Reading Activity Calendar

May

1Be Kind to Animals Week beginsWith your child, make a list of his favorite animals, and then think of ways to be nice to them! Playing ball with a dog, scratching a kitty’s ears, visiting a horse and giving him an apple, or throwing out seed for birds ... there are lots of ways, and you can celebrate all week!
2More AnimalsAsk your child to tell you about his dream pet. What kind of animal is it? What’s his name? What kinds of things would do they do together? Have your child write down his answers, with your help if he needs it.
3More Reader CornerAsk your child to choose a book, look at the pictures, and tell you the story in his own words. Give him lots of encouragement for looking at books independently.
4World Laughter DayThis is a day that’s fun for everyone to celebrate! All day, tell your child that it’s a contest to make each other laugh! Be sure to sit down and write jokes and funny stories together, and then share them with other family members and friends.
5It’s Safe Kids WeekMake a list of important house safety rules with your child, and then write them out together on a sheet to be posted on the refrigerator. Includes rules like keeping away from hot stoves, not using knifes without an adult, and being careful on stairs. What rules can your child think of on his own?
6Teacher DayDoes your child have a special teacher in his life, either formally (like a school teacher) or informally (like a fun and smart neighbor or family member)? Have your child make a “thank you for being my teacher” card with crayons and construction paper. Then mail the card or hand-deliver it.
7More Safe KidsIt’s important to keep your kids safe, and it’s important for them to keep their belongings safe. Talk to your child about keeping their favorite books, DVDs, CDs, and toys safe and looking new. Write down ways or a short list of rules to do this (ex: Be careful not to spill anything on books; never leave DVDs lying around outside their cases).
8More Safe KidsThere are lots of signs outside to keep us safe — stop signs, yield signs, crosswalk signals. The next time you’re in a car together, have your child point out these signs and read them out loud — “That’s a stop sign!”
9Child Care Provider Appreciation DayHave your child write a sweet note to your child care provider or babysitter and mention some favorite activities that they do together, like read a book.
10So 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!”
11Mother’s DayFor Mother’s Day, snuggle up together and read a classic like “Are You My Mother” or “Guess How Much I Love You.”
12More Mother’s DayCreate a “Mommy and Me” scrapbook with your child. Find favorite photos of you two (or including other family members) and paste or tape them in a scrapbook or on construction paper. Then have your child write captions for each photo and decorate the pages.
13Frog Jumping DayMake up a silly game to play outside for Frog Jumping Day and then write down the rules together so you can play again with friends, family members, and neighbors.
14Balls, Balls, BallsChildren love to play with balls because they can do so many things. Play a game of catch with your child, and use words like bounce, roll, and fly to describe the ball’s movement. Use different forms of the words like bounced, rolled, and flew. Invite your child to move the ball in different ways; throwing, hitting, punching, and kicking, and notice what happens.
15More Balls, Balls, BallsInvite another child to play and talk about sharing and taking turns.
16Doctor’s Visits: What’s Going to Happen?Sitting and waiting in the doctor’s waiting room can be difficult. Luckily, there are lots of things to talk about. Explain to your child what is going to happen when he goes into the exam room. If your child is sick, you might say “First the nurse will come in to ask you what hurts. She will want to know if you feel hot. She will take your temperature to see if you have a fever.”
17Doctor’s Visits: More What’s Going to Happen?If your child feels well enough, play a pretend game. Say to your child “Good morning sir! Oh, you look like you don’t feel well today. Do you have a fever?”
18Doctor’s Visits: What’s That?Inside the exam room, there is interesting equipment to see and talk about. Play a game with your child. Look at each piece of equipment and try to guess what it is used for. You can start by pointing to something and sharing your idea. “I think that equipment is for looking in ears, because it has a long, skinny part.” Then ask your child what he thinks. Out loud, wonder about the names for things: “I wonder what that ear thing is called?”
19Doctor’s Visits: More What’s That?When the doctor comes in, invite her to join in: “Doctor, we want to know about that piece of equipment.” “What is it used for and what is it called?”
20Doctor’s Visits: Read While You WaitThere are often a lot of children’s books and magazines in the doctor’s waiting room. Ask your child to pick out a book and enjoy it together. When you read it to your child the first time, read it all the way through without stopping.
21Doctor’s Visits: More Read While You WaitIf you are still waiting, read it again. As you read it for a second time, stop at interesting words and talk about them. “Hurricane- what do you think that means?” Connect the word to the story as you figure it out together. “The story said the boy got wet and cold. Maybe a hurricane is a kind of rainstorm.”
22Doctor’s Visits: What’s In a Picture?The waiting room and the exam room sometimes have pictures hanging on the walls. They may be decorations or posters with medical information. These give you a chance to use new words and ideas. If the picture is decorative, you may ask your child’s opinion, “Do you like the way the artist painted the mountains maroon?”
23Doctor’s Visits: More What’s In a Picture?Tell your child what you think too. “I like the way the design matches the curtains in the waiting room.” If the picture is a medical display you may talk about the information it has. “That poster tells about why it is so important to eat nutritious food.”
24Doctor’s Visits: Leaving the OfficeAs you leave the doctor’s office, talk with your child about the exam and each of the things that happened in order. “First the nurse weighed you on the scale and measured you. Then the doctor came in and listened to your heart. After that, the doctor examined your eyes and ears.”
27Doctor’s Visits: More Leaving the OfficeIt’s a good time to review the new words that your child learned at the doctor’s office: “Every time you visit the doctor, the nurse measures your height and weight. What did the doctor use to listen to your heart?” “Oh yes, a stethoscope!”
25Memorial DayWhile young children may not grasp the meaning of Memorial Day, you can introduce the idea of the holiday with “Memorial Day Surprise.” Check it out from your library and read it together.
26Memory LaneAfter Memorial Day, it’s a good time to talk about remembering things. Explain to your child what “memories” are and ask him what some of his favorite memories are — of family, friends, home, school, vacations. You can also share some of your own earliest memories.
28More Memory LaneAs good as your memory may be, it’s still easy to forget the best stories. Pull out your child’s baby book or an early photo album of his life, and go through it together, with you telling the story behind each picture. Your child will love hearing about his baby days!
29Pickle WeekIt’s Pickle Week! To celebrate, find a pickle recipe either online or in a cookbook to make with your child. Make the grocery list together and have your child pick out as many as the ingredients as possible. At home, be sure to read the instructions together.
30Spring into BooksWe’re well into springtime, and this is a great time to bring some spring-themed books outside with your child and read together. Try “It’s Spring!” by Linda Glaser or the bilingual “Spring is Here/Llego la Primavera” by Tamo Gori.
31More Spring into BooksLooking for more? Try these gardening books, which are perfect for springtime: “The Carrot Seed” by Ruth Kraus and “Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert.
PBS KIDS: Raising Readers