Fun Reading Games for Children to Play at Home
Learning to read is one of the most important skills your child will learn, setting up a solid foundation for children to succeed in all subjects. Some little ones find it harder than others to learn to read and regular practice, along with other strategies, can be very helpful.
If your young learner finds it all a bit tricky or intimidating, a great way to get them practising is with some simple reading games for kids. Making it fun by incorporating play at home helps children develop a positive attitude towards books and reading.
Reading games can help boost all the crucial reading skills children need to learn, from beginner readers starting sounds, to more advanced readers honing their vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Here are some fun reading games for kids that you can try at home. The easy ideas below can be pulled together quickly from materials you have lying around the house. Others creatively suggest using the world around you to make learning to read enjoyable and exciting for your child.
Reading games for kids
1. Letter Hunt Reading Game
Whether you're taking a stroll down to the local shops, or on a family road trip, letter hunts are a fun way to build your child's reading and spelling skills. Ask your child to spell a word that they know, such as their first name, then try to find each letter of that word printed somewhere around you.
Start by trying to find the first letter of the word on objects such as licence plates, road signs, billboards and posters. You can prompt your child with something like, “The first letter in your name is 'S', can you find a sign or poster with an 'S' on it”, and so on.
2. Re-enact stories
Children love dramatic play, and when your child acts out or retells the stories you've read together, they're demonstrating and enhancing their comprehension skills – an essential part of learning to read.
Ask your child to act out a story in the right order and take on different roles. This will help them gain an understanding of narrative structure and consider how different characters have different personalities and motivations.
3. A Matching Rimes and Onsets Reading Game for Kids
A fun way to help your child learn crucial decoding skills is by playing with rimes and onsets. A rime refers to the string of letters that follow an onset, which is the first phonological unit of any word.
You can play with rimes and onsets by cutting out pieces of cards and writing a phoneme on each one, for example,b c f p r s m and h. Write the letters at on a separate piece of paper. Ask your child to look at the rime at and decide if they have a phoneme that would correctly complete the word (e.g.,b + at = bat).
4. Easter Hunts
The classic Easter hunt is a fantastic opportunity to practise reading and comprehension skills. Hide your Easter eggs around the house or in the garden. If it's not Easter, you can use different items like your child's favourite treat, books, or toys.
Write some fun clues on a piece of paper, for example, ”I'm bound to get wet in the place I'm hiding“ (shower, sink, near the hose), “You might find me admiring my reflection” (by the mirror), or “Flowery and green is where I can be seen” (plants). Hand out your written clues to participants and let them have fun helping each other read and decipher each one.
5. Category Reading Games for Children
You can play category games with your child after reading a book as a helpful way to recall new words and ideas, building their reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. If the book features animals, ask your child to name as many animals as they can think of, including any new ones they may have learned from the book.
You can look at grouping them in different ways, such as by where they live or their number of legs. If the book is about Egyptian history, ask them to list words under categories such as diet, buildings, rituals, or fashion. Encourage your child to choose a book about their favourite topics, from mythical lands or farm animals and watch their enthusiasm as they play this game.
6. Online Reading Games for Kids
Online reading games are another great way to get kids practising their reading skills. Children love the cute characters, bright colours and fantastical worlds these games offer. Carve out a short amount of time they can look forward to – 15 minutes a day is enough. Choose positive screen time for your child with online reading games that focus on the five keys to reading success:
- phonemic awareness
- reading comprehension.
Opt for a safe kids' app such as Reading Eggs, designed by experienced educators and based on proven learning principles to ensure children are learning from a quality reading programme.
So, as you can see there are many reading games for kids you can try in the comfort of your own home. It's never too early to start, so choose games that suit your childs age or interests to help them become strong, lifelong readers. Best of all they'll be having lots of fun learning!