Reading Games for Kids Are Excellent Tools for Learning
One of the important things to understand about reading is that it is a structured skill. This means that it made up of small components that are put together to form larger ones, eventually building up to a big picture. Letters combine to make syllables, syllables form words, words form sentences, sentences form paragraphs. Understanding each component will eventually lead to understanding the big picture.
Games are effective teaching tools for children, not only because they make learning fun, but because games are also structured activities. They are made up of patterns that children come to recognize through constant repetition. Once they’re able to recognize these patterns, it’s much more likely that children will be able to apply this knowledge to other situations.
There are a ton of children’s learning programs out there, advertising themselves as the most effective way to teach your child to read. They contain videos, activities, flash cards, and all sorts of educational materials.
Many of them have received glowing praise from thankful parents. But every parent should consider that even before all these learning programs came out, children were being taught to read.
Countries like Mongolia, Panama and the Philippines all have literacy rates above ninety-five percent, and parents there aren’t using any special learning programs. The most important thing to remember is that you are always your child’s first and best teacher.
There are a lot of effective games that you and your child can play together at home, without resorting to any materials you need to buy, except for children’s books.
Here are 5 Fun Reading Games For Kids
#1. Find the real thing.
When they look for ways on how to teach their children to read, one of the most common pieces of advice parents come across is to read aloud to their children. The best position for this is with the child on your lap, and the book in front of you both. Not only does this give parents and children a chance to bond, this also makes children aware of the connection between the words they’re hearing and the words they’re seeing on the page. But it’s even more important that your child be able to make the connection between those words and the things that those words refer to.
If you read a story about birds, make sure to point out real birds to your child. To make a game out of this, look for a book about things you commonly see at home or in the park. Point it out in the book, and ask your child to point out the same object in your home. For example, you have a book showing a pot, ask your child where is the pot in your kitchen.
#2. Play a pretend party and make pretend invitations.
Your child has probably played a lot of pretend with you, but make it an opportunity for learning to read. Tell your child you’re planning a pretend party, and ask him or her who’s invited. If your child is old enough, you can write and decorate the invitations together.
If your child isn’t able to write yet, write down the names on the invitations yourself and sound out the names of your guests. Imaginary friends are welcome. Remember to actually celebrate your pretend party, even if it’s only the two of you.
#3. Make an Alphabet Book.
This is meant for younger children who are only beginning to learn the alphabet. Make a separate page for each letter out of colorful construction paper. Ask your child to draw the things he can think of that begin with that letter on the page. This is a fun activity that can take up more than one day. Punch holes in the pages and bind them together with yarn.
#4. Reading Guessing (actually Repeating) Game.
For this game, you’ll need a poem or a book that relies heavily on rhymes. Nursery rhymes are a good choice, or books that your child is familiar with. What you’re looking for are repeating words. Repetition and predictability are boring for adults, but children love repeating things. They find it exciting that they know what’s going to happen.
If you read a story like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” you’ll say: “The first was too hard, the second was too soft, but the last one was just right.” This happens over and over again the story. Once you’ve read it enough times, pause and let your child finish with “was just right.” Nod, smile, and show your child you appreciate his answer.
#5. Missing Word Game.
This is a variation of the previous activity that’s meant to improve an older child’s reading skills. Again, it’s ideal that you work with rhymes and stories that he’s familiar with. Print out the poem or a part of the story. Make sure to use a large-sized font.
Take scissors and cut the poems into lines, or the story into sentences. Cut out a word from each line, or from each sentence. Ask your child to put each word back where it belongs. If you want an easier version of this game, cut the lines or sentences in half, and let your child put them back together in the right order.