Pre-School Reading Games and Hands-On Activities

If you want your child to build strong reading skills, you can start by doing hands-on activities during his or her pre-school years. These games will give your child practice with letter recognition, phonics and rhyming.

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Reading Skills at the Pre-School Level

Your pre-school child may not be able to read yet, but he or she is learning fundamental literacy skills. Children this age begin to associate printed words with those spoken or heard. He or she may also identify letter shapes and sounds, distinguish syllables and recognize rhyming words. You can play the following pre-school reading games to prepare him or her to read.

What Reading Games Can I Play with my Pre-Schooler?

Word Sound Scavenger Hunt

Send your child on a scavenger hunt around the house. Give her pictures of objects in your house or yard that start with a certain sound, and ask her to search for these objects. For an added challenge, you can hide some of them. After she finds everything, go over the name of each object, emphasizing the beginning sound.

Picture Story Activity

Ask your child to go through coloring books, magazines and his own artwork and choose pictures that he can use to tell a story. He should include all of the people, animals and scenes featured in the pictures. Write down his story, with his exact wording, as he tells it. Afterwards, you can read his story back to him and help him make it into a book.

Letter Recognition Game

For this game, you can use magnetic letters, alphabet flash cards or Scrabble tiles. Lay out the letters in front of your child. Then, call out a letter and ask her to pick it out. Pronounce the letter sound and ask her to repeat it. Finally, ask her to name words that begin with that letter.

Sorting Exercise

Play a sorting game with words. Write simple words on cards and spread them out for your son. Ask him to sort the words by any feature he chooses. For example, he may choose to sort words by the number of letters in each. Then ask him to choose another characteristic. At the end of the activity, read all the words together.

Rhyming Words Challenge

Find images representing words that rhyme, like 'rug' and 'bug,' and attach them to index cards. You should have one image per card. Show each card to your daughter, asking her to say the word that corresponds with the image. Once you go through all the cards, spread them out on the floor or table and ask her to pair up the ones that rhyme.

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