10 Best Fun Reading Activities for Elementary Students

Teaching elementary students to fall in love with reading can be a challenging endeavor. Yet, studies show engaging activities significantly boost their comprehension skills and interest in books.

This article offers 10 exciting reading activities that not only make learning fun but also foster a deep-seated passion for literacy among children.

Get ready to transform your teaching approach and ignite the spark of lifelong readership.

1. Read-Aloud Sessions:

Read-Aloud Sessions

Read-Aloud Sessions involve choosing age-appropriate books, using interactive reading techniques, and encouraging discussion and reflection.

Let’s discuss these methods in more detail:

Choosing age-appropriate books

Selecting age-appropriate books is an essential first step in creating a conducive reading environment for elementary students. It’s crucial to pick books that align with their developmental stage and vocabulary levels, fostering interest rather than frustration.

For beginners, picture books with simple words help them relate the images to the text while providing a base for basic literacy concepts. As skills advance, gradually introduce more complex narratives like chapter books or novels suitable for older readers.

A diverse selection across different genres can cater to various interests, sparking curiosity and encouraging regular reading habits.

Interactive reading techniques

Interactive reading techniques provide an engaging way for elementary students to hone their literacy skills and foster a love for reading.

Here are several strategies that teachers and parents can employ:

  1. Active Participation: Encourage students to participate actively in the reading process by predicting the storyline, discussing characters, and engaging with plot twists.
  2. Picture Walks: Before even beginning the book, take your student on a “picture walk” through the illustrated pages. This primes them for what’s to come and helps them work on prediction skills.
  3. Pausing for Questions: Periodically pause during reading sessions to ask thought-provoking questions related to the text, enhancing their comprehension skills.
  4. Vocabulary Building: Highlight new words during reading sessions and discuss their meanings in context, aiding their vocabulary-building effort.
  5. Reader’s Theater: Assign roles from a book to students and have them act it out, facilitating deeper character understanding.
  6. Roll & Chat Dice Game: Utilize this fun game where each roll of dice corresponds to a different question about the story, turning comprehension into an exciting activity.
  7. Using Flashcards: Employ flashcards featuring key characters or events from the book – a method endorsed by educational experts for struggling learners.
  8. Scavenger Hunt based on Books: Organize scavenger hunts involving elements from favorite books, fostering an interactive learning environment.

Discussion and reflection

Fostering a culture of discussion and reflection can significantly enhance reading comprehension among elementary students. As teachers or parents, encouraging children to share their thoughts about the story they’ve read deepens their understanding.

Ask them to discuss characters, plot twists, favorite parts, and moral lessons learned. This not only strengthens literacy concepts but also develops critical thinking skills.

For instance, integrating activities like “Story Cheeseburger” helps kids break down stories into different layers—much like a cheeseburger—aiding in better comprehension of literary elements such as setting, characters, conflict resolution etc. A cozy reading corner provides an inviting space for these engaging discussions sparking interest and confidence in young learners while promoting lifelong reading habits.

2. Book Clubs:

reading clubs

Forming reading groups can be an effective strategy to promote a love for reading in elementary students.

By grouping students together based on their reading levels and interests, teachers and parents can create an engaging and supportive environment for young readers.

These groups provide opportunities for collaborative discussionsshared book recommendations, and the development of critical thinking skills. Additionally, setting goals and assignments within these groups helps foster motivation and accountability among students.

Besides improving reading comprehension reading groups also encourage social interaction and teamwork skills in children.

Setting goals and assignments

  • Encourage your child to set reading goals, such as finishing a certain number of books in a month or exploring different genres.
  • Help your child create a reading assignment list by selecting books from their favorite authors or topics they are interested in.
  • Discuss the importance of setting realistic goals and breaking them down into smaller tasks to make them more achievable.
  • Support your child in tracking their progress by using a reading log or checklist to mark off completed assignments.
  • Celebrate your child’s accomplishments when they reach their goals, whether it’s with a small reward or recognition.

Remember, setting goals and assignments can help motivate your child to read regularly and expand their literary horizons. By creating a sense of purpose and accomplishment, they are more likely to develop a lifelong love for reading.

Facilitating discussions

Facilitating discussions is an essential component of promoting reading comprehension among elementary students.

By encouraging open dialogue and critical thinking, teachers and parents can help children delve deeper into the text and develop a better understanding of the story.

This can be achieved by asking thought-provoking questions that encourage students to reflect on the plot, characters, and themes. Additionally, group discussions can allow students to share their interpretations, insights, and personal connections to the text.

