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  • Writer's pictureGaila Cohen Morrison

Dear Gaila - Summer Projects to do with Children that Encourage Spelling, Reading, Grammar and Phone

Last week I shared with you a fun, free summer activity that will get your kids reading. This week I'll share a spelling/reading/grammar improving activity idea.

Dear Gaila,

Summer is around the corner. Since I'm off with them anyway, I'd like to take advantage of the vacation and encourage their reading and writing in English skills. On the other hand, it's vacation! I want them to enjoy their time. Do you have any creative ideas to do with them?

Desperate-For-Ideas Mom

Dear D.F.I. Mom,

When your children aren't busy reading for their reading chart, they will probably be want to get busy with their hands or play with a friend. I doubt they will want to work on reading tricky words, spelling, phonetics or grammar! Well, here is an idea that will trick them into doing just that:

Have your children create the games themselves! Once they have invested into creating the game, their sense of ownership will be an incentive to play with it. (Besides this should keep them busy for a few hours!).

games to improve reading, writing and spelling

How do you choose what game they should create? Think about your child's weak spots. Is he confusing ch/sh/tion? Is their a certain grammatical error your child is having trouble with? Spelling mistakes that need improvement? Phonetics you want to concentrate on? (This is especially good for reading preparation. For that, check out my tips for phonemic awareness. This can give you some good game ideas.)

Once you have decided on the skills your child should improve, look around for games that can work. Bingo, memory cards, snakes and ladders, domino cards and such (I gave some ideas here). You can look online for templates to use and print them out, or just be creative!

summer activity to improve spelling, grammar, phonemic awareness and reading

Now that you have thought up the game (that wasn't too hard, was it?), this is the part your child gets to do. Have them create the game and decorate it. Let them go wild with arts and crafts. Bring out different materials for different games.

To this day, in teaching, I use many games and toys my daughters created during the summer vacation. They had the time and creative energy to do it, and the results are impressive!

Now your kid can have fun every day playing a game or two. These are new, interesting games. They can play them with a sibling, a friend, by themselves or with you. And without noticing it - they will improve their spelling, grammar, reading and phonemic awareness skills. This is definitely a win-win situation!

I'll be back next week with more summer vacation ideas for reading and writing!


Gaila has almost 40 year of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns

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