Reading Game: Great Day for Up

Fill in the blank.  It’s a great day for _____.  Did you say playing with the kids?  Well then, I have a super fun reading game for you to try.  Inspired by Dr. Seuss’ Great Day for Up, we are having a little indoor moving fun with balloons.

My 5 year-old is ready to start reading cvc words.  Emergent readers need lots of practice decoding words and this reading activity fits the bill.

A fun reading game to play with Dr. Seuss' Great Day for Up book. Kids practice reading cvc words while moving and playing with balloons.

Great Day for Up Book and Reading Game

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The Book

A Great Day for Up is full of rhyming “up” words.  The text is sparse and simple which makes it a good book for new readers.

The Game

Materials Needed: a handful of balloons and a permanent marker

Writing "up" words on balloons to decode.

  1.  Blow up the balloons.
  2.  Write an “up” word on each balloon.  Nonsense words can be included. We used up, cup, sup, rup and pup.
  3.   Set the balloons on the floor in a large open space.

There are lots of ways to play with the word balloons.  Here are a few ways we had fun with them.

#1  Up Balloons Up

For this version, have your child pick up a balloon.  He should read the word and then toss the balloon up into the air. Catch the balloon and read the word again.  Find another balloon on the floor and repeat.

#2 Capture the Balloon

capture the balloon reading game to work on cvc words.

My boys invented this version.  Lay a small blanket or towel on the floor.  Find a balloon (my boys pretended they were cows) and read the word.  Place the balloon on the blanket.  Wrap it up and pretend that it has been caught.  It sounds easy, but it’s tough to contain a balloon!

#3  Read and Kick

Pick up a balloon.  Read the word and then kick the balloon across the room.  We wore our socks on the carpet for this game.

#4  Rest and Catch (great for a large group)

Have the kids lie down on the floor.  Throw the balloons in the air.  The kids should catch any balloon that floats down to them.  Read the word and toss it back in the air for someone else to catch.  This is a nice way to play in larger groups so that the kids don’t collide with each other while moving.

It was amazing to see how long my boys could be entertained by a few balloons.  Lots of indoor moving fun and learning occurred.

Interested in reading books about balloons?  Check out our balloon book list.

Float off with a fun picture book about balloons in this book list for kids!

This week’s Early Childhood Education Team theme is indoor movement. Visit the links below for more great early childhood activities related to the indoor movement theme.

But before you explore…

P.S. For more great book recommendations and  literacy ideas, we send out a weekly newsletter. You can see a sample here.  If you like what you see, sign up to receive it for FREE each week.

Great Day for Up Reading Game from Growing Book by Book

Beginning Sound Movement Game from Mom Inspired Life

Beginning Letter Sounds Tunnel Gross Motor Game from Capri +3

Move Like an Insect Gross Motor Activity from Life Over C’s

Walkin’ In The Jungle Gross Motor and Sequencing for Preschool! from The Preschool Toolbox

Bug Shapes (Bugs Fun Kids Math Games) from Learning 2 Walk

UNO Movement Game for Kids from Still Playing School


About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. Great ideas! I love the blanket version your boys invented. 🙂 My kids REALLY like balloons, so we have to try these!

  2. Looks like fun! Balloons are always a favorite here!

  3. Those are such fun games. Our kids would love them all, especially throwing and kicking!

  4. This is one of my favorite Seuss books. It’s great for beginning readers. Love your activities to go along with it!

  5. I have never heard of this Dr Seuss book!! Using the balloons definitely makes the reading activities more fun.

  6. This sounds like so much fun!

  7. These activities are great suggestions to get kids up and moving with literacy! I bought red balloons to try some for Read Across America Day!;)


  1. […] Great Day for Up Reading Game from Growing Book by Book […]

  2. […] MOTOR ACTIVITY: Get the kids moving with this Great Day for Up reading game.  You just need balloons and a permanent […]

  3. […] Great Day for Up Reading Game from Growing Book by Book […]