girl pondering as she reads at the table Feb. 14, 2016

Fun Reading Activities

Reading has always been a passion for me. I feel like I could open a book wherever I was and be transported to another place.  Reading is like a little vacation to another time and place. Not everyone enjoys reading in their spare time. Some kids dread the idea of having to sit still and read. There are many ways to make reading more fun and enjoyable for your kids. Here a few ways to take reading from boring to fun.

Most kids enjoy the reward of watching their favorite cartoon or show. You can turn this activity into reading with an easy tap of the remote.  Turn off the volume and turn on the subtitles. Kids can still watch the show, but they are required to read the dialogue rather than listen.They can make it into a little game if each one reads a different character’s lines. By the end of the half hour, your child has practiced reading for thirty minutes. You can check the words they know by listening to them read out loud.

Another fun way to see the words they know is challenge them to a game of scrabble. Everybody like a little competition.  See how your child can put letters together to spell out words or build on words that you used. There are many different versions of scrabble available to help the youngest readers to the more mature. You can put a twist on it by playing speed scrabble or changing letter boards every few turns. Make it fun for your kids to practice spelling and reading new words. If they aren’t sure what the word means, you can teach them to use a dictionary or practice using a scrabble dictionary on the computer.

Bananagrams is another fantastic game to play that allows kids to practice their spelling and reading skills. Similar to Scrabble this game challenges the players to build words using tiles. The fun of Bananagrams is in how it is played. Players all take a  tiles, the number depends on how many people are playing. Then one player yells “split” and everyone starts building as many words as possible. The words have to connect like a crossword puzzle. If a player has used all his or her tiles, that player yells “peel” and everyone must take another tile. If a player is stuck and can’t use a tile, he can yell “dump” and exchange the tile for 3 more. Once a player has used all the tiles and very few remain, he or she calls out “bananas” and everyone checks the validity of the words. The game can take 5 minutes or play for hours. It can be taken on the road or into restaurants. The beauty of the game is as many people as possible can play it anywhere. You can check out the inspiration of the game at www.bananagrams.com/about/how-it-all-began.

These are just a few ways to make reading fun and get your kids involved in word play. Part of making reading fun is choosing something that excites your child and building on it.The possibilities are endless!

by Mike Wong