Through these conversations, children learn to think critically about what they read and enhance their overall comprehension skills.

3. Reading Buddies:

Reading Buddies

Pairing students for reading partnerships is a fantastic way to make reading more enjoyable and interactive for elementary students.

By encouraging them to work together, they not only develop their reading skills but also foster collaboration and build relationships with their peers.

Students can take turns reading aloud to each other, providing feedback, and discussing their thoughts and interpretations of the text. This activity helps enhance comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary while promoting a love for reading among young learners.

Taking turns reading and providing feedback

  • Encourage students to take turns reading aloud during group reading sessions.
  • Provide opportunities for each student to read a paragraph or page, allowing them to practice their reading skills while also engaging with the text.
  • After each student finishes reading, ask them to provide feedback on what they read. This can include summarizing the main points, discussing any confusing or challenging parts, or sharing their thoughts and reactions to the content.
  • Foster a supportive and positive environment where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and asking questions about the text.
  • Guide discussions by asking open-ended questions that encourage critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the material.
  • Emphasize active listening skills by encouraging students to engage with their peers’ readings and feedback. This can be done by asking follow-up questions or building on each other’s ideas.
  • Provide constructive feedback as a facilitator, offering praise for strengths and suggestions for improvement in a respectful manner.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer feedback, allowing students to learn from one another and develop their communication skills.
  • Incorporate self-reflection activities where students can evaluate their own reading performance and set goals for improvement.
  • Regularly assess students’ progress through informal reading assessments or observation of their oral reading fluency and comprehension skills.

4. Reading Games and Puzzles:

In this section, we will explore various reading games and puzzles that can enhance elementary students’ literacy skills.

Word search and crossword puzzles

Word search and crossword puzzles are engaging activities that can enhance elementary students’ reading skills.

They provide an interactive way for children to practice vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension. Here’s how you can incorporate word search and crossword puzzles into your reading activities:

  • Introduce themed word search puzzles based on books or topics that the students are studying. For example, if they recently read “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss, create a word search with keywords from the story.
  • Crossword puzzles can be designed around literary concepts or specific books. Students can fill in the blanks with words related to characters, settings, or plot events. This will not only test their reading comprehension but also expand their vocabulary.
  • Encourage students to work together in pairs or small groups to solve these puzzles. This fosters collaboration and promotes teamwork while allowing children to share ideas and insights.
  • Make use of online resources and apps that offer ready-made word search and crossword puzzle templates that can be customized to fit your classroom needs.

Board games centered around books

Board games centered around books are a fantastic way to engage elementary students in reading activities.

They not only promote literacy but also enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Here are some popular board games that can make reading fun and interactive for your child:

  1. Scrabble Junior: This classic word-building game has a junior version that is perfect for younger readers. It helps children practice spelling and improve their vocabulary while having fun.
  2. Boggle: In this fast-paced game, players have to find as many words as they can within a grid of letters. It encourages children to think quickly and look for letter combinations, enhancing their word recognition skills.
  3. Story Cubes: This creative storytelling game features dice with different pictures on each side. Players roll the dice and use the pictures as inspiration to create imaginative stories or incorporate them into existing books.
  4. The Reading Game: Designed specifically to improve reading skills, this board game helps children build phonics and sight-word recognition through play-based learning.
  5. Bookopoly: This literary twist on the classic Monopoly game allows players to buy, sell, and trade famous book titles while learning about different genres and authors.
  6. Bananagrams: Similar to Scrabble but without the board, Bananagrams challenges players to create words using letter tiles in a race against time. It promotes quick thinking and builds vocabulary.
  7. Guess Who?: While not solely focused on reading, this classic guessing game encourages participants to describe characters using descriptive clues, which helps develop language skills.
  8. Where’s Waldo?: Based on the popular book series, this seek-and-find game tests children’s observation skills as they search for hidden objects in detailed illustrations.
  9. Apples to Apples Junior: Although primarily a card game, Apples to Apples Junior involves matching nouns with adjectives based on personal preferences or characteristics mentioned in the cards’ descriptions.
  10. Rat-a-Tat Cat: This card game combines strategy and memory skills as players try to collect sets of low-scoring cards while remembering which ones they have in their hands.
  11. Trivial Pursuit: Young Players Edition: A variation of the classic trivia game, this version features questions that are suitable for younger readers, challenging them with age-appropriate literary knowledge.

5. Reading Journals:

In reading journals, elementary students keep personal logs of their reading progress, write summaries and reflections on books they have read, and share their favorite passages with others.

