Whether your child loves reading, or whether they find it a chore, turning it into a game can make reading a whole lot more fun and enjoyable. In this guide, we’ve chosen our favourite reading games for children to help motivate them to read for pleasure.
Not only does this game help improve your child’s reading ability, it can also develop their memory. Cut out some A5 cards (10 is a good number for younger children) and write the same sentence on two of the cards, then another sentence on another two cards, until all the cards are complete. The sentences that you choose to write can be based on the current book your child is reading, a topic they’re studying, or they can be completely random.
Lay the cards out on the floor with the sentences facing down. Then ask your child to turn over one of the cards. Ask them to read the sentence aloud and explain its meaning, or the meaning of any specific words. They then have to find the exact same sentence amongst the remaining cards.
If they find a match, great, they can keep the cards and start again. If not, they still need to read the sentence aloud, explain it and then turn both cards back over. The game continues in this way until all reading pairs have been found.
‘Yes’ and ‘No’ Phonics Game
If your child struggles to process what they read due to a lack of motivation, this game can be a good way to get them more interested (it’s also a great game to play with spelling lists).
Choose a random word from the page your child is reading, and ask them a series of phonics questions. Your child has to think about the question and can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Some questions you could ask include:
- Does the word begin with a consonant?
- Does it end in a vowel?
- Is the third letter in the word ‘c’?
- Does the word have four syllables?
If your child answers all questions correctly, you can reward them with a small prize to encourage them to think about the words they’re reading. For older children, you can also introduce parts of speech, asking whether the word is a noun, verb, adjective etc. As they get better, you can start to ask questions that require an explanation rather than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Take it in Turns
A good way to motivate your child to start reading is to take turns. For example, you could start off by reading two pages of the book each, then change it to one page. After a short while (when their enthusiasm starts to dwindle), mix it up again by reading one page each.
To make the game really fun, you can take things a step further by reading half a page each, then a paragraph. And if the end of the chapter is in sight and your child just needs an extra boost of motivation, you can break the reading down even further by reading a sentence each.
This game is a bit like Scrabble but more fun, especially if you involve your child in setting it up. You’ll need a selection of paper cups that can be written on (26 is a good number – one for every letter of the alphabet).
On each cup, write one letter of the alphabet, starting with ‘a’, until all letters have been written on all the cups. Split the cups into consonants and vowels and then distribute them equally between the players (ensuring everyone has at least one vowel). Be careful to ensure sure that everyone’s letters are hidden from the other players.
Each player has to create a word from the selection of letters that they have. You can award prizes to the longest word, or the most words (using the same letters more than once).
Acting it Out
Children learn most effectively when they engage all their senses. A great way for children to process what they’re reading is to act out each scene in the book. This game can be a good way to get your child to continue reading until the end of a chapter, knowing that they’ll get to act it out at the end.
Break the chapter down into three or four scenes and ask your child to describe what happened in each one. As they describe what happened, encourage them to act the story out using any props they may have to hand.
This game can really bring reading alive and can be a great motivational tool for children that like to be active and immersed in an activity.
At Edu Prints Plus, we make educational posters for children to inspire their learning. If you’re looking to motivate your child to read more, we have a fantastic range of children’s reading posters to give them that extra boost of inspiration.
All of our posters are printed on thick, luxurious 350 gsm art card with a lovely velvet finish. They also have surface protection to combat sun, sticky fingers, and juice.
Here are two of our most popular reading prints below: