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Have you ever known a child who just didn't enjoy reading and perhaps struggled a little with it. Maybe getting them to practice was difficult, yet you knew that if they would practice, their reading would improve. I gave you this DIY last year, but I feel it is a timely subject at this time in the school year. If you didn't get a chance to see it last year, I hope it is of benefit to you now. Now that school has been in for a little over a month, perhaps you are looking for a way to keep the fun in reading after the newness has worn off. Here is a reading phone that you can make that will help make reading fun for emerging readers. I have seen them used in classrooms, and you can even purchase them ready made, (and here) but they are simple and inexpensive to make and I will also list some tips about how to use them.
Supplies Needed And Reading Phone Assembly:
To make the reading phone, you will need the following supplies from your building supply store:
1/2" pvc pipe cut 5 3/4" long
1/2" pvc pipe cut 1" long
2-1" x 1/2" elbows (check your local home store)
a pipe cutter to cut the lengths
a tape measure
Decorative duct tape or washi tape.
Here are the pieces arranged the way they go together:
We just shoved them together without any glue. They fit nice and tight. I had my husband pull this one apart so that we could photograph it, it was a difficult task because they fit so snugly. I guess if you want to glue them, you can, but if they come apart, you can just stick them back together.
Now, of course, you have to beautify your phone. I used colorful duct tape and/or washi tape on ours. You can get all kinds of colorful duct tape from Dollar Tree. They also have this colorful tape that I just found!
Here is a little slide show showing how our reading phones turned out.
How to Use the Reading Phone and Encourage Reading:
You really can hear your own voice well when you speak into these phones. Your kids will love that and will be able to read to themselves without feeling distracted by what else is going on around them. If you have a classroom of kids, the reading phone helps each child be able to focus on what they are reading instead of hearing everyone else. Here are more tips for using reading phones and encouraging reading:
*Use reading phones to improve fluency in your reader. Set a timer for 1 minute and have them read into the phone when you say "Go!" See how far they can get in that 1 minute. Have them read the same passage again and see if they can improve their score. Fluency helps with comprehension. So, it is important to improve fluency in young readers. Kids will love "racing" against the timer (not against each other) and seeing themselves improve.
*Use the phone to read to each other. If you have two children, they can pretend they are having a conversation on the phone, but are actually reading. If you only have one child, you can get in on the act and model fluent reading. You can trade one page at a time, or one paragraph or even a sentence. This is also a good way for your child to learn to define what a sentence or a paragraph is.
*Encourage your child to read in a silly voice. They will love hearing themselves read like a robot or a monster. As I said before, you can really hear your own voice well through the reading phone, so it will be very funny for them.
*If your child also is working on their speech, these phones can help them hear how they are pronouncing words and then make corrections.
*Most of my grandchildren live far away from me. I enjoy talking to them on Google Hangout. I am going to ask them to hold this phone to their ears and read to me over the internet. I think that they will like that since I am giving them these phones, they will be able to show me how they can use them!
*Remember to let your kids read what they enjoy! The main idea is to get them reading! Also, read to them. Nothing encourages a love of reading more than being able to spend one on one time snuggling with Mom or Dad and reading and talking together about what you read. Make reading a pleasant experience for them and let them see you reading and enjoying it.
*Take them to the library! Kids love an outing and libraries are so much fun. They can take their phones with them and read quietly but still hear themselves.
I hope these tips are helpful to you! I love helping kids gain a love of reading! If you think of more uses for these little phones, let me know! (Clonking each other on the head with them doesn't count!)
Here are some other posts about reading and books that we love that may help you to encourage a love of reading in your kids!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!