Reading games for kids are fun and simple to do. These fun hands on reading games can be done as a part of homeschool life and incorporated into the things you are already doing. This page outlines reading activities, pre-reading activities, games for beginning readers, board games and card reading games for kids, reading comprehension games and some reading homeschool curriculum.
Some of the activities may require preparation, but many are things you can just think of on the spot with easy to grab resources.
Reading games are appropriate for all ages - even if your child is not technically 'reading'.
Listed below are pre-reading game ideas which are great to do with your very little ones. These games are divided under the headings of these pre-reading skills:
These simple reading games for kids can make these everyday chores more fun for both of you and your child. Read more...
Children love to organize and sort things and it's great to include these matching activities into daily life and into normal conversations. This can happen when playing at home, doing chores, in the park, out at the shops, at mealtimes, in the bath, in the neighbourhood and in the car.
The can match items and sort them out. Common items to use can be:
Verbal games are great reading games for kids which develop excellent listening skills.
Developing fine motor skills for preschoolers can be done in the context of games and activities where they trace over extra large letter shapes.
To make it tactile it is great to use a variety of mediums:
Children can create letter collages with paints, large crayons, large chalk drawings and trace over letters created on sandpaper.
It is important to use both the large arm and body movements to create some of these giant letter shapes as well as draw small letters on a page. This way, the child can create a better understanding of the letter shape.
These interactive reading activities for your little preschoolers are not only fun language arts games but hands-on reading games for kids that your young children will enjoy. It's also a great way for your older homeschool children to help out and team up with the young ones.
Using the letter name, enjoy tactical activities and create:
The best way for children to understand books - is to read and read and read to them. Ask them to get the book off the shelf and show them by the way you handle a book - exactly how to discover it. They will learn to hold it correctly and start with the front cover. Then, as you let them turn the pages one by one, they will get the feeling of reading, handling and moving their way through a book.
This sounds simple, but it is the beginning of showing your children how a reader approaches a book. You can begin by saying, "I wonder what this book is about?" as you look at the cover. As you go on, you can ask, "I wonder what will happen next..." and then say, "Let's turn the page to find out..." Reading books is all about following a story and seeing how it unfolds. Teaching your child the correct way to hold and handle a book shows them that reading is all about discovery.
You can develop language skills in your pre-reader through conversations. All day, anytime, wherever you are, develop the art of conversation in your child by talking to them. Ask them questions about what they see, how it got to be there, whether they like it, about people's jobs, what to do next, how to prepare for something, pretend games - if they were an animal...
Of course, you could use any of these wonderful conversation starters as story beginnings for the older homeschool children. Alternatively, the littlest ones can create a story and you or an older sibling can write it out for them. As you homeschool, it is important to see how you can integrate and combine subjects and ages - for fun, family togetherness and for your own sanity!
It's wonderful to have a resource available which can give you a host of reading game ideas. Obviously some will work, some may not, but it is extremely handy to have a book on your shelf which helps you create reading games to suit your child, their age, their specific struggles, their personal word list.
Great for the homeschooling family looking for games to consolidate the learning across different ages.
Peggy Kaye's Games for Reading - offers parents a way to succeed in teaching reading to their children. Games for Reading has 70 games - "bingo" game that helps children learn vocabulary, rhyming games, mazes and puzzles, games to train the eye to see patterns, games to train the ear and more. Have a look at some of the Amazon reviews on this excellent resource for reading games for kids:
OK - time for you to create! Here are some super simple homeschool reading games for kids which you can create around the words and use skills you want to develop (plus some reading game downloads to help)
This game is played with a simple BINGO board. The child writes down 24 words on the grid. These could be words they are learning at the time. They can place the words wherever they like on their BINGO card.
When the card is read by the parent / other child / teacher - the player can put a marker or colour in their word. The first child to have 5 covered in a row, wins the game. This reading game which kids enjoy can be adapted to so many different learning experiences.
You can use this Bingo board in a variety of ways : find the words, find a word that sounds the same, find a word in the same family, find a word which is opposite to, find a word with this meaning (vocabulary).
Easy to play and create reading games for kids with this board.
Download this BINGO game here.
