There’s much more to reading and early language development than just story time. Story time is important and vital, but sometimes—especially with reluctant readers—you need more to get kids really into the idea of reading. Family-based reading games can be a great way to turn your children onto bedtime stories for kids and to reading in general. Learn about a few great reading-based games you can play as a family to kick-start that vital love of language that your child needs to get off to the right start in life.
Concentration is a classic matching game that kids love. It teaches them creative thinking and problem-solving, and develops their memory. Using it as a word game can also build vocabulary. Take some words from the last great bedtime stories for kids you read together, and make matched pairs of cards out of them. Arrange the cards in rows and columns, face-down, and try to match words. When you match a pair, keep the cards and gain a point. Winner has the most points!
Go Fish is another classic matching game. Similar to Concentration, in this game you make pairs of words to form a deck of cards. Each player gets five cards and has to ask another player if they have a certain word. If they do, the second player hands it over and the first lays the pair on the table. If not, the second player says, “Go Fish!” and the first draws a card from the deck. The object is to be the first to empty your hand.
Games of Rhyme
Rhyming is an important skill that encourages kids to really think about how sounds work together to form words. Create a rhyming game that starts with reading a few fun poems like those you find in Mother Goose. Lay out words and letters and encourage children to find (or even create and define) new words that rhyme with a topic word.
Spelling and learning the alphabet are also important skills that come out of early reading time. Try starting with an “A to Z” or “ABC” book and encourage your child to come up with other words that start with the same letters as those displayed in the book. If your book shows an apple, for example, ask your child for other words that start with “A.” You can combine this with rhyming games by having them think of words with the same letter and words that rhyme!
Bedtime Stories for Kids
Reading at an early age carries so many important benefits to kids. It creates vital bonding time between you and your child and builds vital skills they’ll need to succeed in life. The earlier you start, the better off your child will be. Check out some of our free interactive eBooks to get started, and explore our site for more advice on early reading time!