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It probably comes as little surprise to parents that making reading fun for your child is one of the best ways to set them up for academic achievement. Research proves that making reading fun for children increases their reading skills and overall academic achievement. A research report from The National Endowment for the Arts found that children and teenagers who read for pleasure on a daily or weekly basis score better on reading tests than infrequent readers. There's no doubt that reading for pleasure works wonders for improving your child's reading skills. Of all the research-based strategies for making reading fun for children, 'wide reading' is perhaps the most effective and easiest to implement. Wide reading means giving your child lots of time, opportunities, resources and encouragement to engage in the practice of daily reading.


Playing games is a great way to provide additional practice with early reading skills. Here are six games parents or tutors can use to help young readers practice word recognition, spelling patterns, and letter-sound knowledge. When planning to play one of these games, choose words to use from books the child is reading or has read recently. The games should also be chosen or deed to promote the child's sense of competence and success. Select five to ten words from a book or books the child is reading.

Print each word clearly and boldly on separate 3x5 inch index cards, making pairs of each word. The child may be able to help you by copying the words you write. Shuffle the cards and place them face down in neat rows.

Take turns turning up two cards at a time and reading the words aloud. If the two cards match, the player keeps them and takes a second turn. If they do not match, the cards are replaced face down and the next player takes a turn. Play until all the cards are matched.

The player with the most pairs wins. If the child has trouble recognizing a word, say the word — do not ask the child to "sound out" the word. The purpose of this game is to build automatic recognition of whole words. You can control the difficulty of the game by the choice and of words used: for very beginning readers, choose meaningful words that are visually distinctive: "ghost", "dark", "sister", and keep the of words low.

For a more challenging game, include some words that are less distinctive: "when", "what", "this", "that", but be careful not to overwhelm the .

Paste or draw simple pictures on one set of cards; and on the other set, print initial consonants to go with the pictures. For example, paste the picture of a dog on one card, and write the letter "D" on a matching card. Select ten to 20 words from a book or books the child is reading. Print the words clearly and boldly on separate 3x5 inch index cards, making pairs of each word. Children may help by copying the words you write. Two to four players can play this game.

Shuffle and deal three to five cards to each player. Place the rest of the deck face down. Players take turns asking each other for a card to match one held in his or her hand. If the opponent has a matching card, it is given over, and the first player takes another turn. If the opponent does not have a match, he or she says "Go Fish" and the player draws from the remaining deck of cards, and the next player takes a turn.

Each time a player has a match, he or she re the words, and puts down the pair, face up. Continue the game until the cards are all used up.

2. get playful

Instead of matching words, rhyming words can be used. In this case, players ask for "a word that sounds like 'night' Select three words per player from a book or books being read. Print them clearly and boldly on separate 3x5 inch index cards, making pairs of words. Choose one more word without a match that will be the winning card. Shuffle and deal three to six cards to each player. Players take turns drawing a card from a player to their left. Play continues until all the cards are matched, except for the one odd card.

The player who holds that card at the end wins the game. This is a great game to help teach word family patterns and spelling patterns.

This should be used with children who write fairly comfortably, usually second grade or older. Create a game board with four or five squares on each side. Prepare word cards with families of words that emerge from the child's reading: night, light, tight; went, bent, sent; hat, cat, bat.

2. let your child choose what they want to read

For beginning readers or younger children, make sure the patterns are not too similar: mat, sat, rat; man, can, ran; met, set, bet. Color code each word family and each side of the game board.

Place the words face up around the board in sets. To add to the element of chance, have other game directions on the board, such as "take another turn", "go back 2 spaces", etc. Prepare score sheets for each player with color-coded headings for each word family.

1. the clear and proven benefits of 'wide reading'

Role dice or use a spinner to move around the board. Wherever a player lands he re the word, then writes it in the appropriate "word family" category on the score sheet. Extra points can be earned by dictating or writing sentences with the rhyming words. Play rhyming games to teach about the patterns in words.

Try the following, for example, for words in the same family as the word black:. Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack all dressed in black, black, black with silver buttons, buttons, buttons up and down her back, back, back….

Find and cut out small pictures of familiar objects from magazines, old workbooks, catalogues. Try to find several pictures that start with the same letter, such as book, bed, basket, boy; snake, sun, skate, slide, etc. The child can help; this is a good language activity too. On individual 3x5 inch index cards or on an 8x11 inch piece of paper or cardboard, print consonant letters with a key picture for each group of pictures found. For example, print the letter "S" with the picture of a sun to represent all the words beginning with that letter.

If using a sheet of paper, print only two or three letters per sheet. Select two or three sets of fish pictures that start with the same letters and mix them up. Place face down on a table and take turns "going fishing. When all the fish are caught and placed correctly, have the child "read" the pictures under each heading. If necessary, read along with him or her, saying the letter name and stressing the initial sound of the word. Take turns fishing, and discard those fish that belong to the other player.

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Updated and adapted from: Sample Games. This is awesome! Going to try these ideas with my 7 year old boy who is struggling to read. Thank you for these ideas! This is amazing! I'm teaching a boy I babysit to read and I've been looking for fun games I can play with him.

These are all wonderful and I can't wait to try them with him! Good and clear I think for all.

Are the participants from DRC on track? If so,can you respond and identify your self. These are too awesome! I really think that the group of kids, remedial and autistic, will really grab the picture-word association.

Classroom Strategies Research-based teaching strategies. Reading Basics From print awareness to comprehension. Reading Course K-3 professional development course. Looking at Writing Writing samples from real kids pre-K—3. Why Some Kids Struggle The reasons why some kids struggle with reading.

Target the Problem! Pinpoint the problem a struggling reader is having and how to help. Reading Interventions Watch one-on-one reading support in action with K-3 students. FAQs Questions about reading, writing, dyslexia and more. Author Interviews Meet your favorite authors and illustrators in our video interviews.

1. get curious

Book Finder Create your own booklists from our library of 5, books! Themed Booklists Dozens of carefully selected booklists, for kids years old. Nonfiction for Kids Tips on finding great books, reading nonfiction and more. You are here Home. Six Games for Reading. By: Bank Street College of Education.

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Doing activities with your children allows you to promote their reading and writing skills while having fun at the same time.


Published on: 17 September Author: Francesca Wilks.


While some students have a natural love for reading, other children may find it difficult—or just plain boring.