ABC Games for Kids: Fun Games for Pre-Readers

The key to creating games for pre-readers is to use different opportunities to help your child learn. Almost any activity can be turned into an opportunity to teach your child. Below are simple activities that will help your young child develop literacy skills.

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Teaching Your Child to Read through Games

It is important to start building a good foundation for literacy at a young age. Singing, drawing, writing and rhyming are all ways parents can teach pre-readers literacy skills. Incorporating literacy games into activities such as going to the park, the library, grocery store or zoo takes a little creativity and time, but will teach your young child skills that will be used for a lifetime.

Rhyming Toys

This game will help your pre-reader develop phonological awareness, which is the ability to hear individual sounds within words. Get a shoebox and find small toys that rhyme, such as a miniature cat and hat. Find about ten sets of rhyming toys, put them in a shoebox and shake it up. Open up the box and have your child pick a toy. Then, tell him or her to find the matching toy that rhymes. As a challenge, you can put toys in the box that do not have a rhyming match and have your child think of a word that would rhyme with that toy.

Tell Stories

This game will help your child improve his narrative skills, which is the ability to describe events and tell stories in detail. Get a magazine, picture book or any type of photograph and have your child tell you a story about the picture. Ask your child who the characters are, what the setting is and what events are occurring in the photo.

After your child is finished telling his story, help him connect the story to his real life by asking questions such as, 'How would you feel if that happened to you?' Alternatively, ask, 'Remember the time when we did something like that?' Remind your child that there is not a correct answer to any of the questions and this is just a way to expand his imagination.

Whipped Cream Letters

This activity will help your child recognize the names, shapes and sounds of the letters of the alphabet, which is one of the first steps your child will take towards literacy. Get a cookie sheet and spread whipped cream or frosting all over it. Have your child practice writing her letters with her finger. Show your child how each letter is formed, what sound it makes and examples of words that start with that letter. In addition to learning, she will likely enjoy writing these letters in a fun and messy way. Another version of this activity would be to form letters with cooked spaghetti noodles.

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