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Children who struggle with reading develop strategies and skills for literacy through interactive reading games. For many kids, reading is a chore. As a teacher or parent, you can change that by making reading fun and exciting. Whether kids are reading practice passages or whole novels, they can use these cool reading games to improve their skills and have fun at the same time.
Fun Reading Games For Children
Act It Out
For kids who have a lot of energy or are kinesthetic learners, acting out what they are reading can help them appreciate the story more. Try this game with long chunks of dialogue in a story, especially those that contain a lot of drama or emotion.
Give each child a character from the story, and have them read aloud the lines assigned to that character. (You may want to include a narrator as well, making sure that the narrator is a strong reader.) At the most exciting parts of the dialogue, suddenly call out “Freeze!” and then reassign the parts so that each kid is a different character.
Cook with Kids
Cooking is a great way to spend quality time with kids and can easily be turned into an educational reading opportunity. Encouraging kids to read the recipe as you cook will help them see a real-life application of reading and help them to practice reading several new vocabulary words.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
This reading game has been around for generations, and it has been loved as much as its culinary namesake. Kids take turns reading in pairs, replacing every word that begins with an “s” with “spaghetti” and every word that begins with an “m” with “meatballs.”
For example, the sentence “Matt sent his mother a present” would be read “Meatballs spaghetti his meatballs a present.” The other partner listens, trying to catch the reader missing a “spaghetti” or a “meatball.” When the reader does, the listener gets a turn to read.
Feeling and Apathy
This fun game helps kids practice reading fluently with emotion, but lets them have fun while doing it. Teach kids the meaning of the word “apathy,” which means lack of emotion. Have kids practice reading a sentence with apathy (in a monotone).
Then let kids take turns reading passages in pairs while you call out randomly “Feeling!” or “Apathy!” After you call out “Feeling!” kids should read with a lot of feeling, really overdoing it if possible. After you call out “Apathy!” kids should switch to reading in a monotone. Plenty of giggles will accompany this reading fest, and kids will enjoy listening to their partner turning the emotions on and off like a faucet.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts are a fun way for kids to practice their reading skills without any added pressure. Parents or teachers can write short notes on pieces of paper and post them around the home or classroom. Each note should give a clue about the location of the next note.
Kids will have a blast hunting down each clue until they get to the treasure. The treasure can be something simple like a small handful of candy or a sticker. Encourage kids to read each note aloud to practice their reading skills and help them avoid simply skimming the note.
Scrabble is a classic word game that has been around for years, but it can be played on any skill level and is a great way for kids to practice sounding out words and increase their vocabulary. Kids can play the game with a dictionary if they need help spelling a word or determining if the word they are thinking of is legitimate.
Do a Word Search
Word searches are a great reading game for kids that help teach new words. Parents and teachers can create their own word search puzzles using words that kids are struggling with or new vocabulary words to help kids get used to seeing the words in print. Turning vocabulary practice into games makes learning new words more fun for kids and helps improve their reading abilities.
Create a Ransom Note
Kids can create a fun ransom note for a pretend play activity by cutting out words from a newspaper or magazine and using them to write a short note to a parent or teacher.
Kids can glue the words of their notes down on a piece of paper once they have written their story and deliver it to a parent, teacher, or friend. Kids will love creating notes using words clipped from magazines and newspapers. For some added fun, have kids deliver notes to each other and then try to guess who the note is from.
Role Play Retelling
Summarising is an important critical reading skill. Instead of written summaries, invite kids to re-enact the major events of a story. Place kids into small groups. Each group discusses the story and develops a plan for a role play that demonstrates the story’s action.
Each group presents a dramatisation to the class. The other kids will make notes about the actions each group presents. At the end of the presentations, the group votes on which group gave the most well-rounded and realistic retelling.
Kids must be critical and active readers to craft an alternate ending to a story. Invite kid pairs to rewrite the final events of a story. Each pair must provide a written page that offers a different ending to the story as well as perform a short re-enactment of their alternate ending.
Endings should be distinct from the story’s ending but realistic given the context of the story. Kids will need to consider the personality of the characters, the type of conflict, and the several possible solutions to end the story.
Developing strong reading skills will give kids a great foundation for future educational opportunities. The ability to read well can help kids in all academic subjects and can be a wonderful hobby for a lifetime. Parents and teachers can encourage kids to get excited about reading by providing exciting reading games that help kids practice their basic reading skills.
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