Reading Activity Calendar

April

1April Fool’s DayWith your child, think of a plan to fool someone in your family for April Fool’s Day in a silly, harmless way. Think of what the joke will be, how you’ll carry it out, and when you’ll end the joke. Write down the plan together and get started!
2International Children’s Book DayThis day is celebrated on fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. He wrote many famous tales like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Read your child some of his stories, and then have your child draw pictures about what happened.
3Visit Your School LibraryIf your child is already in school, now is the perfect time to visit the library in honor of School Library Media Month. Talk to the school librarian for ideas on what resources the library offers and how your child can take part, be it with books, computer time, or educational videos.
4Nice NotesDoes your child have a favorite teacher, librarian, or reading buddy (other than you, of course)? Ask him what he’d like to say to thank them for reading time, and then write the note together. Have your child decorate the card, too.
5Name PoemsAcrostic name poems use the letters in a name (or other word) to begin each line of poetry. For example, PBS would be: P is for poetry that kids write
Bursting with ideas of their own
Shared with friends and family Have your child write an acrostic poem with his own name.
6More Name PoemsToday, have your child write another acrostic poem using either a different name (like Mom, Dad, or a sibling or friend’s name) or a favorite word like “puppy” or “cookie.”
7Rhyme TimeNow that poetry is on your mind, have fun with rhyming games with your child. Today, on your way to school or around the house, point out an object (like “clock” or “table”) and ask your child to think of a rhyme. If he’s struggling, toss in a suggestion yourself or just move onto a different word.
8Keep America Beautiful MonthHave your child draw a picture or series of pictures of ways to keep America beautiful. For example, planting flowers or trees, growing grass, or building a playground. Then have your child explain to you the story behind the picture. Talk about ways you can make these ideas in a reality, starting in your own backyard or community.
9More BeautifulWhat does your child think is beautiful? Mountains, sunshine, flowers, the beach? Either go through magazines to find pictures of these things or have your child draw them himself. Then create a picture frame out of construction paper and have your child label the picture or write a caption describing why he loves it.
10What Comes Next?Once your toddler is a little bit familiar with your neighborhood, play a simple memory game. For example, as you pass a house where a big dog lives, say “Where does that big, furry dog live?” After your child responds, point to the house and say “She lives right there in that red house! I wonder where she is today?”
11More What Comes Next?After you have played this game a few times, you can ask the same question, but change where you ask it. Ask it before you get to the dog’s house, or after you’ve passed it.
12Using a MapDrawing a map is a fun and challenging activity. First, explain to your child that a map is a diagram, or a picture of a place or location. It shows places where people want to go, and the roads and streets that go to those places. People use maps for directions. Talk to him about other maps he has seen. Suggest that you make a map of your neighborhood. Take a walk and get the information you need to make a simple map. “There are five houses on our street, and the store is on the same side as our house.”
13More On Using a MapBack at home, give your child a large piece of paper and some crayons. Help him draw your street. Then, let him decide what places to put on his map. Next time you walk, take the map with you for directions!
14National Wildlife Week begins todayAll week, go outside and have your child observe what he sees – birds, flowers, trees, hills. Make a “wildlife diary” of all your observations and decorate it with stickers or drawings.
15Young People’s Poetry Week beginsChildren love rhyming, which means they’re ready to love poetry! Try books by Shel Silverstein to read aloud and get you both excited about poetry.
16National Volunteer Week began yesterdayWhat are some ways your child would like to help his community? Help him make a list of ideas — like cleaning a park or walking dogs — and talk and write down how you can make those ideas happen. For reading time, check out “The Berenstain Bears Lend a Hand” from the library.
17More Volunteer WeekEncourage your child to “volunteer” right at home -- kids love to be helpers! Reading instructions together (even if you already know how to do it), have your child by your side as you do the laundry, make food, and do other errands. Be sure to read the instructions out loud and point out each step as you’re doing it.
18National Library Week begins todayTime to make a visit to your local library and see what they have to offer. In addition to the obvious — books — many libraries have read–alouds and story hours. Tell your librarian a little about your child (his age, reading ability, and interests) and ask for suggestions on books and activities.
19More Library TimeAre there any books or magazine your child has been wanting to look at (or buy)? Go to the library (you also may be able to use your local branch’s website) and see if any are available to check out. Check out only a few at a time and make a list of the others to be checked out later.
20Make a ListMake a shopping list as your child sits with you. Name each item you need out loud and then write it down. Explain that you have to make a list of what you need so you don’t forget anything. Ask for your toddler’s help and get him involved. “We need cereal. Let’s get__.” Write it down slowly. If he is interested, spell it out loud.
21Canada Book Week begins todayLearn more about Canadian children’s authors and illustrators at bookcentre.ca/authors. See if you can find a new book to read with your child from this list!
22Earth DayThere are lots of ways to celebrate and protect the Earth — by picking up trash outside, planting something, or recycling. How many of those things can you do today? Take photos of each activity and make an Earth Day scrapbook, with your child creating the caption for each photo.
23New FoodsIn the produce section your child can learn the names for many foods. It’s fun to learn the names for some fruits and vegetables he may not know. “This is called bok choy.”
24Food RhymesYou can help your child learn new words by playing a rhyming game. “What are some words that sound like bok CHOY?” Have fun making up rhymes like bok toy and bok boy. Compare the new food to a food your child is familiar with. For example, “It’s a type of cabbage.” Then take home the new food and try it!
25Mother Goose TimeThese nursery rhymes are a wonderful and well–loved example of poetry. Check a Mother Goose book out from the library or find some nursery rhymes online, and read them together with your child. Have him pick his favorites and read those again!
26Reading SignsEven very young children will recognize signs and symbols for favorite places like fast food restaurants and toy stores. As you ride, point out large signs that are not as familiar. Name the pictures and read the words. For example, say “Look at that sign! It says there’s a sale on fruit at the grocery store. Can you see the word apple?” Then talk about the words and spell them together. “A-P-P-L-E spells apple!”
27More Reading SignsToday, try finding signs that are familiar, and see ifyour child can figure out what the sign means. Look for stop signs, fast food signs, and street signs in your neighborhood.
28Great Poetry Reading DaySee ideas for children’s poetry at PBS Parents. There’s a wide variety of poetry books for kids, from silly to classic. Try several and read them together!
29More Great PoetryChildren are naturals at poetry! Have your child write several poems about spring, books, and their favorite story characters. The poems can rhyme or not, and encourage your child to draw pictures to go along with them.
30Dia de los ninos/Dia de los librosChildren’s Day/Book Day, also known as Dia, is a celebration of children and reading for families of all cultures. Visit the American Library Association at ala.org to learn more about this special day and how to celebrate. Your local library may also have something fun planned.
PBS KIDS: Raising Readers