2nd Grade Reading Activities: Hands-On Ideas for Active Second Graders

By now, your 2nd grader may be a more independent reader, having better understanding and fluency than he or she had only a year ago. Doing reading activities at home can help reinforce what your child is learning in school. The following ideas are designed for active kids who like hands-on learning.

Find available tutors

Standards for 2nd Grade Reading

Children in 2nd grade are typically making the transition to independent reading, improving in both fluency and comprehension. Most students show understanding of a text by answering and asking questions. They make connections between ideas, procedures, concepts and events within a text. Second graders also begin to understand theme and character development. To help your child work on these skills, you can try the suggested hands-on reading activities.

What Reading Activities Can I Do With My 2nd Grader?

Act Out a Story with Puppets

Your child can use her favorite story, or you can choose Mother Goose stories or fairy tales. Ask her to pick specific scenes to be performed and discuss the setting in each of those scenes. Using a variety of craft supplies, help her create puppets for each of the characters. She can even create backdrops to represent the scenery. Encourage her to perform her puppet show for family and friends.

Reconstruct a Story or Poem

Pick part of a fiction or nonfiction book from your child's collection and copy it in large letters onto a sheet of paper; you can also use poetry. Cut out each sentence or line individually and spread out the strips in random order on a table. After reading the story or poem with your child, challenge him to reconstruct it by putting the paper strips back together in the proper order. Ask him to read it aloud when he's finished to ensure that it makes sense.

Hunt for Information Using the Table of Contents

Go through an age-appropriate book that contains a table of contents and write down questions you want your child to answer. Make sure the answer can be found by using the table of contents. You could use a book about frogs, for example, to ask her to name the world's smallest poisonous frog. She must use the table of contents to locate the chapter on poisonous frogs so she can answer your question.

Make a Coffee Can Character

Ask your child to choose his favorite character from any story. Give him an empty coffee can or similar container and some craft supplies, which he can use to make the character. After he finishes, he can write information about the character on the back. He can also find small objects to place inside of the can that he feels represent this character. Encourage him to show it off and explain all of the elements.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Can Reading Bridge Racial, Socioeconomic Gaps?

    Study after study shows the achievement gap in education between students of different cultures and economic backgrounds. Recently, two New Jersey schools successfully used literature to show students how 'the other half lives'. Can this experiment be a model for other schools to use books to bridge racial and socioeconomic...

  • More Blog Articles
    Too Much Emphasis on Reading and Math?

    According to a large number of surveyed educators who teach grades 3-12, U.S. public schools are spending too much time on reading and math and not enough on other subjects. Yes, math and reading are important. But what about science, foreign languages and social studies?

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth