Fun Ways to Build Literacy Skills

Grandparents reading with elementary student at DSA-Delray Beach.

School is out! The temptation of summer is to veg out. But let’s keep our children’s brains captivated by building literacy skills and enriching their vocabulary. These learning activities don’t have to be a chore, in fact, there are lots of fun ways to build literacy skills with your child.

Have Conversations

Talking to babies beginning in infancy boosts their brainpower and sets them up for success. Simply talking to your baby promotes language skills and auditory perceptions. Both are critical steps in the language development of your child. One study showed that children who were spoken to more as babies achieved higher IQ results at age three and performed better in school at ages nine and ten. (Remember, relying on your smartphone to deliver language interactions does not produce the same result as personal interaction).

Play Car Games

Fast-forward a few years to when your children are in school. This is the time to play car games. Yes, even a trip to and from school (or a summer road trip!) can be a learning experience and an opportunity to build your relationship with your child. Try playing ‘I Spy,’ ‘The Category Game,’ and, my favorite, ‘I’m going to the moon and I’m taking ____.’ It’s a fun twist on the Category Game which makes for great laughs and lots of thinking.

As your children get older, let them initiate these language games. A favorite of ours is ‘One Word Story.’ Each person in the car adds one single word to the story to complete a sentence. It engages everyone and keeps kids on the edge of their seats. They will remember car rides forever and not even notice that they were building language skills in the process.

Be a Good Example

As an educator, I cannot express enough the critical importance of literacy. As parents, we have a responsibility to nurture our children’s future by promoting a love of lifelong learning. Here are some ways that you can be a good example for your children at home:

  • Limit electronics.
  • Set aside time to read.
  • Create a family book club.


By Ana Gomez, Director of Exceptional Student Education, Divine Savior Academy – Doral