Parent Resources

Fifteen-Minute Reading Activities

by: The National PTA
(; suggestions added by BHASD teachers)

Make 15 minutes go a long way. Try these quick reading activities with your kids.

1. License to read. On car trips, make it a game to point out and read license plates, billboards, and interesting road signs.

Title I Teacher suggestions:
–  Turn this into a game by going through the letters of the alphabet.  For example start at A and find an A (Arby’s, Allentown, etc. on a road sign); once an A is found, start searching for a B! Continue this way until you get through the alphabet!
–  Come up with a silly phrase for the letters on license plates (FLH3663 = Fred Loves Hot dogs!)

2. Better than TV. Swap evening TV for a good action story or tale of adventure.

Title I Teacher suggestions:

– Tell your child about your day.  Ask them to repeat important events in the correct order once you are finished.
– Have your child tell you about his/her day, and stress using sequencing words (first, second, before, after, finally, etc.).

3. Look and listen. Too tired to read aloud? Listen to a book on tape and turn the book’s pages with your children. You’ll still be reading with them!

Title I Teacher suggestions:
– Check out the books on tape selection at the local library.
– If you have Internet access, there are some GREAT websites that also offer this for free!

4. Labels, labels, labels. Label things in your child’s room as he/she learns to name them. Have fun while they learn that written words are connected to everyday things.

Title I Teacher suggestions:
– For students who are just learning phonics skills, this works great!
– For students who are a little bit older, add details/harder terms or adjectives.

5. Pack a snack, pack a book. Going someplace where there might be a long wait? Bring along a snack and a bag of favorite books.

Title I Teacher suggestions:
– If you don’t have anywhere to go, keep it simple– pack a snack and find a spot in the backyard or local park.
– If you’re looking for something to do on a summer day, take a trip to the local library.  You won’t be able to have the snacks, but you can browse a lot of books!

6. Recipe for reading. The next time you cook with your children, read the recipe with them. Step-by-step instructions, ingredients, and measurements are all part of words in print!

Title I Teacher suggestions:
– If you aren’t cooking from a recipe, ask them to hand you certain ingredients by name.  This will get them to read the labels.
– Have them put the steps to make a simple treat (sandwich, snacks, etc.) in the correct sequence.  Again, stress the use of sequencing words!

7. Shop and read. Notice and read signs and labels in the supermarket. Back home, putting away groceries is another great time for reading labels.

Title I Teacher suggestions:
Have your child help you write your grocery list.  This is a great way for them to keep up with their phonics and handwriting skills.
– Tell your child the list of items you need at the grocery store.  While you’re shopping, see if they can remember the items.  This is great for them to categorize what may be in the aisle and more importantly, reinforce their memory skills!

8. Your long-distance lap. Away on a business trip? Take a few books with you, call home, and have your child curl up by the phone for a bedtime story.

9. A reading pocket. Slip fun things to read into your pocket to bring home: a comic strip from the paper, a greeting card, or even a fortune cookie from lunch. Create a special, shared moment your child can look forward to every day.

Title I Teacher suggestions:
– Have them write notes/greeting cards to family members you can mail or share the next time you see them.  (This is perfect if you have a get-together coming up!)
– Bring appropriate memos/notes home from work to share with your child.  They love knowing what you do all day!

10. A little longer? When your child asks to stay up a little longer, say yes and make it a 15-minutefamily reading opportunity.

Title I Teacher suggestion:
– Pick a book that a movie has been made about (Charlotte’s Web, Charlie & the
Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, Because of Winn Dixie) and read sections of the book to your child as they fall asleep.  When you finish the book, take time to compare and contrast it to the movie!


The following links also provide suggestions for encouraging reading at home.

25 Activities for Reading and Writing Fun by U.S. Department of Education

Day Trips for Book Lovers

Parent & Afterschool Resources- International Reading Association

Reading Aloud Your Children Become Readers Begins at Home