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Reading Activities

Some children just naturally love to read, and others are what are known as reluctant readers. People will often tell you that their child just loves to read because they were read to from an early age. This works with some children, but others don’t want to sit still long enough to read or be read to.

These activities are great for children just starting to read. They are particularly good for reluctant readers, who pull faces and attempt to run away when books are brought out!

Flash Card Games. (geared to words the child already knows)

It is important that when you first start out this is exciting, fun and easy. If the child finds it took difficult, flash cards take on the same connotation as books, and you are lost. Pick about twenty words that your child CAN read. Write each word on an individual index card. You also need a pack of stickers, or similar reward.

Game 1:

Place the cards face up. Ask the child to hand you words beginning with a particular sound. Be sure to emphasize sounds with this activity, rather than the names of letters. Once the child gets all, or most correct, move on to end or middle sounds. Be careful to lavish praise for correct answers, give rewards for a fixed number of correct answers, and skip over incorrect ones! When the answer is incorrect, NEVER say, no, that’s wrong. Say something like, are you sure, hmmmm..I don’t know I don’t think it begins with (name the sound again), let’s try again, or something equally soothing and non-threatening.

Game 2:

Place the cards face down. Ask the child to pick a card and read it. If the answer is correct, they pick another, if incorrect it is the next players turn. If only you and the child are playing, allow yourself only two correct answers before passing the turn back. Never deliberately get it wrong, children don’t like to be allowed to cheat, they feel that they are stupid if they need to cheat. As the child improves at the game you can increase the number of cards you take before passing the turn back.

Game 3:

Each player takes a card. They read the card and then act out the meaning. Other players have to guess what the card says…this one is particularly good with animal names (cat, dog, rat etc) and actions.

Game 4:

This requires pictures to match the words, so isn’t suitable for all words. Make pairs of cards, one with the picture and one with the word. Place all face up and match words to pictures. For variety, you can place them face down and play matching pairs with them.

Increasing Words

If you feel your child can read more words, then increase the number of cards. If they seem unable to read more, move on to a different type of activity.

Activities geared towards learning more words.

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