Many entertaining games allow kids to improve their reading skills while having fun. Games can focus on different aspects of reading including retelling, story elements and improving sight words and vocabulary. Many reading games require no special equipment and can be played anywhere, providing lots of opportunities for kids to improve their reading skills.
Felt boards are a fun method for kids to retell a story. Characters from the story are created out of felt. A bulletin board or other sturdy surface covered with felt serves as the background. The character felt pieces will naturally stick to the board, yet the felt allows them to move easily. After reading the story, encourage your child to retell it using the felt pieces. Another fun game is to allow her to create a new story using the felt pieces.
Grocery Shopping Game
The grocery shopping game will provide kids the chance to read outside of books. Before heading to the grocery store, help your child make his own list of grocery items. Add a picture of each item for younger children. At the grocery store, your child has the job of finding the items on his shopping list. He can practice matching the words on the list with the words on the packages.
“I Spy” is a popular game for kids that can be adapted to improve reading skills. The game usually starts with one person stating, “I spy with my little eye something that is ___.” A descriptive word is placed at the end of the statement. In the reading version of “I Spy,” replace the statement with, “I spy with my little eye a word that starts with the letter __.” Your child will then look around to find a word that starts with that letter. Signs provide a great source for words to spy. This is also a fun game to play in the grocery store.
A treasure hunt is a fun game that requires your child to practice her reading skills. Create a series of clues written at your child’s reading level. Add a few words that may be challenging for your child to give her practice in figuring out new words. Hide the clues in their respective locations and give her the first clue. A new book at the end of the scavenger hunt would be an appropriate reward.
Create Bingo boards with a word in each square. Choose a mix of words for your child that will be easy and challenging. Include a picture for younger children. Call out each word and have the players cover the appropriate square with a marker. This will help children practice familiar and new words.
Grab Bag Stories
A grab bag story is a fun way for a child to create a story. Create a separate bag for people, settings and actions. Using note cards, make several different cards for each category. Examples for people cards could be an old woman, a baby or a teacher. Setting cards could include a playground, an amusement park or a cave. Action examples are eating, driving or skydiving. Be creative with the ideas on your cards so the stories will be fun. Have your child draw one card from each bag and tell a story using the three elements.