We know that entertaining children with little attention spans is not always easy. These activity ideas can be used to banish boredom while engaging them in literacy and storytelling. All of these activities are based around The Ladybird Readers range, but they can be easily adapted to individual needs.
Spot the Dog colouring sheets
Spot is an iconic character that children know and love. This trick will help you reduce the amount of paper you use at home.
- Print out the Spot the Dog colouring sheet.
- Next, place it onto a piece of cardboard to make it stronger.
- Now, cover it in cellotape or laminate it. Children can then use the colouring page over and over again by wiping it down with a sponge or wipe.
Freeze frame activity
Reading is such an important skill, but with limited attention spans, we often need to use a range of activities to help engage children and sustain their interest. The Ladybird Readers BBC Earth books have excellent video resources that can help consolidate the text and take the focus away from reading for more reluctant readers.
- Go to the resource page for BBC Earth Deserts and play the video.
- Turn off the sound on the video and use the visuals to allow the child to tell their own story based on their understanding of the visual content. This works well because there is no right or wrong answer; it is simply about interpreting the content of the video. This activity can be used before reading the book and it will focus more on predictions, or after reading, to consolidate the overall content and key words.
Make key word prompts
- Listen to the video on the Little Survivors page. Once you have watched the video, recreate the content using key word prompts.
- Make these key word prompts from the video and story on scraps of paper: North America / clever / cheeks / save / Winter / food / survive / leaves / acorns / forest / burrow / Chipmunk / underground / hibernate / small body
- Scatter the words on a table, then try to retell the video using the key words. Or ask learners to choose several words and make a sentence related to the video.
Scramble up all of the words and see if they can be put in chronological order according to the video content. This is an effective way to consolidate key vocabulary in a more kinaesthetic way.
Have fun with Porridge
- Make a tray of objects from the Too Much Porridge!, which is a fun way to create interest before the reading process starts.
- Put the objects above onto a tray, use them to make predictions about the story, and encourage the pupils to chat about each object. Think of questions such as: What is it? What do we use it for? Do you like it? What do you think all of the objects can make?
After reading the book, it can be fun to recreate the recipe that Masha makes – pink porridge! Use the instructions from Masha to recreate the dish. Note: This must be done under adult supervision because it involves hot water.
- First, put some hot water in a very big pot.
- Put lots of oats in the pot.
- Add some jam.
- Add lots of milk.
Make Cinderella crafts
- Print out the Cinderella finger puppet page.
- Grab a copy of the book, and use the finger puppets whilst telling the story. Rotate the characters as you retell each of their parts. This can help keep learners focused and engaged.
Role play and dress-up are always fun. On the resource page, there is an additional activity where you can make Cinderella’s crown. Encourage learners to read the instructions and cut out the crown. Adult supervision or help may be needed because learners will need to use scissors for this activity.
Make Under The Oceans pasta art
- After you have finished reading Under The Oceans, tell your pupils to select one of their favourite sea creatures.
- Draw the outline and then use dry pasta to finish the picture using PVA glue. Here is an example of a pasta sea creature below which I created with my two children last week – they really enjoyed it!
Create pick-up sticks
- Find some lollipop sticks and write key words from a book on the sticks.
- Scatter them in front of you whilst reading aloud.
- Ask the children to listen carefully and grab a lollipop stick with the correct word each time they hear it read by you. This is a kinaesthetic and tactile activity to do whilst reading and keeps youngsters focused and engaged.
This activity can be used with any book, simply read through the book first and write down the key words on the sticks.
TagsClassroom learning | English as a first language | home learning | Ladybird Readers