

Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

Don’t stop there! Sign up below to receive 28 days of free reading resources.

Activity:

Repeat after me.

4-5 years old

3-5 minutes

Improve your child’s memory with this simple repeating game.

  1. Say a list of four words to your child.
  1. Then have him repeat them back to you in order.
  1. If four words are too difficult, try three.
  1. You can also add rhythm by clapping your hands or tapping your foot.
  1. Now switch it up and have him tell you a list of words that you repeat back to him.

Try it with a book.

Read or sing a nursery rhyme to your child and have him repeat after you. You can even swap out the normal words to have fun and see if he’s paying attention.


Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

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Activity:

Practice singing and listening.

4-5 years old

10 minutes

Use karaoke to teach your child how words work with music.

  1. Pull up a karaoke video on your phone or computer: bit.ly/KaraokeTime
  1. Then gather some “microphones.” (Hairbrushes and spatulas work great.)
  1. Sing with your kiddo!

Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

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Activity:

Use tracing to teach writing.

4-5 years old

15-20 minutes

Give your child an early introduction to writing.

  1. Grab a newspaper or an old magazine.
  1. With your child, choose some words to trace.
  1. Sound out the word as you trace each letter.

Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

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Activity:

Craft a story.

4-5 years old

20 minutes

Show your child that stories can come from anywhere.

  1. Gather some paper and crayons.
  1. Use them to help your kiddo make a story about himself.
  • It could be about his favorite activities or even what he wants to be when he grows up.
  • Follow your child’s lead as he handles the pictures. Assist him with the words that match the story.

Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

Don’t stop there! Sign up below to receive 28 days of free reading resources.

Activity:

Add voices to story time.

0-5 years old

10-15 minutes

Make old stories feel fresh and increase your child’s reading engagement.

  1. Choose a story to read with your kiddo.
  1. While reading, use different voices for each character.
  1. Observe your child’s reaction to the different voices and when your child is ready, try splitting the voices between the two of you.

Activity provided by the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association.

Don’t stop there! Sign up below to receive 28 days of free reading resources.

START THEIR PATH TO READING SUCCESS.

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