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Reading Games

There are lots of reading games to play, even before your child starts reading. Here are some simple ways to make sure that words are an important part of your child’s life—reading, writing, talking, and listening.


Play rhyming games. Children who understand rhyming words are ready to learn to read and spell.

Try This

Anywhere, anytime, say a word and have your child say a word that rhymes. They can be real words—hat, bat, cat, sat, mat—or silly words—dat, jat, zat. Use single-syllable words to begin, but move on to more complex rhymes: party, smarty, hearty, tardy.

Letter Sounds

Help your child listen for letter sounds, a basic step toward children reading.

Try This

Say a word, and then have your child say a word that starts with the sound your word ends with. Speak distinctly and emphasize the ending sound. See how long your chain can be. For example: bed-dog-goat-table-love-vine-nose…

What Can You Read?

Words are all around us. In fact, there is a phrase that describes this: "environmental print."

Try This

Read out the names of places you pass as you move about. Chances are your child already knows lots of words and symbols from the store signs and billboards you pass every day. It's a great step toward reading when your child knows that the big, red sign at the end of the street means "stop" or that a green traffic light means "go"!

Label It

Sticky notes are a great way to get children reading wherever they go.

Try This

Use sticky notes to label everyday objects around the house: table, chair, bed, TV, door, wall, window, doll, bear. Keep them up for a while and read them to and with your child. Then, remove several and see if your child can stick the labels back on the right objects.

Use Technology

You can find great reading games and tools on the Internet. Start with Building Blocks:

The Great Weather Race Game

The Great Weather Race is an excellent tool for listening comprehension.

Favorite Snacks Memory Game

Favorite Snacks Memory Game helps children match pictures and words, an important pre-reading skill.

I Feel Many Ways Game

I Feel Many Ways develops word recognition skills using picture clues.

Match Game

Get to Know the Friends Match Game uses picture clues and word recognition to solve a simple matching puzzle.

Recording Studio Game

The Recording Studio focuses on the progression of the keys and on improving direction, matching, and motor skills.

Mee's Maze Game

Mee's Maze provides practice in direction and small motor skills, important pre-reading and writing skills.


Free E-Cards give children practice with reading and writing in a real-world situation.

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Updated on 4/9/2013