Reading Activity Calendar

July

1Build a Scarecrow DayIf you have a garden, make a scarecrow (out of fabric scraps, buttons, canvas, etc) with your child, talking about each step as you complete it. Have your child name the scarecrow and give it a name tag. You can also read “Scarecrow” by Cynthia Rylant together.
2Blueberry MonthRead “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey together.
3More Blueberry MonthFind a yummy blueberry recipe — such as muffins or pie — and make it with your child. Read the instructions together and have your child gather as many ingredients as he can.
4Fourth of JulyPlan an Independence Day barbecue for some family and friends, and have your child help plan the menu and help you cook. When the food is baking or cooking, have your child write a menu or labels for each item.
5More Fourth of JulyChildren love songs. Find recordings of patriotic songs like “America the Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Your child may be too young to memorize the lyrics, but they’ll enjoy listening.
6Read an Almanac MonthCheck out a children’s almanac from the library or visit World Almanac for Kids (worldalmanacforkids.com) in honor of this month.
7Chocolate DayKids will wish every day was National Chocolate Day. Make chocolate-chip cookies together, and instead of making the usual cookie shapes, use cookie cutters or a knife to make them into letter shapes. Create the alphabet or your child’s name.
8Balancing ActAs children get more practice controlling their bodies, they can balance more easily. They also begin to understand the idea of balance in a scientific way. Encourage your child to notice and think about balance in many situations. “How can we move the children on the see-saw so they will balance?”
9More Balancing ActIf your child has other experiences with balance, make a connection. “Remember when we weighed the tangerines at the market on a balance scale?”
10Clerihew DayA clerihew is a funny, biographical four-line poem. It starts with a person’s name and the first two lines rhyme, and then the last two lines rhyme. For example: Little John Baker, Loved to read and wasn’t a faker, He always had a book, Curled up in his favorite nook.
11Who Lives in a Tree?The park is a good place to learn about how plants and animals help each other. Look with your child for evidence that animals live in the trees at the park. Maybe animals use the trees for food or shade. Look for birds flying near the trees. See if you can find any nests. Look for animals like squirrels or chipmunks. “Why do you think they like the trees?”
12More Who Lives in a Tree?Tell your child that it will be fun to learn more about trees. “We can look for a book about trees at the library or the bookstore.”
13Hug Week beginsGive out hugs every time your child reads a book, recites the alphabet, or learns a new word. Keep it going all week (and beyond)!
14Pandemonium DayIt’s time to get silly! On sticky notes or index cards, make labels for some everyday objects like “phone,” “TV,” “keys,” and “pillow.” The put the wrong labels on each item and have your child switch them to the correct spots.
15Cow Appreciation DayMake a list of some cow-related words, including “cow” (of course), “moo,” “milk,” and “spots,” each on a different sheet of paper. Have your child draw a picture of the word below. Have some milk or chocolate milk at the same time!
16More CowsIf you live in a rural area where there are cows nearby, go for a visit. If not, look up “cow” in an encyclopedia at the library.
17Describing FoodWhile in the grocery store, talk out loud to your child as you select items and put them in the cart. Use new words to describe the food. “These bananas are so yellow and ripe. We can have these for lunch.” Invite your child into the conversation. “You love nice ripe bananas don’t you?” Ask your toddler to help. Show him how to place items in the cart. “Remember to put those ripe bananas down gently so they don’t get bruised.”
18More Describing FoodNow try describing food that your child might not have seen before, like unusual fruits or vegetables, or taking a stroll down ethnic food aisles. It’s a great way to gently introduce your child to new food.
19Ice Cream DayIn honor of ice cream day, make a list of the wackiest ice cream flavors you and your child can think of, being sure to write down the name and main ingredients of each flavor. Then see if you make the flavors with ingredients you have at home, letting your child pick out as many ingredients himself as possible.
20Moon DayIt’s the anniversary of the first person to walk on the moon! Have your child make up his own story about going to the moon. Write down the highlights and have your child draw pictures to go along with the words.
21National Hot Dog DayEat some hot dogs, of course, to celebrate, and then write out all the letters that make up “hot dog” on individual small pieces of paper. How many new words can you make (like “hog” or “good”). It’s okay to use letters more than once.
22So Much NaturePut your baby down on a blanket in the grass. Let him explore nature using his senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch. He can see the trees against the sky. He can hear the leaves blowing. He can smell the fresh air. He can feel the breeze on his skin and the grass in his fingers. Talk to him softly as you enjoy the experience together. “Feel the breeze! Feel the grass!”
23More Food RhymesCompare 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!
24Cousins DayHave your child write a note or e-mail to a favorite cousin in honor of Cousin’s Day.
25How Heavy is It?At the grocery store, ask your child to help you weigh fruits and other produce and teach her some related words. Your child will also learn about how scales work. “Let’s weigh these peapods on the scale.” As you place the items on the scale, show your child how the arrow moves to show the weight. “The arrow moves to the number that shows how heavy the peapods are.”
26More How Heavy is It?Remind your child of other experiences with scales. “Remember how the nurse weighed you on the scale at the doctor’s office?”
27Parents DayCelebrate Parents Day by making a visit (or scheduling one for the future) to your own parents so your child can have special grandparent-time. Bring along some books for your parents to read with their grandchild.
28More Parents DayAsk your parents what books you loved as a child. Do they still have copies? If not, can you get the books at the library? Read them aloud to your child, and be sure to share that you loved these books when you were little.
29Even More Parents DayChildren love hearing baby stories about themselves. Pull out some pictures of your early days as a parent to your child. Tell stories and point things out in the photos.
30How Many?Food shopping is a good time to learn vocabulary about how much and how many. As you select items that interest your child, use vocabulary like a lot, many, some, a few, fewer, more, less, and enough. “We have a lot of beans! Do you think we need that many? I think fewer will be enough. Let’s put some back.”
31More How Many?In the grocery store, point to different sizes of containers and use words like big, small, medium, square, and round to describe them. Ask your child to describe other containers.
PBS KIDS: Raising Readers