Make Literacy Fun with Engaging Activities


Some kids naturally enjoy being read to and learning to read; some children do not. For all children, it's great to find fun, motivating ways to learn to read. By engaging children in hands-on learning activities, they are given the opportunity to make choices and use their creativity.

Make Literacy Fun for Early Learning

Fun with Food for Easy Reading Activities

Here's an example of a hands-on learning activity that requires children to read and write. For younger children, you can read the different prompts and write their responses. Have older children read the prompts and complete the responses independently, providing any necessary guidance to remain focused or to decode difficult words.

Children will be learn to:

  • Create a shopping list
  • Write a menu
  • Pretend to prepare food
  • Draw/label food items


  • Play food
  • Grocery store advertisements
  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue


  1. Begin by having children create a menu of items they would like to serve at their restaurant. They can even make up the prices. Write a menu lesson plan - easy early literacy activities
  2. Look through newspaper ads, and have the children cut out some of the ingredients for their menu items (e.g. ground beef, buns, and cheese for burgers). They will create a collage by gluing these items to a piece of paper. On the back of the collage, they will create a shopping list by writing down the names of the different images they cut and pasted. Create a food collage - early literacy lesson
  3. Here's the part the kids really enjoy! They can use play food to create some of their menu items. My daughter loves playing in her kitchen. After preparing the play food, children will draw pictures of their creations and label them, using words from their shopping list.  Hand's on learning for the menu lesson plan

This is a complex literacy activity with several components that can be completed across multiple days. You do not have to do all of the components and you certainly don't have to complete them in this sequence, but hopefully it will inspire you to be creative with your literacy activities. Other themes can include visit to the doctor or dentist, preparing meals for a feast (like Thanksgiving), or dress-up ideas.

Here are some Suggested Readings that go with these literacy activities :
Froggy Eats Out by Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
Dora and Diego Let's Cook by Nickelodeon and Raina Moore

How do you encourage early reading skills in your children?

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Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, and work-at-home mother to two young children, Lydia (age 5) and Bryce (age 3). Carrie graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and in 2002 with a Master’s degree in special education. After teaching children ages 3 – 21 with varying abilities for several years, she completed her Doctorate in special education in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University. In March 2010, Carrie began writing Huppie Mama, a lifestyle blog focusing on family, food, fun, fashion, and fitness.

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