Reading games for kids must surely be one of the little known secrets many parents have instinctively used to stimulate early language and reading development in kids. Learning to read is a complex process for a child and the process of learning seem difficult. However games can definitely help a child learn the basics of reading without it seeming too much of a chore.
Carefully selected games introduce letters and the alphabet in a simple, fun way that is both interesting and a great educational toy.
However, we both know that games and toys are not the only way to encourage reading. There are also some fun activities you can do at home that helps a lot to encourage reading.
We'll be looking at activities, games and software applications that ultimately help children mastering reading. Obviously, everything starts with learning and recognizing letters. So, let's look at:
Most kids are first introduced to alphabets with the help of sturdy, colorful board books with attractive illustrations to go with the letters they represent. These may be the very first reading games that kids may use; learning to associate a red fruit with a particular printed shape - A for Apple.
Similarly, reading games for kids such as alphabet flashcards can help a child identify and recognize alphabets and numerals. It's a good idea to get a set of flashcards that teach not only alphabets but also numbers, shapes and colors.
Letter cutout games can also help a child become familiar with the alphabets and numerals. They can be made from cardboard, plastic or wood. The shapes of the alphabets and numbers are slotted into their respective shapes on the board. Not only does a child learn to identify the alphabets, they also learn to match corresponding shapes.
A magnetic slate is another useful reading toy. First the child can identify alphabets and put them on the magnetic slate as directed, and then they can start to spell simple words using the same game.
Simple self correcting jigsaws are other reading games for kids. These are two piece jigsaws that fit only to the corresponding half. For instance, the letter A will fit only with the picture of an apple, B will fit only with a ball and so on, so that the child learns with letter corresponds to what object. Another great reading game is the very popular Melissa & Doug's See & Spell for toddlers and older.
A flip card game with pictures of objects and stacks of letter cards also helps kids learn spelling. The letter stacks can be used to spell the objects featured in the picture cards.
These are technology based reading games for kids that help kids correlated words to sounds. These devices are a progression from the older reading aids. Some of us may remember these read along records or tapes from our own childhood that required you to turn the book page at the beep.
With these latest devices, books and optical pens are used to teach a child to read. Specially designed story books, usually illustrated for better understanding are used. Then a pen like device with an infrared sensor at the tip is passed along the text in the book. The pen "reads" aloud the printed text so that a child is able to correlate text and sounds. Each word that is touched with the pen is read out loud by the pen. So the child can read single words, entire sentences or the entire book. In many books, touching the illustrations with the pen will also produce sounds.
The Leapfrog Tag Junior is among the many reading games for kids that use an optical pen. It has simple preschool books and a pen shaped like an animal, which kid find easy to hold and attractive as well. A reader for older kids is also available in a pen like shape and stories and text more suitable for older kids. Volume control and a headphone jack are available with the optical pen device so that a parent is not driven to distraction hearing a favorite story over and over again.
It would seem that they make apps for pretty much everything these days, so why not reading games for kids as well! Numerous apps and games can help your child first identify the alphabets, understand phonics, and spell simple words and then more complex ones.
Baby Flash Cards is a free application that teaches kids words and helps improve their vocabulary. Over 450 words with pictures and sounds will keep a small child occupied and teach them the alphabet as well.
The Kids Reading (Preschool) app helps kids learn how to spell simple three letter words. A child can effortlessly learn simple words and can feel a sense of achievement at their newly acquired skills as well.
Kids ABC alphabet puzzle is another one of the reading games for kids that helps kids lean new words, spellings and shapes. The game uses jigsaw pieces to create a picture and teaches children to spell.
What if your child still struggles to spell and recognize words. You may see letter orders often mixed up, reversed and reading from right-to-left. You may also be seeing things like "mane" instead of "name", confusion of b/d, u/n, etc.
It can also cause putting words in strange orders when constructing sentences.
So, what can we do help?
That's it... four easy steps you can immediately take to greatly improve your child's reading skills.
Wooden ABC blocks
Unless you have a lot of time to help your child develop their reading skills, you should try and pick games that a child can use by themselves.
Pick games that are simple and easy to hold and operate and which require minimal assembly, supervision and adult involvement.
Choose games that are intelligent enough to teach a child without seeming to do so. What a child learns while playing is absorbed and learned more effortlessly.
Sight Word Game
All good reading games for kids will engage and interest your child and unknowingly teach her vital skills. For a few more suggestions on reading games, have a look at this resource.