Happy Almost Easter and Passover! When the holidays come around, it's a great time to take advantage of fresh reasons to read and write with your child. Here are some easy things to pick from if you celebrate Easter. With a few modifications, I'm sure you could do some of these for Passover as well.
1. Easter Books
Collect Easter stories from the library and used book store. Put a special Easter book in their Easter basket. Don't forget to put away the Easter stories for next year so they're fresh and new a year from now! You could also do an author study of Rosemary Wells. She does the Max & Ruby books about bunnies and has a couple of Easter titles as well. She also has Max & Ruby coloring pages.
2. Cards and Letters
Send cards to special people to wish them a Happy Easter or write a letter for the Easter Bunny to find. Depending on their writing level, you can have your child dictate what they want to say in the card or have them write some themselves.
3. Label Your Eggs/Write Clues
For little ones, label some of their eggs with either the first letter of their name or their whole name. This is especially fun when you have more than one kid doing the hunting because they have to work on reading each other's names, too. For older ones, you can write little clues for where to find a special prize and put them in the eggs or use them as a treasure hunt for the Easter basket.
4. Explore a New Genre
This is a good excuse to try some different kinds of reading and vocabulary. I just picked up a super cute Highlights Poetry book from the Target $1 section to put in B's basket. I feel like we never get enough poetry, so that'll be a fun way to include some. You could also look into non-fiction books on bunnies or chicks. This is also a great time for religious books discussing the meaning behind the holidays. Reading a cookbook recipe is also another type of reading you could practice as you whip up those traditional holiday dishes.
5. Tell an Alien How to Dye Easter Eggs
When I taught first grade, my students loved to write "How-To" books. All you have to do is think of something simple and try to boil it down to three or four steps. It helps them have fun if they imagine they're trying to tell an alien or someone who has never heard of it before how to do it. You can do this with a couple of papers stapled together like a book. The writing might be scribbles, or one word, or lots of words depending on where your kids are at. You can have them draw the pictures or you could take pictures for each step.
An example might be:
How To Dye Easter Eggs
1. Fill each cup with a color tablet, vinegar, and water
2. Decorate your egg with a white crayon if you want designs
3. Dip one egg in each cup and leave it there until it is the color you want
4. Pull the egg out and let it dry
6. Make an "I Like Easter" Book With Your Beginning Reader
Super easy - just staple some white pieces of paper together and write a few sentences about Easter that your child dictates to you. Doesn't have to be long or fancy - "I like eggs. I like bunnies. I like Easter baskets. I like candy. I like Easter." Then cut out images from the computer or draw pictures for each page. Remember, you get them started on the first readthrough and then they will feel confident to read it again on their own. Encourage them to use the picture clues for the harder words.
7. Rhyming in the Car - Easter Edition
When you're hanging out in the car next, see if your kiddo can help think of some Easter words to rhyme. When B and I did it, we came up with hop, bunny, ham, basket(a tough one!), peep, dye, and chick. If Ben couldn't think of any rhyming words, I would help by giving him the first sound of one. This game is about listening for the same ending sounds - as long as they have the same ending sounds, they rhyme.Oooh, and it's another chance to learn a song/nursery rhyme. See if you can sing all of "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" together!
8. Relive a Favorite Easter Memory
After Easter is over, ask your child what their favorite part was or dig up your old Easter Bunny pics to reminisce. They could draw a picture and you can label it. You could use photos you took during Easter to make a little book or if they want to do it all out they can do the illustrations and everything. Practice using describing words to tell detailis. Doing these things will help them learn to retell stories, too!
Reality Check: I am not doing all of these things! These are ideas for you to think about. Pick one if you feel like trying it:)