Literacy Games and Activities for Children

As your child's literacy skills develop, there are many games and activities you can try to boost reading, writing and word knowledge. The following activities for children cover a range of skill levels.

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How Do Children Develop Literacy Skills?

Prior to kindergarten, your child typically acquires literacy through verbal communication. By the time elementary school starts, he or she may understand the association between spoken and printed words. Many elementary students are familiar with the alphabet and recognize some sight words. Your child will continue to build on these skills, as well as acquire reading fluency and comprehension as he or she progresses through elementary school. In order to help reinforce the importance of literacy, you can try the following activities and games at home.

What Literacy Activities Can I Do with My Child?

Searching for Letter Sounds

If your child is a beginning reader, you can try this game to help her practice letter sounds. Choose a letter and pronounce the sound to her, asking her to repeat it. Give her some examples of words that begin with that letter, being sure to enunciate the sound as you say the word. Encourage her to walk around the house with you and find objects that begin with that letter sound. Spell out the object once she finds it.

Listing Objects

This activity can be done at home or during a road trip. Ask your son to look out the window or around the room and make a list of objects that he sees. If necessary, help him spell difficult words. Encourage him to think of sentences using as many words from his list as possible. If he needs a bigger challenge, ask him to alphabetize his list and then write sentences using all the words.

Matching Antonyms and Synonyms

This game will expand your child's vocabulary by teaching her words with the same and opposite meanings. You can find printable synonym and antonym worksheets online, but it's easy to create your own. Using a thesaurus, write a list of grade-appropriate words down the left margin of a sheet of paper and their synonyms, in random order, on the right. Do the same with antonyms on the back of the sheet of paper. Ask your child to draw a line connecting the matching synonyms and antonyms.

Changing the Story

When you read to your child, ask him how he would change the story. Would he change the ending, the beginning, the setting, the narrator or something else? This will make your child think about how all the story elements tie in together. Ask him to retell the story in his own words with the changes he would make. Write down the story as he tells it, or encourage him to write it himself.

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