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6 Simple Games to Strengthen Reading Skills at Home

Whether your child has just started discovering their letter sounds at home or is learning to read and write at school, you can support their reading development by playing simple games that require little to no prep. Games that encourage listening to isolated sounds or recognizing letters and word patterns are great for promoting reading fluency. Your kids will be having too much fun to notice all of the hard work that they are putting in!

  1. I Spy Alphabet Edition - Here’s an easy one that exercises their ability to hear and identify letter sounds. Instead of using colors, use letters or sounds. Say, “I spy something that begins with a B or a b-b-b sound.”
  2. Rhyming Hopscotch - Go outside with some sidewalk chalk and create a hopscotch board. Fill the board randomly with sets of rhyming words and let your child hop from one rhyming word to another. Check out the table below to put together a quick and easy game:
    -at -ug -ow -ig -an -ar -et
    cat bug how wig fan car wet
    mat snug cow pig can far get
    rat rug now big pan star pet
  3. Word or Letter Memory Matching Games - Buy two sets of alphabet flashcards or create your own deck of sight words on index cards, (depending on your child’s skill set). Place the cards face down randomly and take turns trying to remember where letter or word pairs are. This is a good game to play for some independent quiet time, as well.
  4. Guess the Word Phonics Game - Pick a broad category, like food, and choose a word. Have your child try to guess what word you are thinking of by asking yes or no word-centric questions like, “Does it begin with an S? Does it rhyme with cat? Does it end with an ‘n-n-n’ sound?” Take turns being the guesser.
  5. Bingo - Play word or letter bingo. Bingo cards can be bought or easily made in under 5 minutes. Call out letters or words, one by one, and be sure to make a huge fuss when they finally get Bingo!
  6. Bring Me - Fun for playing one-on-one or with a group, “Bring Me” has a simple concept: Give a letter sound and see how fast they can bring something that begins with that sound from the surrounding vicinity. For example: “Bring me something that begins with a ‘Mmmmm’ sound.” Just be sure to set up appropriate boundaries!

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