At See Word Reading, helping kids learn to read is our mission. Beyond our See Word Reading App for kids, which launches into the app store this fall, we like to stay in tune with all the great ways parents and teachers today are helping their kids learn to read.
Our focus is to look for games that will build phonological awareness—the ability to recognize and understand sounds in words. These games allow the player to practice phonics, which is the understanding of the relationships between the letters and their sounds. Check out these fun-filled phonics games!
We researched the best of the best educational games for kids that looked like the most fun. These seven experts below share quality games that spice up the routine and make learning fun!
7 Fun Educational Games for Kids
1. Muffin Tin Toss
This game comes from the Scholastic book blog. It uses word families to make a phonics game out of an everyday muffin tin. From the blog:
“Set it up: Write word families (such as –ake and –ing) on 2-inch circle cutouts. Place the cutouts in the 12 spaces of a muffin tin. Place the tin and a container of buttons or counters in a center. Add a clipboard, a recording sheet, and pencils.
Play it: Invite children to take turns tossing a button or counter into the tin. Challenge each child to come up with a word that uses the word family written in the tin where the button lands, and then write the word on a recording sheet. For example, if the button lands in the tin with the –ake cutout, a student might write take or cake. Allow each child to play several times.” Check out more phonics games from the post here.
2. Word Family Flash Card Game
This family fun game requires some printing and cutting to prepare. But that only adds to the fun. From the DLTK’s Crafts for Kids/Kidzone blog:
“Print out at least eight copies of the word endings printouts for the word families you wish to practice and at least two copies of the lower case letters printouts. (DLTK’s word family cards found here.) You can throw out some of the letters (like Z, Y, O, etc. if that makes things easier).
Cut out the cards and attach to cardstock/laminate as desired.
Shuffle the cards and “deal” 3 to 5 cards per player (depending on how many players you have). Place the remaining cards face down in the middle. Flip over the top card and lay it face up beside the face down pile. (You end up with a face up and a face down card).” Follow the steps on the Kidzone blog for a word family “match game.”
3. Word Family HopScotch
Here’s a great way to turn good-old hopscotch into a learning game for kids. Based on the Hopscotch game from Teach Beside Me, try mixing this idea up with the Orton Gillingham word families.
Set it up: Choose a set of word families such as an, ap and at. Draw a hopscotch board with chalk. Write a few words such as tan, pan, can, cap, tap, cat… from the family.
Play it: Have your child throw a pebble to a square. Then your child has to hop to the square saying the words aloud as he or she hops. When on the word, before throwing the stone again, ask your child to point to a nearby word with the same sound.
Here’s a reminder of the Orton Gillingham word families from kid zone:
- Set 1: an, ap, at
- Set 2: ab, ad, am
- Set 3: ack, and, ash
- Set 4: ail, ain, air
- Set 5: ake, ate
- Set 6: ale, ame, ay
- Set 7: all, aw
- Set 8: ar, ark, art
- Set 9: ank, ink
- Set 10: ed, en, et
- Set 11: eck, ell, est
- Set 12: in, ip, it
4. Basketball Word Activity
From Coffee Cups and Crayons: “I wrote a bunch of words on our sidewalk in chalk and got out our basketball…I asked our son to dribble to a word. I then called out another word and he dribbled to that.” Here is their post on the fun Learning Game Basketball Activity from Coffee Cups and Crayons.
Try this activity with Orton Gillingham word families shown above instead.
5. Alphabet ABC Game
Alphabet Game for Kids from Kids Activities Blog uses a poster board, alphabet letters and markers to start the fun.
From Kids Activities Blog: “Start by laying out the letters in order on the poster board, and trace around them….Next, take a bucket of letters into your backyard and “hide” them around the yard, much like you would do for an Easter egg hunt. Finally, start the alphabet game! My son would run out into the yard to retrieve a few letters and hold the letters up proudly as he ran back. Then, he’d search for the outlines on the poster for each letter, and set them in place. When he got each letter in the right spot on the poster, I’d sing a little song about the letter and its sound.” See more about this ABC Learning Game from Kids Activities Blog.
6. Digging for Letters
The blog Sugar Aunts offers a fun Digging for Letters activity. Your young reader will enjoy this outdoor letter play. From Sugar Aunts: “We have a dirt pit in our yard where we spend lots of time digging, building with bricks, playing with construction vehicles, and even planting acorns… I buried pieces from our foam alphabet puzzle in the dirt one afternoon and let the kids know there was a surprise waiting for them in the dirt pit!”
Have the youngest children identify the letters. For a reading activity, spell out words with the letters found and help your child sound them out. Try using the word families above. This game would also work in a backyard sandbox. See even more ideas for this ABC Learning Game.
7. Sensory Word Family Games
The blog Mess for Less provides ideas for messy but fun Sensory Sight Word Games. You’ll find hands-on ideas for getting kids ready for kindergarten or reinforcing what they are learning in the classroom. In this blog, the author focuses on Books, Reading and Literacy and shares a sight word game to help kids learn through play.
To start, you’ll need:
- Shaving cream
- Permanent marker
- Foam shapes or bottle caps
- Plastic bin
- Towels and napkins
- Large bowl filled with water
With permanent marker, write words, letters or try words from a word family (depending on your child’s reading level) on the foam shapes or plastic bottle caps. Line the bottom of a plastic bin (shoebox size works) with shaving cream. Put the foam shapes or bottle caps on top. Cover the shapes with more shaving cream.
Ask your child to reach in and find a shape. Dunk the shape in water to remove the excess shaving cream. If your child can read the word or letter, she gets to keep it. If not, it goes back in the bin of shaving cream. You can play with one or more children.
This game can be really messy, so play outside if possible.
See Word Reading Giving Back Sale
See Word Reading Home Edition is live in the Apple App Store!
To Celebrate, we are giving $2 to the school of your choice for every verified purchase. Here’s how to get this offer:
- Purchase See Word Reading on the Apple App Store
- Share a photo of See Word Reading and your student with your school name and #SeeWordReading
- For every verified purchase, we will give your school a donation of $2 for every app sold.*
So you virtually save $2 off the regular price. Use the form below to share your school name.
* Disclaimer: Limit first 100 purchases for a total of $200 in donations. All terms must be fulfilled with photo shared on social media with school name for verification.