Reading and Dinosaur Footprints – helping kids to read

Z started school last September. After October half term he came home with an envelope full of words for reading practice, each on a tiny bit of paper. The initial enthusiasm for practising his words has started to fade as they have become harder. The main problem is that we do his reading at bedtime when he is tired and the girls are around. Baby H starts throwing them and little S folds them up into tiny pieces to ‘help’.

I decided we needed a new approach, so now we do his reading after the girls are in bed, and I’ve been trying to incorporate it into our daytime activities too.

We cut out a lot of dinosaur footprints and wrote Z’s words on them. The idea is that he reads the words as he steps on the footprint.

helping kids to readWe’ve had word races and left footprint patterns around the house.


Then for little girls who can’t read yet, but don’t want to be left out, we made some number prints.

helping kids to readSo far he seems to be enjoying it.

Does anyone else have any ideas for me to make learning to read fun?

helping kids to read


  1. says

    What a great idea! You could try a treasure hunt with them too, or stick them around the house for the little one to find. Stick them in the bathroom for reading at bathtime?

  2. says

    that’s a great idea, well done…I’m sure Z won’t get fed up of this! I printed Sam’s words onto magnets, longlasting but not half as fun as these!

  3. says

    You are great – I wish you had been my mum! It’s a bit for older children, but a good one is reading the letters on the car number plates and trying to make a word out of them by adding other letters. I used to read shop signs when I was little. So does GG, but used to get them wrong, which often resulted in fun! For example the time she read out the pub sign and got it wrong. It was called the Clock….

  4. says

    Oh wow what a brilliant idea, when Little Bean gets to that stage at school and I write a post about how she isn’t focusing on her words PLEASE remind me of this.

    I love how your brain works, you have some great ideas – I am jealous 😉

  5. says

    What a good idea! We’re not quite at that stage in our house yet, but won’t be long as eldest is starting school in August. It’s good to get ideas that make learning fun. I think I’ll be needing lots of them as he appears to have the attention span of a flea (unless he’s watching Tom and Jerry, in which case he’s entranced for hours…)


  6. says

    LOVE your reading with dinosaur footprints! What a great way to make reading FUN!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great week,
    Beth =-)

  7. says

    Great idea! I’m always looking for fun ways to teach key words. There are so many to learn and you have to keep practicing them. My daughter has reached a similar blip. She can’t seem to remember all the th words, them this etc. I think she struggles with the sound and they are too similar.

    Thanks for linking up to the education showcase.

  8. says

    This is absolutely awesome! I am going to pin this right now! This is great way to target SO many different objectives! I’m so glad I found your blog- thanks so much for linking up to Thrifty Thursday!

  9. Jane says

    Found this on Pinterest. Thank you for this idea – simple but so fun! My son will love it, and it won’t take me hours to prepare!


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