When our children were first beginning to read, I made a ton of reading flashcards. They can be linked to books you are reading, spelling lists, household items, names of family members, colours, months, days of the week etc.
You can make or buy flashcards. Making them takes time, but it means that you will have the exact list you need for your child.
Sightwords has made a free flashcard creator which you can use to add your own words and then print them off. Flashcards can be the basis of many reading games for kids.
You can find dolch words on my site here.
Here is a free editable printable flashcard template. You can add 15 words onto the template, print it off and then add clear the printable and add more words. It's best to print them onto cardstock and laminate them to create a sturdy flashcard.
This will help you create flashcards which can be used for many reading games for kids.
Place the flashcards on the ground and players can hop from one word to the next. Make it more difficult by increasing the difficulty of the words and add spelling the words into the game.
Variations of this reading activity:
Young children love the fishing game. The flashcards each have a paperclip attached to them and are placed in a big tub. Children fish for the letters or words (whatever you attach to your fish) with a fishing rod with a magnet on the end. When they catch a fish - they need to:
You could also play this reading game as a competition. Using a timer, each player needs to catch fish from one word family and collect as many fish as they can within the time limit.
It's the perfect homeschool reading game which can be used again and again with a ton of possibilities across different subject areas.
Using a picture of a ladder (mountain, tree house) children place words on the rung or on the leaves of the tree as they spell them correctly. The words increase in difficulty.
This reading game can be used to develop the skill of reading the word as well as sounding it out and spelling the words.
Children pick up flashcards, read them aloud and if correct, they roll the dice. Whatever they roll on the dice, becomes their score. At the end of 10 cards (or whatever is agreed upon), the children count up their score.
Reading flashcards can be used in a variety of home made reading games for kids.
For years, we played the "pocket game" where the children would put the flashcard in the correct A-Z pocket. These pockets were made of material with the letter on the front of the pocket and they were strung up with a rope at an appropriate height along a wall in our home. We had competitions to finish their pile of flashcards in a certain amount of time. They would read the word and then place it in the pocket. They could also read it, spell it and then place it in the pocket.
There are heaps of board games you can develop and use to strengthen word recognition, spelling and also word-building. Since children just love to copy what the 'adults' are doing - why not incorporate the learning of easy words into a board game you have in your cupboard?
Flashcards can be used with almost any board game and a variation of the rules.
You can use it to read the word, define it, spell it, give an antonym, synonym, homonym ...
Use different well known "adult" board games such as:
Alternately, this game from sightwords.com is a great way to practice sight words.
Sight Words Snakes & Ladders is a twist on the classic Chutes & Ladders board game, incorporating some reading into the game play. The game gives children many opportunities for sight words repetition, while the board game format keeps it fun and engaging.
This site has a number of snakes and ladders games which you can download for free as well as having a Snakes and Ladders board creator - you can even add your own words!
The Snakes and Ladders Board is a great springboard to practice reading games for kids
This reading game, Learning Resources POP games - is another way to play a 'flashcard' game. There are different versions of this game to teach sight words, blends, word families (and more) all in fun containers with words on little 'popcorn'.
Children pick and read the words and keep their little bundle unless they pick up a "POP" and their pile needs to go back in the box. Of course, you can vary the rules (which you can read about in the Amazon reviews).
You could easily use this similar idea in your home - and create your own flashcards, spelling word list etc - simple to make and effective to be used as reading games for kids.
There are a number of reading games for kids online. Here are just a few:
Reading comprehension sometimes sounds like this unattainable goal - but in reality, it just means that your child understands the story or what is being read.
There are many interactive comprehension games which can be fun and help the child to express what the story was about.
This can all be done orally, and I prefer something like these reading comprehension cubes as they help to spark conversations around whatever has been read. It's a simple idea (something you could make yourself) and probably more effective than writing answers to comprehension questions on their own.
Using snippets from books or from the newspaper, children match a headline with the body of the article. This involves reading as well as comprehension of the text and are great reading games for kids to improve reading skills.
Children create a catchy headline for a page of text. This is another simple game to improve reading skills as this idea incorporates different reading skills and abilities - including comprehension, finding the main point.
Different stories are selected and children dramatize the story while others guess which story is being acted out.
Homeschool games, reading curriculum and vocabulary ideas: