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Read Across America Read-A-Thon

This year to celebrate Read Across America Day we decided to do a read-a-thon!

You may be wondering what is Read Across America Day. It is basically a nationwide celebration of reading originally started in 1998. The main focus is to diversify reading. You can visit the NEA website’s FAQ to learn more about it.

Below you can read more about each activity we did for our read-a-thon.

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Bilingual Books

When it comes to celebrating reading, there is no need for fancy elaborate activities! Simply sitting down with a good book is more than enough!

Our children’s library has a variety of books mainly from 2 categories

  • bilingual books- these are the books that have 2 languages in one book
  • monolingual books- these are the books that have 1 language in one book

We really try to expose our little ones to a variety of books and authors. This previous post shares the top places where to get free or affordable books.

For this year’s read-a-thon one of the books we fell in love with is Be Bold! Be Brave! ¡Se Audaz! ¡Se Valiente! 

It highlights 11 history-making Latinas with wonderful illustrations and facts. The ending was my favorite part as it challenges them to get out there and be courageous. It reminds them that they are destined for greatness and that they too can make a difference!

FaceTime With Pen Pal

One of the activities Damian was most excited about was FaceTime with his pen pal Aaron! The boys are only 3 years old so us moms did most of the reading, but they still chatted and shared about their books. 

Aaron picked the book Bilal Cooks Daal and even shared the recipe with us at the end!

Damian picked My Awesome Dinosaur Book and shared with Aaron the different names and types of dinosaurs from the book.

Facetiming his pen pal added a little variety in our reading routine and it is definitely something we will do again!


After the pen pals finished sharing their books, they colored their own bookmarks. I created the template and emailed it to Aaron’s mom so she could print his and we could print Damian’s. You can easily create yours online as well or just cut a regular sheet of paper and it will work just as well!

They both loved coloring it and Aaron even wrote a couple letters like A, B, T, I !! 

Book Cookies

Mia’s favorite read-a-thon activity was definitely the cookie decorating one! We used strawberry fig cookies that looked exactly like mini books! To decorate them, we used white icing. For the bookmark we used the candy Air Heads. 

Not only were the cookies fun to decorate, but they also got a chance to work on their fine motor skills as well as have a yummy snack during their reading!

Photo Books

What makes books even better? Having your own photos in them! When Damian was little I found myself taking tons of photos as any mom would. I did not want those photos to just live on my phone so we created a photo book and got it printed. We were impressed with the quality and then created a book for every month of his first year after that. 

You can easily personalize the book with as many photos and quotes as you want and the printed quality is amazing! We used the app PhotoBooks by FreePrints but there are many other similar apps out there that do the same. 

Now he gets to look back on those books and “read” a book about himself!

ABC Sensory Bin

We always try to have a sensory bin in our shelf and for our book-a-thon we decided to make it an alphabet one. Remember sensory bins do not have to be super elaborate, almost anything you already have in your home works! We just used rice and wooden letters and it was enough to keep Mia engaged for a good while!

Final Thoughts

Creating a love for reading starts early on. Simple activities like these are fun and engaging! 

Don’t forget to follow our Instagram for daily activities and even more updates!

P.s Please make sure you also check out these other fabulous blogs with engaging and fun Read Across America activities

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lauren

    These are such great ideas! We love photo books, too. My daughters are gifted one every birthday with photos from that year by their aunt and they treasure them.

    1. Elizabeth

      agreed!! imagine when they’re adults looking back at the books!

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