Keeping personal reading logs

One effective reading activity for elementary students is keeping personal reading logs. By encouraging children to track their reading progress, parents and teachers can promote accountability and help build a sense of accomplishment.

In these logs, students can write summaries of the books they have read, reflect on their favorite passages, or even share their thoughts and feelings about the stories. This activity not only allows students to practice writing skills but also helps them develop a deeper understanding of the books they are reading.

Additionally, keeping a reading log provides an opportunity for parents and teachers to monitor progress and provide guidance when needed.

Writing summaries and reflections

Writing summaries and reflections can be a valuable activity for elementary students as it helps them develop comprehension skills and encourages critical thinking. Here are some ideas for incorporating this activity into your reading routine:

  • Have students write a brief summary of the main events or key points of the story after they finish reading a book or a chapter.
  • Encourage students to reflect on their favorite parts of the story and why those parts stood out to them. This can help them make personal connections with the characters and themes.
  • Provide guided questions or prompts to help students think deeper about the story. For example, you could ask them to analyze the motivations of the main character or compare different choices made by characters in the book.
  • Incorporate visual aids, such as graphic organizers or mind maps, to help students organize their thoughts before writing their summaries and reflections.
  • Give students opportunities to share their summaries and reflections with their peers through class discussions or small group activities.

Sharing favorite passages

One exciting reading activity for elementary students is sharing favorite passages. This allows children to share the parts of a book that they love the most and why those sections resonate with them.

It not only encourages students to dive deeper into a story but also helps develop their comprehension skills as they analyze and express their thoughts. By sharing these passages, children can inspire each other to explore new books and authors, fostering a love for reading in the process.

6. Dramatic Readings and Skits:

author school visits

Engaging in dramatic readings and skits is a fantastic way for elementary students to develop their creativity and deepen their understanding of characters.

By acting out scenes from books, children can step into the shoes of different characters, exploring their personalities, motivations, and emotions.

This hands-on approach allows them to bring stories to life while honing their imagination and empathy skills. Organizing mini-performances also encourages collaboration among students as they work together to create props, rehearse lines, and coordinate actions.

Let’s talk about these activities more.

Acting out scenes from books

Acting out scenes from books is a great way to bring stories to life and enhance reading comprehension skills. By embodying the characters and acting out their dialogue and actions, students can gain a deeper understanding of the story and its themes.

Here are some key points about this activity:

  • It allows students to engage their creativity and imagination as they step into the shoes of different characters.
  • Acting out scenes encourages students to closely analyze the text, paying attention to details like the tone of voice, body language, and emotions.
  • This activity helps students develop oral communication skills by practicing articulation, projection, and expression.
  • It fosters collaboration among students as they work together to create performances and adapt the text into skits or mini-plays.
  • Acting out scenes can also be an opportunity for students to explore different perspectives and empathize with diverse characters.
  • It provides a hands-on approach to learning that can make reading more enjoyable for children.

Organizing mini performances

Organizing mini-performances can be a fun and engaging reading activity for elementary students. It allows them to bring their favorite books to life and develop their creativity and understanding of characters. Below are some ideas on how to organize mini-performances:

  1. Choose a book: Select a book that the students are familiar with or have recently read as a class. This helps them connect with the story and characters.
  2. Assign roles: Divide the students into different roles based on the characters in the book. Encourage them to think about the personality traits, emotions, and motivations of their assigned character.
  3. Rehearse scenes: Have the students practice acting out specific scenes from the book. Provide guidance on body language, facial expressions, and vocal delivery to help them embody their characters effectively.
  4. Create props and costumes: Allow the students to get creative by designing props and costumes that represent their characters. This enhances their understanding of the story and adds visual appeal to the performance.
  5. Organize performances: Set up a stage or designated area for students to perform their scenes in front of classmates, parents, or other teachers. This creates a sense of excitement and encourages public speaking skills.
  6. Reflect on the performance: After each performance, have a discussion with the students about what they learned from acting out the scene. Ask questions about character development, plot elements, and key themes explored in their performance.
  7. Extend learning through writing: Follow up with writing activities where students can reflect on their experience performing in front of an audience. They can write about what they enjoyed most, challenges they faced, or lessons they learned from being part of mini-performances.
  8. Repeat with different stories: Encourage students to choose different books for future mini-performances, allowing them to explore various genres and cultivate a love for reading different types of literature.

