Although printed books will probably be center stage for reading activities with preschoolers and early elementary grades, the Internet also has a huge stash of online reading activities and ideas for offline activities such as puppet play and making bookmarks.
The Compact for Reading outlines a partnership between families and schools to improve reading skills, but it's the School-Home Links Reading Kits I want you to look at. They are available in easy-to-print PDF format for four grade levels: K through 3. Weighing in at a hefty hundred pages each, they are chock full of printable reading activities and worksheets. Great stuff, but very elementary. You may find your own student ready to do the grade 3 level work at a much younger age.
Make a lunch box magnet board, tell a story with sock puppets, or go on a treasure hunt for the emperor's new clothes. Education.com has collected eighty illustrated reading activities and projects for first graders. As with most grade-level activities, your child may be ready for these in preschool or they may still be useful in second grade. You can find additional grade levels in the right-hand menu.
With sections for parents, teachers, principals and librarians, Reading Rockets is on a mission to launch young readers. This article archive contains more than forty reading activities for home and classroom, including dozens of literacy bags. What's a literacy bag? It's Ziploc bag with a printable activity, bookmark, and parent info sheet designed to be sent home by a teacher with a book. But the idea is also great for parents looking for portable reading activities.
Reading is Fundamental's divides their online activity center into two age groups: Reading Planet for ages six to fifteen, and Leading to Reading for zero (zero?) to five years old. With great graphics, and fun game play, these colorful online reading activities and interactive books are sure to please. In the Activity Lab for early elementary students, projects include Illustrate a Story, Printable Bookplates, and an interactive coloring book.
Starfall offers four levels of interactive reading resources for pre-k through second-grade from ABC's and phonics to read-along plays and short stories. "Every word on the site is clickable and will read aloud. In this way, your child's speaking, reading, and writing vocabulary can grow alongside his curiosity." Although the interactive stories are the star of the show at Starfall, don't overlook the printable downloads which include a Reading and Writing Journal, Reading Awards, Phonics Puzzles, and printouts to accompany many of the stories. They can be accessed from the Download Center link at the very bottom of the home page.