Some children just naturally love to read, and others are
what are known as reluctant readers. People will often tell you that their child
just loves to read because they were read to from an early age. This
works with some children, but others dont want to sit still long enough to
read or be read to.
These activities are great for children just starting to
read. They are particularly good for reluctant readers, who pull faces and
attempt to run away when books are brought out!
Flash Card Games. (geared to words the child already knows)
It is important that when you first start out this is
exciting, fun and easy. If the child finds it took difficult, flash cards take
on the same connotation as books, and you are lost. Pick about twenty words that
your child CAN read. Write each word on an individual index card. You also need
a pack of stickers, or similar reward.
Place the cards face up. Ask the child to hand you words
beginning with a particular sound. Be sure to emphasize sounds with this
activity, rather than the names of letters. Once the child gets all, or most
correct, move on to end or middle sounds. Be careful to lavish praise for
correct answers, give rewards for a fixed number of correct answers, and skip
over incorrect ones! When the answer is incorrect, NEVER say, no, thats
wrong. Say something like, are you sure, hmmmm..I dont know I dont think
it begins with (name the sound again), lets try again, or something equally
soothing and non-threatening.
Place the cards face down. Ask the child to pick a card and
read it. If the answer is correct, they pick another, if incorrect it is the
next players turn. If only you and the child are playing, allow yourself only
two correct answers before passing the turn back. Never deliberately get it
wrong, children dont like to be allowed to cheat, they feel that they are
stupid if they need to cheat. As the child improves at the game you can increase
the number of cards you take before passing the turn back.
Each player takes a card. They read the card and then act
out the meaning. Other players have to guess what the card says this one is
particularly good with animal names (cat, dog, rat etc) and actions.
This requires pictures to match the words, so isnt
suitable for all words. Make pairs of cards, one with the picture and one with
the word. Place all face up and match words to pictures. For variety, you can
place them face down and play matching pairs with them.
If you feel your child can read more words, then increase
the number of cards. If they seem unable to read more, move on to a different
type of activity.
Activities geared towards learning more