7. Author Visits:

author Visits:

Inviting local authors or storytellers to interact with elementary students is a fantastic way to ignite their love for reading. These visits provide valuable insights into the writing process, as well as opportunities for Q&A sessions that can deepen young readers’ understanding and appreciation of literature.

By connecting with real-life authors, children are inspired to explore their own creativity and develop a deeper connection with books. These interactions can spark the imaginations of budding writers and promote a lifelong passion for reading.

Q&A sessions with the author

During Q&A sessions with authors, elementary students have the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of storytelling. These sessions allow young readers to interact directly with their favorite authors or local storytellers, asking questions about the writing process, character development, and plot twists.

By engaging in conversations with an author, students gain insight into the creative minds behind their beloved books and are inspired to explore their own imaginations. These sessions spark curiosity and encourage a sense of connection between readers and writers, fostering a love for reading that lasts a lifetime.

8. Reading Challenges:

Reading Challenges

Setting goals and targets is an important aspect of promoting reading among elementary students. By setting clear objectives, students have something to work towards and can track their progress. Here are some ideas for setting goals and targets:

  1. Create a reading challenge: Encourage students to set a goal for the number of books they want to read within a certain timeframe. This could be a monthly or yearly challenge, depending on the preference of the student or teacher.
  2. Set individualized reading goals: Each student may have different reading abilities and interests. Tailor goals to suit their needs, whether it’s aiming to read more complex books, exploring different genres, or improving comprehension skills.
  3. Determine specific milestones: Break down larger goals into smaller milestones so that students can celebrate their achievements along the way. For example, completing a certain number of chapters or reaching a specific reading level.
  4. Track progress: Have students keep track of their reading accomplishments using charts or logs. This visual representation can help them see how far they’ve come and encourage them to continue working towards their goals.
  5. Foster a supportive environment: Encourage peer support by allowing students to share their goals with each other and provide encouragement and feedback along the way.

Offering rewards and incentives

One effective way to motivate elementary students to read is by offering rewards and incentives. By providing tangible or intangible rewards, children are encouraged to engage in reading activities and improve their literacy skills.

Teachers and parents can set goals with their students, such as completing a certain number of books or reading for a specific amount of time, and reward them accordingly.

Rewards could include small prizes like stickers, bookmarks, or certificates of achievement. Additionally, incentives like special privileges or extra free time can also be offered to further motivate students.

These rewards not only make the reading experience more enjoyable but also help build confidence and interest in reading.

Studies have shown that offering rewards enhances intrinsic motivation and fosters a positive attitude toward learning. By associating reading with positive experiences, children are more likely to develop a lifelong love for books while gaining valuable literacy skills along the way.

9. Literary Crafts and Projects:

Literary Crafts and Projects

Immerse your elementary students in the world of literature by incorporating these fun and creative activities.

From designing their own bookmarks to bringing stories to life through illustrations, these literary crafts and projects will foster a love for reading while encouraging artistic expression.

Creating bookmarks and book covers

Creating bookmarks and book covers is a fun and creative way to engage elementary students in reading. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Encourage students to design their own bookmarks using colorful paper, markers, and stickers.
  • Provide materials such as ribbons, beads, and buttons for students to create unique and personalized bookmarks.
  • Have students decorate bookmarks with characters or scenes from their favorite books to make them more visually appealing.
  • Discuss the importance of using bookmarks to keep track of where they left off in a book and how it helps build reading habits.
  • Teach students different bookmark techniques like folding corners or using magnetic strips.
  • Organize a bookmark exchange where students can share their creations with one another.
  • Introduce the concept of book covers and discuss how they attract readers’ attention.
  • Have students design book covers for their favorite stories or for books they want to write themselves.
  • Explore different artistic mediums that can be used for creating book covers, such as collages, drawings, or digital designs.
  • Discuss the elements of a good book cover, including title placement, imagery, and font choice.
  • Display the students’ bookmark creations and book covers around the classroom or library as inspiration for others.

