Activity, Games

Reading Towers

Reading Towers (1)

This is another “as simple as it gets” reading activity. It is very popular with my K-3 students. All you need are some Duplo blocks, a sharpie marker, and a die.

My four kids are all grown, but I still have some favorite toys including Duplo and Lego blocks. I put them out for siblings to play with during tutoring. I also try to think of ways to use them in lessons. If you also have a big bin of Duplo blocks that your kids have outgrown, you may want to try this game.

Reading Towers

We call this easy game “reading towers.”

I wrote words on the sides of Duplo blocks with a sharpie marker.

We simply take turns rolling a die and picking and reading that many blocks. We make a tower with the blocks. When all the blocks have been picked, the winner is the player with the tallest tower.


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That’s it. I told you it was simple!



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To add a little more excitement I use a die with a sticker over the 6. If you roll a sticker you don’t pick and read any blocks.

I spread the blocks out on the table word side up before playing.


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I instruct the players to pick the rolled number of blocks and then read them. Finally, add them to the tower.

If they pick, read, add, one at a time it is hard to keep track of how many they’ve done and still need to do.

Other Ways to Use the Blocks

Since I now have a collection of Duplo blocks with words, I’ve devised other activities. I sometimes use them for sorting:

Sort and read all the __________________

green things


things you can find outside

things you can do

rhyming sets

and so on.

In a small group, I sometimes hand out these categories on cards, spread out the blocks word side up and let them go to it. I ask them to notice the things that can go in more than one category (a frog is an animal, it can go outside, it is green, and it rhymes with dog).

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