Many schools are preparing to welcome families to the classroom on Family Literacy Day. This literacy event is held annually on January 27th to raise awareness about the importance of families regularly engaging in literacy activities together.

“Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development, improving a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well,” says Family Literacy Day creators, ABC Life Literacy Canada.

Are you hosting families in your Kindergarten or Grade One classroom this year?

We’re sharing five literacy activities that you can set up for your school’s event (or simply share in a newsletter) that families can recreate at home to invite meaningful learning. 

Name Provocations

Welcome families to your classroom with an inviting name provocation. Cover a table with paper and then print children’s first name or family last names all over it. Set out a selection of loose parts (e.g., cork, stones, sticks etc.) to spark a family’s creativity as they use the material to cover their name(s) on the table. This is a great introduction to a loose parts experience for families.


Set up a playdough centre near your classroom word wall. Children can show their parents how they use this material to build their fine motor skills while making letters and familiar words. Add some fun extras to the table such as sticks, letter stamps or lego to provide multiple opportunities for creativity. Send families home with your favourite homemade playdough recipe so they can try this activity over and over again. Plus, reading recipes is a wonderful real-life literacy experience!

Ooka Island

Family Literacy Night is the perfect time to introduce families to our learn to read program. If you have a classroom subscription then you are able to give your students access to Ooka Island at home by sharing the parent invitation. You may even encourage families to bring their devices to get set up with our reading program. If you don’t yet have a classroom subscription, sign up for our free educator classroom trial and let students show their families how they learn to read with Ooka Island using your classroom iPads.

Swap Books

Invite families to bring in books for an informal book swap. This is fun for adults and children alike. After your event, gather leftover books and leave them inside a decorated box for your own classroom version of a “Little Library” that will encourage families to trade books all year long.

Alphabet Blocks

Alphabet knowledge matters and blocks can help children develop it! We love using Duplo, Lego or Mega Blocs to recreate this simple literacy activity to practice and build automaticity of the letters.

Learning to read is fun! What are some of your favourite family literacy activities? We’d love to know!

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