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  • Marc Finks

Reading Games to Engage Children!

Lately, whenever I read with Mikayla, she always demands, “Read the wrong word, Daddy!” I’m not sure how this began, but I have been impressed by how engaged she is in every story we read, even when it’s for the 100th time. How this works is - I read the story, and then I will intentionally substitute the wrong word while reading. She will be following along and looking at the page as I read, and then she will inevitably correct me and say the right word.


Not too bad for a 3 1/2 year old toddler.





This led me to do some research and wonder what other games we can do while reading with our children to keep them more engaged. Some examples include:


"Reading Scavenger Hunt": This game involves giving children a list of items or words to find in a book. For example, you can ask them to find a word that starts with the letter "S" or a sentence that describes a character's appearance. This game helps children to focus on specific aspects of the text and encourages them to pay attention to details.


"Book Charades": This game involves acting out different scenes or characters from a book. For example, children can act out a scene from a story or pretend to be a character and describe the character's personality or actions. This game helps children to understand and interpret the text in a more interactive and engaging way.


"Reading Bingo": This game involves creating a bingo board with different words or phrases from a book. Children can then read the book and mark off the words or phrases as they find them. This game helps children to focus on specific vocabulary words and improves their understanding of the text.


"Reading Trivia": This game involves creating a list of questions about a book and having children answer them. For example, you can ask questions about the characters, the setting, or the plot. This game helps children to remember important details and understand the main events of the story.


"Reading Race": Children can have a race to see who can read a certain number of pages or a certain amount of time, and then come together to discuss what they have read. This game encourages children to read more, to progress faster and to have fun while reading.


Research has shown that interactive and game-based reading activities can increase children's engagement and motivation in reading. A study conducted by the National Reading Panel (2000) found that students who participated in interactive reading activities had a better understanding of the text and improved reading comprehension. Additionally, a study by the International Reading Association (2010) found that students who participated in game-based reading activities had a more positive attitude towards reading and were more likely to continue reading independently.


It's important to note that it is always good to adapt the games to the age and level of the children, also to make sure that the games align with the educational goals and the book's content.


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