Designing storyboards and illustrations

Designing storyboards and illustrations can be a creative and engaging reading activity for elementary students. It allows them to visualize the story and express their understanding in a visual format. Here are some ideas to incorporate storyboard and illustration activities into your reading lessons:

  1. Assign a scene: Have students choose a favorite scene from a book they have read or are currently reading. Ask them to create a storyboard, illustrating key moments from the scene.
  2. Character profiles: Have students create detailed illustrations of the main characters from a book. They can draw the characters’ appearance, personality traits, and important characteristics.
  3. Book cover redesign: Challenge students to design an alternative cover for a book they have read. Encourage them to think about how the cover can capture the essence of the story and attract potential readers.
  4. Sequential art: Introduce students to graphic novels or comic books that adapt literary works or tell original stories. Have them create their own short sequential art stories based on a scene from a book.
  5. Setting visualization: Ask students to illustrate a setting from a book in detail, focusing on capturing its mood and atmosphere through colors, textures, and details.
  6. Story retelling: Have students create an illustrated storyboard that summarizes the main events of a book they have read. This activity helps them practice summarization skills while engaging with the visual aspects of storytelling.
  7. Compare and contrast: Prompt students to compare and contrast two different books using illustrations. They can highlight key similarities and differences between characters, themes, or settings through their illustrations.
  8. Visualizing descriptions: Select descriptive passages from books and ask students to illustrate what they imagine based on those descriptions.

10. Reading Apps and Digital Resources:

Reading Apps and Digital Resources

Exploring educational reading apps and online libraries is a great way to blend technology with reading activities for elementary students.

Recommending educational reading apps

In today’s digital age, educational reading apps have become an increasingly popular tool for engaging elementary students in the world of literature. These apps offer a wide range of interactive features that make reading fun and exciting for young learners.

For example, some apps incorporate games and quizzes to test comprehension skills, while others provide access to a vast library of e-books and audiobooks. By recommending these educational reading apps to teachers and parents, we can help enhance children’s literacy development and foster a love for reading from an early age.

Utilizing e-books and online libraries

With advancements in technology, utilizing e-books and online libraries has become an increasingly popular way to engage elementary students in reading. E-books provide a convenient platform for accessing a wide variety of age-appropriate books at the touch of a button.

Online libraries, like Epic! offer an extensive collection of books that can be read on any device with internet access.

By incorporating e-books and online libraries into reading activities, teachers and parents can expose children to different genres, authors, and subjects. This not only expands their knowledge but also enhances their reading comprehension skills as they navigate through digital pages.

Moreover, these resources often include interactive features such as audio narration and highlighting text, which further aids in improving literacy skills.

In addition to expanding access to literature, digital resources also enable educators to track student’s progress and identify areas for improvement. Many online platforms provide assessments or quizzes that gauge reading comprehension levels while providing personalized recommendations for further practice.

Blending technology with reading activities

Blending technology with reading activities can be an exciting way to engage elementary students in the world of books. With the abundance of educational reading apps and online libraries, there are endless possibilities for incorporating digital resources into literacy lessons.

Encouraging kids to explore e-books not only enhances their reading skills but also introduces them to new interactive features and multimedia elements. By harnessing the power of technology, teachers and parents can create a dynamic learning environment that captivates young learners’ attention while strengthening their comprehension abilities.

In addition to e-books, there are various digital tools available that offer engaging reading games and exercises tailored specifically for elementary students. These interactive activities help reinforce important literacy concepts such as phonicssight wordsvocabulary building, and fluency development.


In conclusion, these 10 engaging reading activities for elementary students provide a fun and interactive approach to promoting literacy. Whether it’s through read-aloud sessions, book clubs, or creative projects, these activities aim to enhance reading comprehension and ignite a lifelong love of books.

By incorporating these strategies into the classroom or at home, teachers and parents can help foster confident readers who are enthusiastic about exploring new worlds through literature.


1. What are some engaging reading activities for elementary students?

Some engaging reading activities for elementary students include creating a book club, participating in read-aloud sessions, using interactive online platforms, and organizing storytelling competitions.

2. How can I encourage reluctant readers to engage in reading activities?

To encourage reluctant readers, you can provide a variety of genres and topics to choose from, incorporate visuals and illustrations into the reading materials, make it a shared activity by reading together or discussing books as a group, and offer incentives or rewards for reaching reading goals.

3. Are there any technology-based reading activities suitable for elementary students?

Yes, there are several technology-based reading activities that are suitable for elementary students. These include educational apps focused on literacy skills development, virtual storytime sessions with authors or celebrities, online book clubs or forums where students can discuss their favorite books with others.

4. How can I make sure the reading activities cater to different learning styles?

To ensure the reading activities cater to different learning styles, you can provide options such as audiobooks for auditory learners, visual aids and graphic organizers for visual learners, hands-on projects related to the book’s content for kinesthetic learners, and opportunities for discussions and debates for verbal learners

5. What are interactive activities for reading?

Interactive activities for reading include group discussions, storyboarding, interactive read-aloud sessions, and using educational apps or websites. These activities engage readers actively and promote comprehension, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of the text.

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