One of the best ways for children to increase reading skills is by reading often. Reading games are a fun way to get kids to learn basic skills that will enhance their everyday reading. Make the most of every moment of your child's day to teach reading. Play board games, use online time to play computer reading games and even pull in an app or two for when you're on the go.
Online Games to Practice Reading
Pup Talk is available through the Public Broadcasting System website. The child speaks into a microphone to add to the story. The child will be given an illustration and will record a story to go with it.
First, the child picks the main character, a dog. Your child will then type her name into the box as the author. The game explains what an author is. The game continues to take the player through creating a story by going through the parts of a story (beginning, middle and end).
This game works for beginning and more advanced readers. After your child chooses the story, the game will read the story out loud.
Galactic Hot Dogs
Perfect for advanced readers in third and fourth grade, Galactic Hot Dogs is set up like a comic book. Simply choose the episode of the adventure you want to start with and click on the arrows to scroll through the illustrated text.
You'll also find accompanying videos and character bios.
Jigmania: Snow White
Jigmania allows the reader to read a familiar story and put jigsaw puzzle pieces back together to create the image that goes with the story.
This game is an excellent way for your child to practice new reading skills and learn how to read words she may not have already learned. It also enforces reasoning skills.
Click "Start Story" and then choose the difficulty level of the puzzle from gentle to reasonable to challenging. Because you can adjust the difficulty, this game is good for both beginning readers as well as advanced readers. The child reads the text and then solves the puzzle by moving pieces around by clicking on the piece and then on where it goes.
The goal is to improve word range and spelling skills. To play the game, rearrange scrambled letters until they form a valid word. When you feel you have a valid word, click on "done." If the letters make a valid word, you'll move on to the next. If it is not a valid word, you'll get a buzzer sound and have to keep retrying. The game keeps track of how long it takes to solve each scramble. Try to beat your time with each new game.
Learn to Read
Geared toward younger children, the Learn to Read game will teach kids letter sounds and how to sound out letters as they read stories. The site has a number of different stories to choose from that can be opened and read out loud by your computer. However, although the computer does some of the work, ultimately your child reads as well.
When you click on the words of the story, the site explains how the word should be pronounced audibly so your child can learn to read. Different stories focus on different letters and how they are pronounced in words, so your child will learn to identify certain letters and the way they should sound. Additionally, there are links to other media, such as short films explaining how the alphabet got its order and why American's read from left to right.
Super Why ABC Letter Game
Created by University Games, Super Why ABC Letter Game teaches children reading skills such as spelling, rhyming and common words. The game is for ages three and up. Up to four people can play.
There are different sets of cards. Younger children can simply match letters, while older kids can use the more advanced cards to find the correctly spelled word. Each player rolls the dice, draws a card based on where they land and move toward the end of the board.
DICEcapades Word Pirates
Word Pirates is for ages 6 to 10. Players pretend to be pirates and each take a turn rolling a dice with letters. The goal is to be the first one to build a bridge and make it to the treasure.
Each player uses the letters he has rolled and builds "word bridges" and blocks. You can block other players, but the goal is to create a bridge to the treasure.
Scrabble Junior works just like regular scrabble, but is geared to children ages five and up and is for two to four players.
If playing with a younger child, use the side of the board that has pictures. Simply match the letter to the picture. If playing with older kids, form actual words on the other side of the board, similar to regular Scrabble.
I Spy Ready to Read Games
This I Spy game is geared toward getting kids ready to read. The game teaches matching, letter recognition and rhyming.
There are four different ways to play the game, depending on age and skill level.
Read the riddle on the card, say what the objects are and then put those shapes on your board. Players then trade boards and start all over again. For ages four and up. Can play with one to six players at a time.
Word Bingo is an app that allows kids to learn more than 300 Dolch sight words while playing four different games.
The game is by ABCya and is designed for iPhone and iPad. It costs 99 cents.
Parents can even get a report on how well their children are doing learning the words. The child is read a word and has to choose the written word that matches.
JumpStart Pet Rescue
JumpStart Pet Rescue is an app that allows your child to practice reading skills such as listening, reading and comprehension. Available for Apple and Android products.
It is intended for preschool through kindergarten.
The player creates a character and then goes on missions in five different places to rescue animals that are lost. Along the way, there are interactive stories, sing-a-longs and the ability to adopt the pets your child finds.
Pocket Mad Libs
Mad Libs can be a lot of fun when you are playing games with a group of children. The game is for Android.
This game is perfect for older readers who are beginning to learn parts of speech. Play the game by replacing blank lines with an adjective, noun, verb or other part of speech.
The game uses original stories and bits of classical literature to create the unique tales that you contribute to. Once all the blanks are filled in, read the story out loud for a hilarious good time.
Selecting the Right Games
When selecting reading games for your kids, make sure you opt for a game that targets their interests and needs. If a child is really enjoying playing, he can play for hours. The time spent playing reading games is time spent away from the TV. Playing the right game can help your child get ahead in school and learn to develop a lifelong love of books.