Reading Fun & Games

Too often kids equate LEARNING=BORING. But that certainly isn’t true when you make LEARNING=FUN.

How? By using a variety of games. When you incorporate games into the learning equation, kids will ask for more and more instructional activities. “Please, can’t we do it again?” they’ll beg. You’ll easily capture their interest and motivate them to try harder. Plus, you’ll help build their confidence when you match the game’s level to the child’s level. That way, the child will always be a winner.

Jean Radatz in her OASIS booklet, A Spoonful of Sugar: Games and Puzzles That Promote Reading, offers these tips on using educational games with children:

  • Adapt the game to the child’s level. Never use a game that is too difficult.
  • Present the game as a treat—not an assignment.
  • If for some reason the child doesn’t like the game, stop and try it again on a later date—or find another game which appeals to the child.
  • Be ready to adapt the rules; let the child have a say in how the game works; only changes that would interfere with the learning elements of a game are non-negotiable.
  • Have fun and show it; be encouraging to the child; make a big deal out of their accomplishments.
  • Keep the games brief (especially for very young children) and offer a variety of games.

Here’s a few examples and some links where you can find additional games, not only for reading skills but math, history, and more.

TEACHNOLOGY is a fun and helpful site for all kinds of learning games. Here’s just a few examples:

An interactive online game of memory and matching with a timer that never skips a second.

Mad Libs
Another interactive online game. In this one, the player fills in a series of words (like a noun, a verb, or perhaps an adjective) and the computer inserts them into a story. Here’s a silly example:

One day while I was sleeping in the bathroom, a fuzzy eyeball fell through the roof. It immediately jumped on the chair and knocked over the chocolate cake. Then it ran out the door into the kitchen and laughed a raincoat off the table. It then knocked a glass of Coke off the coffee table. After 345 minutes of chasing the eyeball through the house I finally caught it and put it outside. It quickly climbed the nearest hair.

Word Scramble
These puzzles are ready to print out for various grade levels and subjects. Here’s an example using First Grade words:

Unscramble the following words:

1) ton __________________________

2) oth __________________________

3) tog __________________________

4) pto __________________________

5) tpso __________________________

6) post __________________________

7) flop __________________________

8) rinbg __________________________

9) kema __________________________

10) cctha __________________________

11) eifv __________________________

12) tow __________________________

13) eterh __________________________

14) labck __________________________

15) rgene __________________________