There are lots of fun activities that parents can play with their child to
promote reading. Here are a few to get started. As you play and become more
familiar with the games, you'll soon find that the experience is so relaxing
and fun that your child will forget he/she is learning! Before long, you'll
be thinking up your own ideas for easy, yet educational, enjoyment. And don't
forget...just sitting and reading a book to your son or daughter is the
ultimate reading experience! Never underestimate the power of a book!
Reading Activity #1: The Flyswatter Game
Flyswatters are a great way to get kids to interact with words.
First, write each word on an index card. Then, attach each word
to a wall. (It's important not to overwhelm the child with too many
words at first. Depending upon the age and ability of the child, start
with fewer words and increase as she/he builds understanding and
confidence. Remember, the goal is to have fun!)
You can start off by having your child "read the wall" and swat each
word as it is read. Then begin to give clues, such as the number of
syllables, rhyming sound, vowels, part of speech, and the child must
swat the word. You can have him/her swat all the words with short
vowels, nouns, etc. The possibilities are endless. So, grab a
flyswatter and some words and have fun!
Reading Activity #2: The Chain Game
This game is best played with many words displayed on a table or wall.
To play the game, the first player picks any word and writes it on a
piece of paper or whiteboard. Then she/he circles the last letter in
the word. Now, the next player must pick a word that begins with
that circled letter to continue the chain. Once written, he/she
circles the last letter in that word and the next word chosen must now
begin with that letter. The chain continues in this way until the
chain is broken. The goal is to see how many words can be written on
the chain. Good luck!
Reading Activity #3: What's the Missing Word?
In this game, five words are chosen. (Choose more or less words,
according to age and ability.) After the child reads the words
aloud, she/he leaves the room. Then, one word is erased or removed
from the group of five. The goal is to then have the child return,
figure out, and rewrite the word that was removed. Clues may be
given, as needed. When the missing word is rewritten, play continues
with a different player reading the words, and vice-versa.
Reading Activity #4: Twenty Questions
This game is played by choosing one word from a list of known words
which are written down on paper, a whiteboard, or attached to a wall.
Once chosen, write the word on a sticky note or post-it and place it
on the child's back. (Make sure he/she does not see which word is
written down.) Now, have your son/daughter ask you yes or no
questions to help them guess the word. Keep track of how many
questions they ask, and see if they can play again needing to ask
fewer questions. Depending upon the age and ability of the child,
prompting may be needed to help the child think of questions to ask.
Modeling, in which the child chooses and writes the word and the
parent guesses the word, may be helpful in the beginning until the
child builds understanding and confidence.
Reading Activity #5: Guess My Word
This is a good problem-solving game. It is similar to Twenty
Questions but in reverse. First, the adult thinks of a word from a
list or group of words but does not tell the child. The child then
writes down the word she/he thinks it is. Then, the adult begins
giving and writing down clues to the secret word. This, then,
prompts the child to write down a new guess, as needed. Keep playing
but do not erase the guesses or the clues. When the child guesses
correctly, go back and see how she/he came up with the guesses and
why she/he changed her/his mind.