Never a dull moment

Reading Workshop

July 14, 1999

School's out and parents will likely hear the summer lament, "I'M BORED!" Be prepared for those times with some of these learning games that use everyday household items. They can be fun for you and your child to do together.

Likenesses and differences: Let your child sort and place things such as buttons, marbles or dried beans or noodles into each section of an egg carton, putting things that are alike in each section. As a variation, you could label each section with a different letter and write words beginning with those letters on small pieces of paper. Your child should read the word and then place it in the correct section matching the beginning sound.

Letter sounds: Decorate an empty shoebox and place small objects (miniature toys, pencil, lipstick, ruler, comb, etc.) into the box. Have your child reach in and pull out an object. He then should name another word that begins with the same sound. Continue until all the objects are used. Change the objects in the box periodically.

Sight words: Place sight words written on cards into an empty mayonnaise or pickle jar. Cover it and have a group of children sit in a circle and place the jar in the middle. One child spins the jar, and when it stops the child the opening is pointing to must reach in, pull out a word card and read it. If she knows it, she may keep it; if not, it goes back in the jar. Keep playing until all the word cards are gone. The child with the most words wins.

Spelling: Play this game with your child or have two children play together. Write letters on 15 clothes pins. Use a large empty plastic jug or gallon milk container. Each player stands over the jug and tries to drop the clothespins one at a time into it. He gets two misses. Then he tries to make as many words as possible from the clothespin letters in the jug. Player with the most words wins.

Phonics: Take a cookie tray and fill it with one of these ingredients: whipped topping, chocolate pudding, sugar or flour. Smooth it out, then give your child a letter sound or a word to spell and let him spell it by writing the word with her finger in the tray.

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