As the mom of three – THREE – active boys, I struggle with keeping my kids busy (but attentive) during a read-aloud. Most of our read-alouds are picture books, which means that they are short and sweet and have pictures as built-in distractors. But I’m trying to incorporate more chapter books into our schooling (especially as part of our history curriculum), both for the learning opportunities and the pure joy of sharing a story together.
Diving into a good book should be fun, right? So why does the experience so often devolve into wrestling and fights and chaos? I’ve found that the remedy is to keep little hands busy during a chapter book read-aloud. So I’ve collected a list of 34 activities for us to try, which I’ve put into a handy-dandy printable that I’m making available to you, too! Print it out and keep it with your read-alouds so that you’re prepared with ideas for chaos-quelling activities.
I’ve categorized the activities by age – activities appropriate for pre-school/ lower elementary, upper elementary, and a few activities that are fun for everyone. You might find an activity, like mazes, on both the Older Kids and Younger Kids lists (see below). But if you click on each link, you’ll find that the links send you to different activity books that are age-appropriate for each level.
Read-Aloud Activities for Younger Kids
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- Simple Puzzles
- Picture Mosaics*
- Button Art
- Water Wow*
- Do-a-Dot Art*
- Pattern Blocks
- Magnetic Puzzle Book
- Magnetic Wand Maze
- Word Search
- Color by Number
- Coloring Pages
Read-Aloud Activities for Older Kids
- Wristbands / Bracelets
- Extreme Dot-to-Dot
- Word Search
- Mystery Mosaics
- Paint by Sticker
Fun for everyone!
*Use a craft tray to keep mess to a minimum.
You’ll also find activities to avoid because they’re too loud or promote too much movement. It’s no fun reading to an audience of 0 when your kids chase a paper airplane out of the room!
Are you ready to make read-aloud time a little more manageable? Click on the image below to download your copy of read-aloud activity ideas today!