Have you ever tried telling a two-year-old, who doesn’t yet know his colors, that the sky is purple? He’ll believe you! And that’s so damn cute of him. Toddlers learn by mimicking. They listen and copy everything you do without any questions. So if you read loudly, they will, too. Reading for kids should be fun and not a back-breaking chore! That’s the idea you should transmit to them. The worst way to convey that idea is by offering them books to read a specific amount per day. How would you feel if somebody asks you to eat cotton candy a gallon of it every day before you could play?
The pressure to read can overshadow the joy of reading. No wonder that kids love to play and take part in engaging learning. Be it a two-year-old or five years old, children learn and retain more when both instruction and practice is enjoyable for them. After all, repetition is key to effective instruction. Who would anyway want to learn the same thing over and over if it’s not exciting, engaging, and fun?
We all know that, like you, most of the teachers are keenly aware of the importance of literacy in children’s lives. It’s the foundation for doing well at school, socializing with others, developing independence, managing money, and working. But what can be the exact reasons for the importance of making it fun? Learning while playing lays the foundation for literacy. It’s fun games that help children learn to make and practice new sounds. You might be wondering how any teacher can mix in a few games into an activity that seems so straight forward. Don’t worry. Just a little dash of fun with these kids games can go a long way towards arming toddlers with the skills they need to talk, read, and write. It doesn’t have to be complicated either; sometimes, just a simple fifteen‑minute game is all you need to get those little minds working.
Below are some super fun, engaging interactive reading games and activities for kids that you must try with today in your class
Reading games for kids aged 3-4 years old
5 Fun Reading Games For Kids
To use these outdoor and indoor games more effectively, it’s important to remember that they are best utilized as a review of learned material. If you are a teacher ready to teach students, use the following method to introduce games into your reading instruction:
1. Word-Based Snakes And Ladders
This is one of the most amazing reading games for kids. It’s specially made for first graders. You can easily give it a twist just by replacing the numbers with easy words. All you need is a snakes and ladders board, game-related items, and a felt pen.
How to play
While playing these amazing reading games for kids, please make use of a pen to write simple words that they can read on all the 100 squares. Play the game just the way you would play on any other day. As children count the squares, they will say the words aloud and pass by them. By referencing different areas of the board, children can learn to scan those words by visual identification.
2. Hopscotch Spelling Bee
This game is one of the best kindergarten reading games and is best enjoyed by children where everybody can work together to achieve a singular objective. It has to be played in your school playground in an open area with a piece of chalk.
How To Play
Make around four hopscotch maps in the playground, with each of them having seven letters in them. Each toddler is responsible for the letters in their hopscotch map. Now, when you pick a word, the kids have to work together in hopping to the letters in the word in sequential order. For example, if the word is “an apple,” the kid with “a” on his map needs to hop there first, followed by the kid with “p” who needs to hop twice, and so on. This is undoubtedly going to make the game amazing and super fun. Make sure while you play this game, you set a time limit to ramp up the drama.
This is one of the most amazing reading games for kids. All you have to do is select five to ten words from a book or books; the toddlers of your class love reading. Then print each word clearly and boldly on separate index cards, making pairs of each word. And you are ready for play!
How to play
Begin with shuffling the cards and placing them face down in separate rows. Take turns, turning up three cards at a time, and reading the words aloud. If the two cards match, the toddler has to keep them and take a second turn. If they do not match, you have to replace the cards face down, and the next child has to take a turn. Play until all the cards are matched. The kid with the most pairs wins. If the child has difficulty recognizing a word, say the word — do not ask him to “sound out” the word.
Instead of using matching pairs, you can use rhyming pairs too: such as sun, bun, dark, park.
The Alternative way
This game can also be used to build letter recognition and sound association. It’s that simple. All you have to do is paste or draw simple pictures on one set of cards and print initial consonants on the other sets to go with the pictures. For example, paste the picture of a lion on one card, and write the letter “L” on a matching card.
You can control the level of the game by the choice and number of words used. For example, choose meaningful words that are visually distinctive: “light,” “sun,” “brother,” and keep the number of words low. For a more challenging game, include some less distinctive words: “when”, “what”, “this”, “that”, but be careful not to overwhelm the child.
4. Go fish go!
This game is good for early readers to fluent readers. The making is too easy. Here it goes:
All you need to select is ten to twenty words from a book that your children are reading in your class. Print the words clearly on separate index cards, making pairs of each word. Before you begin to play, please make sure not to include the whole class, as only this game is either for two or four people.
How to play
Shuffle and deal four to five cards to each student. Place the rest deck down. Kids will take turns asking each other for a card to match one held in their hands. The game is, if the opponent has a matching card, it is given over, and the first player will take another turn. If the opponent does not find any match, then he/she has to say “Go Fish,” and the same kid draws from the remaining deck of cards. This continues. Each time a player has a match, they need to read the words and put down the pair, face up. To make the game even more interesting, you can use rhyming words instead of matching words.
5. Reading Photographs
Simply reading words is not enough. Comprehending their meaning and expressing what isn’t written goes a long way in the language development of a child. Get a book of pictures and ask the toddlers of your class to bring their family album in your class.
How To Play
Before you start, know that this game is a bit slow but exciting. It’s just that you have to hold back your patience a bit more than what you usually do. Approach each child one by one and open any book page or a lovely photo from their family album that is quite descriptive. Ask them what they think is going on in the picture and let them describe it to you. Nudge the cutie pies to form complete sentences when they explain what they see.
When we think of utilizing reading games for kids in the classroom, most of us often think about objective subjects with clear answers, like math or environmental studies. However, with a bit of thoughtful planning, such super engaging games can be brought into the classroom as well! Although these are not the only reading activities for kids. There are lots more you can try. So, what are you waiting for? Gear up, buckle up your shoes, and get started using the ideas above to encourage little readers now! Make reading a more positive, engaging, exciting, and fun-filled activity to help kids continue to love learning even more!
All the best and happy learning!