Reading games for kids

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Jorge Luis Borges had such a titanic love for books that he once said he imagined Paradise as a library. This exact passion for reading is what we should teach our children to find and nurture. Still, motivating kids at an early age to read can be an agony-ecstasy task. Children don’t like to read for a lot of reasons, but mainly because they find it boring and school-related. But what if you can make it fun for them? Dig in the following six reading games, choose what works for you and let the fun begin:

1. Spin a Word Family

A hands-on game that will have kids spinning with excitement as they
learn a lot of new words. For example, as kids learn the ending {-en}, they automatically understand how to read and write “pen”, “hen”, “ten”, “men”.
Game supplies: thick sheets of card stock, a circular stencil, scissors, black markers (one for you, the rest for the kids), a brad, and a printable Spin a Word template.
Basically, kids will spin a word, write it on the printable, read it out loud, then decide if it’s a real word or not. More info on how to build the spinning wheel here.

2. Character Voice Reading

A game to encourage kids read with an accent, a silly voice or even with a disguised identity. Pick up a great variety of book excerpts, from Winnie the Pooh and Beauty and the Beast, to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Winnetou, and Romeo and Juliet.
Build character voice cards to practice fluency, clarity, diction and expression. Students will be reading out loud in the voices that they pick. Surely, there will be a lot of laughter involved, but this will motivate students to read more and more.

3. Furry Buddy game

A game for lower grade kids that need their friend’s company to get involved in something. Get a furry animal toy, ask the class to come up with a name and a reading corner decoration. Encourage kids to read to their new friend throughout the day. What they will actually do is learn to become independent readers, that choose books on their own and hold opinions on the excerpts that are the worth sharing.

4. Bag of Books game

Let students “go shopping” for their books to read (from 2 up to 5, depending on the grade). You will be the books caterer, and they will be placing books in their “bags” or on their desks on a weekly basis. This way books will be available to them day in and day out.They won’t even have to read them entirely. All they need to do is keep themselves interested in reading, in researching and discussing about books.

5. The Maze Library game

In a world full of online books, this is a great exercise for kids to appreciate and take care of hardcover books. Introduce them to your library and how to turn the pages, how to hold books, and how to arrange them on the shelves. At first, give them access to a certain section in the library, and as they do well with handling books, open new “corridors” of the reading maze. This will come as a reward to keep them motivated in their reading quest.

6. Making Posters game

Kids getting creative while they create movie posters for the books they read or their favorite characters in these books. They will need to include the books’ title, author, a symbolic picture, a catch phrase, and a rating. Hung these posters and see how they inspire other kids to read the books too.

There are a lot of ways in which reading can become a playful way to open new doors to adventure and learning. Get inspired and invent your own reading games. A short reminder before you go, “any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him” – Maya Angelou.

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