Reading is one of the most important things that children can learn, providing a gateway to a child’s future academic success. For early readers, achieving reading fluency and reading for meaning and comprehension is the ultimate goal.
Reading games are a great place to start for early readers not yet fluent. There are many reading games for children that are easy to play, and take minimal preparation, all you need is a pen, some paper and a little time:
Have kids search through old magazines or newspapers, cut out pictures of things that rhyme, then glue or tape them onto paper. Use a new piece of paper for every new rhyme, so they can see how the sounds are different from page to page.
This requires a bit more preparation from teachers and parents. Present children with several images and have kids match the images that rhyme.
Choose 10 words that your child is likely to struggle with from a book they are currently reading. Have your child look up the words in the dictionary and write down the meaning. This will build up their vocabulary and writing skills, and help familiarise them with the dictionary.
Create a scavenger hunt for kids using written notes, each one a clue to the next destination along the path to discovering treasure. The excitement of the hunt for treasure is a great incentive for children to read each note carefully in order to get the clue and continue the hunt.
Madlibs is a fun reading game for children that gets them to complete stories by filling in the blanks with either nouns, verbs, adjectives or adverbs, as directed. This inexpensive game is great on road trips and teaches kids to read for meaning as well as familiarises them with speech.
Researchers have found literacy programmes that use instructive and enjoyable reading games for children are very effective in teaching children how to read. The most effective reading programmes are ones which instruct children in five key literacy areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. All games and activities within effective reading programmes instruct in all five literacy areas, and should all have as their goal children learning to read fluently and for meaning.
Reading Eggs incorporates all five key literacy areas in the structure of its lessons, with their instruction embedded in game-like activities that encourage kids to play as they learn. All games relate directly to the content of the lesson and, after lesson 9, culminate in reading an e-book. All reading games for children, as well as all lessons, are done for the purpose of getting kids to read real books and learn to enjoy reading.
I liked the way each letter is introduced, the activities, the games, the ease of use for students, the graphics and colour, the sound and the whole overall look of the programme.
Reading Eggs is great for my preschool-aged-child who is just learning to read and for my 6-year-old fluent reader. My younger child is engaged by the lessons and also motivated by the games and rewards. A surprise benefit is that his computer and keyboard skills are improving. My 6-year-old uses Reading Eggs for her spelling and basic grammar. She is working on her sequencing and creative writing skills by composing stories on Reading Eggs. Even the games develop reading, math and logic skills. I really see this as a website we can use from preschool through grade 3 with academic benefit.
- Jennifer Ware