SUMMER

5 Reading Games for Kids

Reading is essential for kids to learn early since it will guide their education. Getting to enjoy reading is just as important. After all, the more they like reading, the more enthusiastic they'll be about homework and the printed word in general.

Teaching your kids to read can also be a huge amount of fun for parents too. Use these five reading games for kids to make learning letters and words a blast.

1. The Yes or No Game

A game that offers a unique twist on 'find the vowel' and other phonics games, the yes or no word game gets parents involved since they'll be the ones asking the question. To play this game, all you need is a few flash cards and a marker, so you can get it going in a matter of minutes.

Start by writing down a few simple words on flash cards and turning them face down. From there, you can reveal the card and start asking your child a series of questions. For example, if the card shows the word "dog," you can ask them if the word starts with the letter D, ends with G, or if it's the name of an animal.

Keep it simple and stick to yes or no questions that match your child's current reading level.

2. Find the Item

Reading comprehension and relating printed words to real life items is incredibly important for young kids. While textbooks and picture books can help kids get a grasp on how the word pencil relates to a drawing and writing device, there's a more fun way to play this game when parents get involved.

Like a real-life word search, you start by writing down the name of items that you can find in your home on index cards. You can also make a list on a piece of paper and go through them one by one. Once your child reads the word, you begin your search for the item in the house.

To make this game more fun, make sure the items are nearby before you begin. Otherwise, you might be on the hunt for a pencil when you've only got pens handy!

Oh and don't forget to include the family pet if you have one. Then you've got a truly interactive game on your hands.

3. Foam Word Search

If you've ever seen foam letters in a craft store before you've probably wondered what those things were for. When you've got a young child just learning to read and form words, they can be an invaluable part of an exciting educational game.

To play foam word search, get a large container like a plastic bin that your child can reach and put every letter of the alphabet in it. From there, your child can start pulling out letters and putting on the table or directly on the floor to make their own words.

You can also play this game by giving your child a word to spell and then having them search for the correct letters and arranging them in the right order. Simple yet effective, some kids will play this game for hours.

4. Simple Scrabble

A competitive game of Scrabble may be a bit much for kids just learning to read and make their own words, but that doesn't mean you can't incorporate the classic board game into your child's reading time. In fact, that board and those letter tiles are perfect for spelling out simple words.

To start, give your child some easy letters that form a variety of words. Tiles that spell simple words like dog, cat, good and more can be used. Then let your child spell one or two words that connect on the board, helping them place the tiles as you go.

From there, you can start to help them make up new words that spread out all over the board. You can even introduce more difficult words by placing them yourself so they can see how they're formed and spelled. The words you place will give them even more vowels and consonants to work with.

5. Rhyming Words Game

For kids starting to form their own sentences with words they know, a simple rhyming game is easy to play with bits of construction paper. To play this game, start by creating connecting words on bits of construction paper like the, or and and. Then pick a word with lots of rhyming options and write it down on another piece of paper.

As an example, you can start with the word man. Let your child come up with a word that rhymes - like can. Let them keep going to form a sentence that uses three to four rhyming words, jumping in to help if you need to.

You'll likely get lots of fun madlib-style sentence this way, which kids will think are really funny. The man in the tan van picked up the garbage can. They don't have to make sense for your kids to love this game!

Reading is a lifelong skill that needs to developed early. With help from school and games at home, you'll get your kids off to a fast start so they can learn in the classroom and make reading a hobby they keep with them forever.

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