A child in the 3-6 age group is in the sensitive period of absorbing language. Reading and writing can be developed through various activities and fun games. I would like to share with you some reading games to help build literacy skills. First we start with phonics activities to recognize letters and sounds, then reading games that include words.
1- MOVABLE ALPHABETS/MAGNETIC LETTERS MATCHING
This game can be played with the movable alphabets or any available letters you have at home, magnetic of foam letters will do. Place one set of magnetic letters on one side of the room and another set on the other side of the room. Call out any letter sound and invite the child to run and bring it and stick it on the board. Another variation is to place objects on one side of the room and the letters on the other side. Invite the child to match the objects to their sounds using yarn or to recognize and match same letters. The same matching activity can be done with upper/lower case letters.
For this activity you will need:
Cup to hold the sticks
Write a letter on one end of each craft stick. For older kids write CVC words (pen, fan, dog,...etc) Take out a few additional craft sticks and Write “KABOOM” on one end. You can stick a funny face sticker next to the word KABOOM. Invite the child to pull any stick randomly from the cup. If they get a stick with a letter they say the sound and keep the stick with them on the table. For older children they read the word and keep the stick with them. If they need help to read the word you can help them. If they draw a KABOOM stick, then they have to return all the sticks they have back in the cup. Repeat for more practice and fun. This activity is ideal with a group of children.
3- WORD FAMILY FOAM CUPS
For this game you will need foam cups and colored markers.
Cut out a rectangular part of one of the foam cups. With a marker, write any word family the child needs to practice. On the other cup write around 4-5 initial sounds leaving about two fingers space between each letter. Invite the child to rotate the cups and read the words.
4- MAKE LETTERS AND BUILD WORDS WITH PIPE CLEANERS
Build words by bending pipe cleaners. You can use the Montessori color coding for the letters to create familiarization and consistency. Random colors will also do the job!
5- CUP CAKES CVC WORDS
Build words inside cupcakes holes. The child can add a word family ( -an) and then add in the first hole all the initial letters they can think of that belongs to this family. In this example we made (fan - pan - man) / (wig / dig / big).
6- CVC WORDS FISHING WITH MAGNETIC WAND
For this activity you will need:
A Magnetic wand
Other magnetic objects for an extra challenge (optional)
The child will hold the magnetic wand and move it across the letters, then try to make a word from the letters that will be attracted to the wand. To make the game more challenging, they can try to attract to the wand specific letters only and avoid any other magnetic objects.
You can also simplify the game for younger children by removing the other magnetic objects and adding more letters.
7- BOWLING SIGHT WORDS
Write the sight words that the child needs to practice on the skittles. One word on each skittle. You may want to print and stick the words on the skittles so you can change them later. The child then throws the bowling ball and reads all the words on the skittles that were knocked over.
8- SCAVENGER HUNT
Print different pictures (You can use pictures in our pink, blue, and green series) or pictures to sounds matching activities. Print the words for each picture and hang them around the house/class/school Place the picture cards face down and invite the child to choose a card. They need to check the picture and find the word around the room (you can hang the words on the walls around the room).
9- PLAYDOUGH CAST AND MOULD WITH THE MOVABLE ALPHABETS
For more activities check out our 3-6 ALL Year Literacy Workbook
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