Games for Struggling and Reluctant Readers*
Start by finding age-appropriate puzzles and slowly increase as appropriate. Want to make your own jigsaw puzzle? Cut out a picture from a magazine, glue to cardboard, cut out individual jigsaw pieces, mix up, and put together as a puzzle.
The prompt is: “I spy something in this room that begins with the /b/ sound.” The child then asks more specific questions such as, “Is it blue?” or “Is it on that wall?” Answers can be “yes” or “no” until the child discovers the correct answer. Additional hints can be given after each question if necessary.
Many retail stores now carry board games with an educational focus. Teacher stores are also a resource and are open to the general public as well. Stop by and check out some of the games that relate to vocabulary, comprehension, cause and effect, making predictions, and following directions.
Play some sports games. Start with Tag. When a player is tagged, the player must name a book character in order to run again. Play baseball Catch. When throwing, the thrower says a word. When catching, the catcher says a word that rhymes with the word or begins with the same sound.
Other Board Games
Almost all board games require some sort of reading. It’s important to remember who should do that reading. Is the oldest player doing all of the reading? Or are all of the players doing their own reading? For example, encourage your child to read his or her own Monopoly cards. Remember to help when needed, as this is still a game and needs to be fun.
* Involving Parents in Their Children’s Reading Development by Bruce Johnson published by Treasure Bay.