22 Fun-Filled Reading Games and Activities

Learning to read is incredibly important, but not always easy. It is possible to help your child become a proficient reader without tears! Try some of these activities the next time you are reading with your child. By infusing a few fun elements, you can help your child develop a love of reading, promote crucial reading skills and practice reading comprehension. Everyone will enjoy these quick games and benefit from reduced reading monotony!

Try only a few of these at a time and be sure to keep the sessions short. This is especially important if you have a reluctant reader. If you stop while it’s fun, your child will be eager to participate again next time.

BEFORE READING A NEW STORY TRY:

A book walk

Look through the pictures in the story. Ask your child to predict who the story is about, what they think happens and how it ends. After you’ve read the story, discuss how close the predictions were.

WHILE READING A FAMILIAR STORY TRY:

Silly reading

Pretend to begin reading the book upside down or backwards. Your child will notice your mistake and exclaim, “It’s upside down!” and promptly show you the book cover.

Speed reading

Your child can practice tracking the words on the page at different speeds as you read aloud quickly or sloooowly. See how well your child can keep up!

Kids teach

Read aloud to your child, while making some “silly” mistakes. You can mispronounce words, call the characters by the wrong name, or insert the wrong sight words. See if your child notices and corrects you! This is a great way to test your child’s reading comprehension, redirect focus, or check auditory listening skills.

Puppet theater

If you have some puppets on hand, reread the story using character voices. Using dramatically silly, squeaky, scary, loud, or quiet voices adds an element of fun and brings the book to life! When you ʼre done reading, put on a puppet show to reenact the story.

Readerʼs theater

Replace the character names to those of friends and family. Those present can take turns reading “their part”.

Pause

Many easy readers provide repetitive and predictable text. When you come upon a familiar line, pause and allow your child to complete the line aloud.

AFTER READING A FAMILIAR STORY TRY:

Sight word search

Choose familiar sight words from the story and ask your child to point them out. Say, “Show me the word, the.”

Letter search

Ask your child to circle a familiar letter from the text. Say, “Circle the letter ‘b’ with your finger.”

Punctuation search

Ask your child to show you a period, exclamation mark, or question mark by pointing, or circling with an index finger.

Retell the story

Let your child retell the story in his or her own words. Using the pictures as clues is helpful, especially for younger readers. If your child forgets important story events, be sure to go back and reread.

EASY PRE-READING SKILLS GAMES

Letter Sounds Dance

Put some upper and lower case letters on index cards. Assign a movement to each letter. For example: c = clap, d = dance, h = hop, t = tap, r = run.  Turn on the music while flashing the cards! Remember to end with s = sit!

Sound blending

This is easy enough to play in the car! Say the sounds of a two to three letter word like: c-a-t. Your child hears the sounds and blends them into “cat”.

Sound segmenting

This game is the opposite of blending. Say a two to three letter word aloud like: dog. Your child hears the word and breaks it into sounds, d-o-g.

Rhyme time

See how many words your child can generate when you start with a rhyming word like: mail, snail, pail, or sing, king, ring, etc. Write them down and count how many you found!

Environmental print

Find words, signs, or product packaging that your child recognizes. You may be surprised that your child can read “stop” from a stop sign, or point out “Cheerios” on the store shelf. You can also create a book by cutting out and gluing words that your child recognizes.

Sequencing

A great way to check your child’s reading comprehension is to let him or her sequence the story events. If you have an old picture book, remove it from the spine and allow your child to put the pages in order (fewer pages for younger children and more for older children). Also, you can cut apart a familiar comic strip and have your child put it in the correct order.

READING GAMES

Board games

Your older child may enjoy a family game night that comprises of reading and spelling games such as Scrabble, Upwords, MadLibs, or crossword puzzles.

Scavenger hunt

Create a list of items for your child to find and collect. Younger children should receive simpler words and older children, more complex words.

Grocery game

Create a list of needed items from the store. Give your child the list to read and check off as you complete your shopping. Ask your child to double-check the list…you don’t want to forget the milk!

Charades

Put age-appropriate words on slips of paper and hide them in a paper bag. After your child reads the word, he or she can act it out. Children love to be animals, family members, or favorite cartoon characters! Another fun way to play is to put verbs on the slips of paper such as: run, walk, and jump.

Hangman

. A good old-fashioned game of hangman is fun for all! Feel free to omit the noose and just build a person, or snowman! Your child will enjoy guessing the correct letters before running out of time, and will practicing critical thinking skills!

Children need to read out of necessity, but we want them to enjoy it, too!  Use your imagination to bring reading to life. Use these tips to show your child that reading is fun and watch his or her motivation and desire to read increase!

By Julie Rebboah

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