Illustration of "Brianna's Book Stop" by Jeffrey Duckworth / Book Cover for WHERE DO DIGGERS SLEEP AT NIGHT? (on the bookmobile) by Christian Slade

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Power of Reading Games

Happy Monday, or, as I like to call it, "Keep Reading Fun Day"! Today I want to talk about the power of reading games.

So often learning to read can feel like very serious business, and this "serious business" can lead to loads of stress for both parent and child. Of course, feeling stressed does not help good learning... or good teaching. In fact, it pretty much makes both impossible. :(

So, how can we get past this sometimes miserable situation?
Take away the stress, of course. Stop making it so serious. :)

But when you are a stressed out parent whose child is not liking reading, this can feel hard to do.

That is where reading games can come in. My son needed to work on recognizing more sight words. He also needed to become more strategic about his decoding by using word chunks instead of going letter by letter.

I could easily see that those were his two weaknesses. But, who wants to focus on their weaknesses?

I wanted to make this fun! For him and for me. So I went looking for some games to address these two needs.

And, yay! I found a great popcorn sight words game (pictured above) and Chunks: The Incredible Word Building Game. (Homemade games are awesome too! I was just too stressed to make some right then. :) )

Hard work didn't feel so hard when it was done in the context of a game. Quickly, he started to get these skills that had felt so frustrating. Soon (very soon), we didn't need the games anymore.

He was just reading. Everything in sight. :)

Could it have happened without the games? Maybe. But the games sure took a lot of stress off of both of us, and made reading a whole lot of fun.

Have you used reading games with your kids? What games did you try? How did they go?


  1. I don't know much about reading games, but I'm so glad things like this exist to (like you said) take some of the stress out of the process.

    1. Thanks, Anna! I completely agree! Anything that takes the stress out of the process is so important! (Today my son proclaimed, "I love reading!" and made me do an "emergency book store run" to pick up the last 3 books in the Origami Yoda series. So I am certainly grateful to the games that helped to get us to this point. :) )