This is a collaborative post
Word games will provide young children with a host of benefits at an early age. These activities teach about the importance of focusing upon sounds and letters while developing skills that are required for reading, spelling and writing. Let’s take some time to examine six games that are particularly suited for children under five years old.
Some of us may have already played this game when we were children. The premise is simple. First, point to an object found around the home. Ask the child to sound out the first letter of this item. The “I spy” game is a great way to provide a solid foundation for phonetics.
While simple in nature, this next game will supply children with the verbal building blocks that they need as they grow. Purchase a series of magnetic letters and place them upon your refrigerator. Ask the child to create basic one- and two-syllable words. Think of this game as a much simpler form of Scrabble.
The Category Game
Take a piece of paper and separate it into two halves. Write a handful of categories (such as plants, animals and people) on one side. Write a selection of letters on the other half of the page. Ask the child to choose various letters in order to form words that match the associated categories.
This hands-on approach is also great for parents who wish to monitor the strengths and weaknesses of their child with the help of hands-on tools such as the Educater pupil tracking software here. The results can then be used to appreciate any areas that might require a bit of extra attention.
Unscramble the Words
Another useful approach will enable children to use deductive reasoning skills that they might be unaware of. Using magnetic or even cut-out letters, scramble a series and ask the child to decipher what word is present. Of course, parents can provide a bit of assistance when needed.
Words Within a Word
This is a great game for young children who might already possess a basic knowledge of grammar. Write down a somewhat complicated word (such as computer). Then see how many smaller words (such as put, mop, term, and core) the child can create. For an added challenge, see if the child is then able to use these words in a sentence.
The Alphabet Subject Game
Write down the entire alphabet and the choose a specific subject. Assuming that this topic revolves around animals, ask the child to list one animal associated with each letter (such as ape, bear, cow, duck, etc). No extra materials will be required and children should love the imaginative nature of this activity.
Children should be provided with solid phonetic foundations so that they can be better prepared for learning within more traditional classroom settings. Thankfully, each of these word games can be played from the comfort of your own home and little preparation is required.