Opening a book isn’t the only way to learn how to read. Games geared toward early readers can be an effective and engaging literacy tool, helping gain the attention of the most reluctant readers. Playing games teaches other valuable lessons like problem-solving, teamwork, and good sportsmanship.
Scrabble Alphabet Scoop
Scrabble Alphabet Scoop is a new take on Scrabble but in a more kid-friendly format. Children are given a card with five words on it. Using a plastic “scoop,” they dig for letters from a big red pot to form one of the words on the card. The first player to form one of the words on their card wins.
Sequence Letters by Jax
In Sequence Letters, children sound out letters on cards and match them to the beginning sound of the item pictured on the game board. For example, the letter “a” would match a picture of an apple.
Each card is color coded with the board and includes upper- and lower-case letters. The child places a chip on the square when a match is made. The first player that has five chips in a row wins.
StudyDog teaches essential reading skills using individualized lessons and engaging games. The entertaining and challenging games use fun characters that focus on building phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Real-time reporting provides parents and teachers regular updates on the child’s progress.
Game Goo on Earobic.com has free games geared toward developing early reading skills. Children can play scavenger hunt letter games with aliens or go to the amusement park with the Alphabet Bears. The website has games for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Do It Yourself
Beach Ball Word Toss
Turn an inflatable beach ball into a reading game by writing basic sight words on the colored panels with a permanent marker. Toss the ball back and forth and have the child read words on the side they catch.
If they aren’t able to read yet, have them point to a word, and you tell them what it is before they toss the ball. More advanced readers may create a sentence from the words.
A simple container and a stack of index cards are all it takes to put the game Bang! together. Write the word “Bang!” on a couple of the cards and basic sight words or words from the Dolch List on the others. Add more fun to the cards and container by decorating them with your child.
Once complete, place the cards in the container and have kids take turns drawing cards and reading each word aloud. If the child reads the word correctly, they get to keep the card. If they don’t read the card correctly, they must put it back into the container.
Those who pull out the word “Bang!” must put all their cards back into the container. The player with the most cards after a specified period wins.
What games do you suggest for early readers?
Thanks for reading!
Kellie Englehardt is a Salt Lake City-based blogger. Kellie graduated from the University of Utah in Mass Communications. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, skiing, doing art projects, and exploring Utah.