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Kindergarten Reading Games

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Looking for fun ways to engage your students while teaching them to read? This lesson gives you game ideas for kindergarten students at all levels, with little prep time needed. Easy set up and clean up means more time for your little ones to learn.

Learning to Read

Kindergarten can be a fantastic new experience for young children. They get to go to 'big kid' school, learn to read, and make new friends. Don't underestimate, however, the importance of play for your students. Young children make sense of new skills and concepts through their experiences; their brains natural way of processing information is by playing.

So what better way to reinforce reading skills than by playing games? Let's take a look.

Kindergarten Reading Games

Most kindergarten students are considered emergent readers and their needs vary. Some may need to work on phonemic and phonological skills, while others will be ready for sight words to increase their reading ability. Differentiate learning in your classroom by providing a rich variety of reading games. We'll break it down for you below.

Phonemic and Phonological Awareness Games

Remember, phonemic awareness focuses on the sounds of speech, so you won't be using letters or their names for some games.

Game

  • Word Guess

Materials

  • picture cards

Objective

  • Students will use the skill of blending to say words.

Procedure

  • Students take a small amount of cards, 2-3, and hold them so others cannot see. Take turns saying the name of the object sound by sound. For example, if the picture is a cat, students will say c/a/t. Other students try to guess the word.

Game

  • Segment Sam

Materials

  • counters or cubes

Objective

  • Students will practice segmenting words.

Procedure

  • Give each student five counters or cubes. Place on table in front of student.
  • Demonstrate by showing students how to slide each counter forward as they say a segment of a word. For example, if the word is 'vanilla', they will slide a counter for va-nil-la. The counters can make Sam the Snake.

Game

  • Memory Rhyme

Materials

  • pictures of objects that rhyme, such as a cat and a bat

Objective

  • Students practice the skill of rhyming.

Procedure

  • Place all cards face down in random order. Students flip over two cards and say what each is. If the words rhyme, they have a match and keep the cards. If not, flip back over.

Word Recognition

As students' sight word vocabulary increases, they need to play around with letters, sounds, and words. Try these games.

Game

  • Tic-Tac-Toe and Roll

Materials

  • 3x3 grid (or any size that meets the needs of your student) with one sight word in each square. Sight words should have no more than 6 letters.
  • dice
  • crayons

Objective

  • Students will practice sight words and counting skills.

Procedure

  • Each student selects a bingo sheet. Take turns rolling the dice and finding a sight word with the same number of letters.
  • If the student is able to read the word, they get to color it in.
  • The first student with tic-tac-toe wins.

Game

  • Scoops

Materials

  • pictures of ice cream cones and scoops of ice cream; cones contain an end rhyme, such as 'at' or 'op; scoops an initial consonant

Objective

  • Students will blend letters to create words.

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