15 Activities to Keep Kids’ Hands Busy During Read-Aloud Time

Read-aloud time.

It’s a desire on the checklist of every homeschool mom. We know it’s important and we love to do it but these kids are just so wiggly sometimes we have to wonder if we’re doing it “right.”

Do you want to know the trick to a successful read-aloud time?

Busy hands.

True, it’s tremendously important that you are reading a quality living book instead of twaddle, but it’s equally important to keep kids’ hands busy during read-aloud time.


Because when the hands are engaged, the mind is free to listen.

This is especially true for kids with ADHD who would rather run through fire barefoot than sit still.

When finding activities to keep kids’ hands busy during read-aloud time, sensory play is key. Any type of fidget is good, but you want something that will really suck them in while they listen.

And yes, they are listening. I promise.

All of a sudden, read-aloud time ceases to be an endless succession of reminding them to sit still and be quiet. It becomes an engaged time where they are happy using their hands and beautiful literature is pouring in through their ears.

15 Activities to Keep Kids' Hands Busy During Read-Aloud Time

We do a lot of our read-aloud time at the table, as you will see, but not always. It’s okay to let them sprawl out on the floor or move their body.

In fact, it’s probably better ;).

I’m going to give you 15 activities to keep kids’ hands busy during read-aloud time to make it a little easier.

  1. Kinetic Sand
    No other brand compares. Go big and buy from Lakeshore Learning!
  2. Food
    It’s harder to talk with your mouth full (though every mom knows, not impossible!)
    Early on I realized if every one was at the table anyway, why not use that time wisely? We don’t do this during dinner when family bonding is the focus but here’s some ways I use food as our activity during read-aloud time…
    *Poetry & Tea Time
    *Breakfast & Morning Time
    *Lunch & Lit
    *Popsicles with read-aloud time in the summer are the best. Ever.
    See how much reading (and eating!) is happening in the nooks and crannies!?
  3. Puzzles/pattern blocks
  4. Legos
  5. Oragami
  6. Coloring/sketching/drawing/painting
  7. Map work
  8. Blocks
  9. Trampoline or exercise ball
  10. K’nex/Magna-tiles
  11. Goo/slime/putty
  12. Lacing plates
  13. b. funky pop beads/stringing beads
  14. Knitting/crocheting/etc.
  15. Magnetic dry erase board, markers & fun magnets

I’d love to hear from you…what do you do at read-aloud time to keep kids’ hands busy?

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