This is an area where our gaming shelves are weaker. Neither Jeff nor I are big fans of word games, but I know they can be very helpful in growing your vocabulary. Also, many of the word games we do enjoy our kids are not old enough for yet.
I say all that to let you know why reading games will be a little short on personal reviews.
Reasons to play reading games with your kids or students:
- Even the most reluctant reader will happily play games.
- It’s a way to practice skills without endless flashcards.
- There are only so many times you can read “Spot ran to the ball.”
- The right reading game can expand your vocabulary.
- They increase visual acuity, which improves their reading.
Early Reading Games
Early Reading Games– This site has several different games for early readers. Sight Word games, phonics games. Most of them are intended for classroom use, but can be adapted to play at home.
Make a Word with letter beads– I know you’re saying, this doesn’t seem like a game, but my kids think it’s one and they love to play “games” like this.
Sight Word Pancakes– All you need for this fun game is some fun foam or construction paper and a spatula to flip the words you know.
Muffin Tin Reading Game– this is a great way to review skills you’re working on, and can easily be adapted to other content areas. You could also use an egg carton for this game.
Silly Sound Sort– a great way to teach your kids their sounds, and have fun at the same time.
Short I reading game– I made this one to play with my kiddos and we play it as a variation on Go Fish or Memory.
Short Vowel Reading Game– Similar to the last one, except it’s all the short vowels, the kids love to play it.
Reading with Zig Zag Zebra– This is designed to go along with All About Reading, but you can easily play it without any connection to that curriculum. The games require some set up, you have to cut them out and glue them to the file folders, but after that you can play them with most any skill set. We usually use the cards from the lesson the kids are on and go from there. My boys particularly enjoy the explore the cave game.
Tile Lock Scrabble– This is the game everyone thinks of, I happen to think this game is weak because it’s dependent on your drawing the right tiles to complete a whole word. All I ever draw are consonants. That is rather tedious. If you get it, I like the version I linked to because the tiles won’t move all over. What few games of Scrabble I’ve played have been messed up by moving tiles……. I much prefer Scrabble Junior., where you are not attempting to make whole words…….
Marie’s Words– This looks like a great game to build your vocabulary. You’re drawing a word, reading the definition, part of speech, and then writing your own sentence.
Quiddler– I put this game immune to most reading game problems. You are trying to create words using cards that either have one letter or a letter blend (ex: ch, er, sh). Much like in Gin Rummy you are drawing and discarding cards as you figure out what cards will help you make a word (so that takes care of my always having consonants problem). This is a good game for a child getting the hang of reading and starting to enjoy it, probably late 2nd or early 3rd grade.
Apples to Apples– This is a great way to expand your vocabulary and your thinking skills. One person has a word card and you are supposed to put down the card you have that is most similar. I enjoy this game, but Jeff hates it because the scoring and decisions are arbitrary depending on the judge. So, you can never tell which way they will decide. Will they decide because it’s the closest word, or because the pairing amused them.
Big Boggle-Shakes the dice out and write as many words as you see in 3 minutes. I think this is a great game for finding patterns and words. And if you’re truly geeky you play it in Klingon, I’m not that geeky, besides you’d need a lot more consonants and “k” to pop up to really do well in Klingon.
Konexi– This is a very fun game to play with people that have a firm grasp on reading/spelling, and good hand eye coordination. Otherwise the game will be over very quickly.
I know I’m missing a few vocabulary games, ones that come up with words or defining words, but I’ve had several rather sleepless nights the past few days, and I’m drawing a blank on the others.
Pickles Pig Tales– This is a memory improvement game, that can also work great for becoming a writing game. I include this in reading games because it improves your memory and helps you learn how stories flow.
Once Upon A Time– If you are looking for a fun game to play with your older kids (I tried with mine, and they’re a hair too young, so I’d say 3rd grade and up), this is a great one. You have 7 story cards (these can be events, characters, aspects, what have you), and an ending card. You are trying to guide the story so your story cards are used, and you reach your ending card. This version is fairy tale themed, so you have the old woman, and the beautiful princess as characters. There is a horror version, which I am not finding a link to right now.
Rory’s Story Cubes– This is a more kid friendly version of Once Upon a Time, we just got this, and we haven’t really played it much yet (certain kids may have disappeared with the dice). Roll the dice and tell a story with what you rolled.
** Both of the last 2 games mentioned are also great for writing assignments when the kid says “I don’t know what to write.”**
Baffle Gab– I won this game in a giveaway a few years ago and I’m waiting another year for the kids to be old enough to play it, because it requires better reading skills than they currently have. Essentially it’s Mad Libs on a timer. You’re given a few words and told to write a story in 1 minute.
All right ladies and gentleman, this is where I need your help, what reading games am I missing? Since they’re not as enjoyed in our family I don’t have lots of games to suggest, and I know there’s some other great ones out there. At the very least I know there’s one more that we had and got rid of or lost……..
For more game ideas to play with your family, check out my pinterest board:
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