10 ways to make reading fun

Last week I blogged about BME in Phonics (beginning, middle, end). So this week, a few ideas for helping your child to find fun in reading. All you need is a pack of coloured card, marker pens and scissors, and dice – for hours of enjoyment during this lockdown.

1. Write a funny sentence for your child to illustrate with a picture: for example: Ben (write your child’s name) was making a sandcastle on the beach when a big blue fish jumped out of the sea and landed in his bucket. Talk about the details in your sentence that need to be in the picture : child, sand, bucket, fish.

2. What might happen next? Your child could draw the next page in this story and write a sentence to go with it. You could end up with a whole story book.

3. Sentence level: write a set of 2 or 3 simple sentences that form a paragraph, on lengths of card, – cut them up (jigsaw style) for your child to piece together. When your child has joined the pieces and placed each sentence in order, can he tell you what the paragraph is mainly about (main idea)?

4. Remember BME from last week: write some words and cut, jigsaw style, into pieces for your child to join up – f / i / sh b / ea / ch Time him. How many seconds?

5. Your child could write some words himself to practise spelling – then cut them up (BME jigsaws) to show you that he understands the idea of beginning, middle and end.

6. Play pairs to practise spellings: write selections of words with the same vowel middles (ee, oa, ea, aw, ow….). You could write: feet, meat, steam, road, float, toad, crawl, clown, brown, prawn – about four of each category. Place the words face down, for the game – take turns to turn over two cards at once – if they are in the same vowel category (clown and brown – but not feet and meat) – player keeps the pair. Person with most cards wins.

7. Use the same sets of cards to play snap. Place the cards face down in a pile in the centre. Players take turns to turn one card over and place it on an upturned pile. When two consecutive turned over cards match (are in same category) the first player to ‘snap’ wins the pile.

8. How about bingo? Children love it! With a set of dice. 4 players? Make up 4 bingo cards with a selection of words on each, about 6 or 8, comprising different numbers of letter sounds. This time, focus on phonic sounds in words – cat (3), bag (3), fish (3), chip (3), chips (4), bucket (5), chunks (5), stick (4), stuck (4), picking (6), book (3), apple (3), beach (3), string (6), car (2), fur (2): and so on. Throw the dice. Number 3? Your child covers up a word on his card with 3 letter sounds (cat or fish). Number 4? Your child finds a word with 4 letter sounds. The first player to cover every word on his board wins.

9. Kids love dice – use them to practise letter sounds for spelling – thrown a four? Can your child write a word with 4 sounds (shops, ranch, chimp, sleep, sweet)? Thrown a six? Get double points for writing words with 6 sounds (putting, lifted).

10. Finally, have a laugh with different versions of the fun game ‘I spy’ – I spy something: that starts with ‘ch’. Or I spy a word with 5 sounds. Make the game more challenging by combining one or more adjectives with the noun – I spy two words that begin with s and f (silver fish) – or three words: b, b, j (big blue jug).

All of these activities will stimulate your child to engage with words and reading. Once started your mind with overflow with ideas for fun games to play. If you feel unsure with phonics and the reading process, look up my books (Lulu and Amazon – details below).

Meanwhile all you need to know is out there in my books for parents. Start by finding out WHAT your child learns and HOW. My books will help – Support Your Child with SEND (Book 1) and at successive Key Stages (Books 2 to 4), by Sylvia Edwards, are available from Lulu in printed form, and from Amazon. Visit my website: www.sylviaedwardsauthor.co.uk Parents: Help YOUR child succeed.

Good luck. More next week.

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