It is important to teach your child to read, and even more important to ensure that he enjoys reading. However, as any mom of a preschooler or kindergartner will tell you, kids would rather run around and play games than read. So, here are five fun reading games for kids designed for active little tykes. Trust me, sitting still and reading is not the only way to learn.
Environmental Literacy Challenge
The world around us is full of words just waiting to be read, pronounced and spelt. Every time you go out with your child, look for road and parking signs, advertisements, directions, store names and any written material you can spot. Turn them into word puzzles for him to decipher – What do you think that advertisement is trying to sell? What does this road lead to? How much do you pay to park here? Which store sells clothing? He will have to stay alert and read carefully to answer your questions and that’s what the Environmental Literacy Challenge is all about – to turn a quiet, passive activity into an active reading game for kids. To make it more exciting, you could time each challenge and reward him for quicker answers.
Find me Quick
Write a sentence on a long strip of paper and cut it up into words. Hide the words around the house or in the backyard and encourage your little one to run around the house and bring you each word as soon as he finds it. When all the words have been found, challenge him to put them back in order and frame the sentence correctly. Time the search for the next round and challenge him to do it faster. He’s sure to find this reading game for kids pretty exhilarating!
Grammar can be very boring for younger children and they may find it difficult to understand abstract concepts like nouns, pronouns and verbs. But your child will find verbs a breeze if you use this fun reading game for kids to teach him. Cut out construction paper cards and write a verb on each. Put them in a bag and shake it so they’re all mixed up. Now, invite your child to pick a card at random and read the verb on it. He must perform the action of the verb – for instance, if the verb is “dance,” he must dance. Ditto for other common verbs like “talk,” “run,” “laugh,” and so on. This game is more fun when you do it with groups or even an entire class.
Which kid doesn’t like stories! Go for a long walk with your child and invite him to create a story, complete with characters, plot and setting. Encourage him with an interesting starting point – “Once upon a time, there was a little boy who loved eating apples.” He can give free rein to his imagination, and who knows, he’s sure to come up with an original and creative story. When you get back home, let him write it down or dictate it to you. Encourage him to make a book out of it and draw illustrations. He’ll be so proud of his masterpiece!
Word Object Hunt
This simple reading game for kids gives a new twist to the stale old scavenger hunt. Look around your house and write the words for common objects (ball, door, cup) on sticky notes or colorful cards. Invite your child to pick one card at a time and hunt for objects that match the name on the card. Reward him for correct answers and offer hints if he finds the going tough. Works wonders for beginner readers, I can tell you!
Care to share some of your own kids’ learning games? I’d love to hear from you!
Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at http://kidslearninggames.weebly.com/