Looking for some fun ways to help your child along with reading skills? Here’s five wonderful ways that have always been helpful hits at our house.
- Make some letter rocks. Write letters and letter combinations on smooth rocks with markers, and make words together. Make some that say AT, AD, OP, SH and UT, for instance, with letters like T, M, P and R, to make words like MAT, MAD, SHOP, SHUT and PAT. If you like, put the rocks in a bag and pull out one rock at a time. See who can make a word with the fewest rocks per turn.
- Play crash words. For a fun variation, put the letters and sounds on matchbox cars and “crash” them into each other to make words.
- Make a sound muncher. Use a paper bag to make a fun monster face and cut a big hole for a mouth. Turn it upside down over an empty bucket or garbage can and pick a letter for the sound muncher to eat. If today’s letter is B, your little one needs to go through the house finding things that start with B to feed the sound muncher. As the object goes in, have your child say the sound and the word and make funny munching sounds. You can also use this as a sneaky way to clean up, having all the items come from messy bedroom floors and afterwards being put in their proper places!
- Play word concentration. Make up sets of index cards (or just cut up paper) with a word on one and a simple picture of the item on the other. If you have older kids, have them do this. My girls loved to make up the cards for their little brother. Make sure the words are clearly spelled out in large letters. Some examples are ball, door, arrow, cup, box and truck. Then shuffle them and put them all face down. Play with your child or just cheer her on as she tries to find matches in the fewest turns.
- Spend time at places where books are treasured. Go to story times at Barnes and Noble and the library, and just go hang out and read together. Fill your house with books of all types, and leave them out where they’ll be enjoyed often. The more children are exposed to books and reading, the more naturally it evolves for them (sort of like foreign language immersion).
For more on teaching kids to read and lots of fun ideas, see:
Making Reading Come Naturally
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