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Independent Reading Activities for Kindergarten To Try Right Now

I bust out the kids' favorite independent reading activities for a minimum stress, maximum fun phonics time. These can be used one on one, as kindergarten reading station activities, or be done with a whole classroom of kids.

All 3 of these independent reading activities have many ways to differentiate to meet the needs of all your young learners and build their phonics skills. So whether you're working on beginning and ending sounds, letters, CVC word reading, or digraphs like "sh" and "ch," I've got something for you.

Without further ado, the 3 most begged for independent reading activities are...

  1. Beginning and Ending Sound Parking Lots
  2. Phonics Dominoes
  3. CVC Words and Digraph Cup Stacking Challenge

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3 Top Rated Independent Reading Activities

Get ready to sit back and watch kids get excited to practice reading all on their own. You might even have time to sit down and drink coffee while it's still hot. The best part? It's all hands-on!

Beginning and Ending Sound Parking Lots

sound parking lot beginning independent reading activity

Kids dream of the day they'll get to drive, so bring that dream to life with phonics parking lots. It's so simple, you'll need 10 plastic cars, hot wheels, or trains you have lying around the house.

If you don't have ten little cars you can usually pick them up from the dollar store or here on Amazon.

Print out the 3 beginning sound parking lots or the 3 ending sounds parking lots and you're almost ready to play. Just label the cars with the 10 necessary letters using a dry erase or sharpie.

Independent beginning sound reading activity

All the beginning sound parking lots use the same letters, and the ending sounds have the same letters on each of their mats too! This makes it so you only would need to change the letters on the cars when you're ready to move from beginning to ending sounds.

I love this game because kids are SO psyched to play and can do so independently. So they're working on their phonemic isolation (isolating sounds in words), while I can step back and beam with pride.

Phonics Dominoes

Kids can play this independent reading activity with a partner or on their own. You don't need anything but a sharpie, crayon, and popsicle sticks.

independent reading center with phonics dominoes

I played this game with my kindergartners using CVC words, but you can also play it with the alphabet, shapes, numbers, sight words, spelling words, etc.

Prep this quick independent reading activity in 5 steps:

  1. Line up an even number of jumbo popsicle sticks.
  2. Add a color to every other one.
  3. Write a number, word, shape, or letter on both sides.
  4. Whatever you wrote on the right sight of the first popsicle stick, write the same thing on the left side of the next stick.
  5. Continue till the phonics dominoes all have two words each.
independent reading activities popsicle word phonics dominoes

Once you teach this game to your kids or students, they'll know how to play forever. This makes it the easiest independent reading center. They see the popsicle sticks, and you barely have to say a word!

Cup Stacking Challenge - CVC words and Digraphs Sh and Ch

Just print and play. Kids freak out when you share they'll be reading and building based on the words they have on their cups.

independent reading challenge stacking cups

The Cup Stacking Challenge bundle comes with 4 building challenges per vowel and digraph. So you get stacking cards that focus on CVC words and digraphs ch and sh. The set comes with 7 sheets of challenges, focusing on each of the vowels in CVC words and the two digraphs.

independent reading a stack reading activity

Each challenge requires only 6 cups. Use either plastic or paper to write the words listed at the bottom of that challenge's sheet. Below is an example with the "i" words using paper cups and the "sh" words using plastic cups.

reading challenge with cup stacking

Download your bundle now to start playing these independent reading activities that kids beg for!

Worried your kids are not ready to play these independent reading activities?

Most kids begin reading in kindergarten at the age of 5 or 6. What does "reading" look like at this age? Well, in kindergarten kids by sounding out simple 3 letter words using their knowledge of letters and sounds. They also read words they have explicitly memorized aka sight words.

Everyone learns at different paces, so don't be worried if your child is not yet doing this. However, if you want to progress their learning through fun, hands-on games such as the ones you just read about, check out our signature program, The Fun Club.

TRUTH: The Fun Club is a monthly subscription with 20+ activities a month that WILL TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ (and so much more).

Each week includes reading and math activities that transform learning at home. Suddenly learning goes from being a chore to being the highlight of your day. Activities progress from beginning letters and numbers to mastering kindergarten reading and math standards.

Kids in The Fun Club can read this to you!

Whether you're looking to make learning fun or catch your kiddo up, join The Fun Club and start playing to learn.

March 13, 2022
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My mission is to bring fun hands-on learning to your home through simple activities and games that capture your child’s interest.

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