Science and math come so naturally to us that we use these skills on a daily basis without much thought. The same can not be said about reading and writing, but over the past few centuries, these skills have become an important part of the way we communicate, and a necessary part of our lives. They have become a very enjoyable part of our lives as well.
When it comes to helping my kids to build writing skills, I choose to use formal and informal games and activities. Some of the materials we use are purchased, but most of them are homemade from the items we have around the house. The great thing about games is that they typically have a specific goal in mind and are fun to play. They also allow the players to play at their own pace and present information in ways that are less intimidating and much less stressful.
Games have a lot of natural benefits built right into them and adding twists and challenges to them makes them even more interesting and beneficial. Here are a few of the games we like to play. Each suggestion offers how-to instructions and a few of the benefits of playing. We do not play the same games all the time, instead we play when we want to, for as long as they are enjoyable, and come up with new games along the way.
Letter Identification Games & Activities
One of my first goals toward the writing process is to help my kids to recognize the letters of the alphabet, but there isn’t a specific order to what letters are understood first, nor is there a time frame for them to learn the letters. I believe it will come to them in time, when they are ready.
We make up and play games that help them identify the letters by name and encourage them to write the letters to the best of their ability, when they are ready.
Follow Me – A ‘Follow the Leader’ type game using paper or a white board.
Bottle Cap Memory – A memory game that uses recycled juice and bottle caps or index cards.
Active Alphabet – For people who enjoy moving around a lot and like to act.
Word Identification Games
Understanding that letters can be used to form words can be a lot of fun to do. Building word identification skills by using an enjoyable approach helps people to gain an understanding at a pace that works for them.
Word Hop –This is a fun full body game that helps build letter and word recognition skills.
Hangman/House – This fun game has been around for a very long time and has a lot of benefits when played. I offer some ways to make the game more interesting, some of the benefits of playing, links to online versions and a site that gives a little history about the game.
Rainbow Codes – This game allows us to have some fun with science while we play with words.
Words within Words – How many words can you find in a word, title or phrase?
Build a Word – An open-ended word building game with a twist. (Coming Soon!)
Letter Exchange – An challenging open-ended word building game. (Coming Soon!)
Writing Skills With A Purpose
Over the years I have found that if people find something that sparks their interest, or they find something useful, they will learn it better, and more quickly, then if they can not find a purpose for it. While helping my kids to
learn how to write build writing skills, I show them how the skill can be useful in their lives. I do not force them to use this skill at all, I offer them good reasons to use it. (More Activity Suggestions Coming Soon!)
Spark of the Day: Create A Spooky Sound Sentence or Story – Offers a fun reason to write/tell a story using sound effects.
Create A Scary Character – This creative activity offers questions and suggestions to help create a one of a kind character.
Aesops Fables – Offers activity suggestions for writing/story telling based on moral lessons.
A Brand New World – Imagine what it would be like to live in another time.
Create A Comic – Offers information about drawing your own comic and some resources to inspire further research. New Addition!
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