Board Games That Reinforce Reading Skills

Transform any board game into reading practice.
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Though reading books is essential for young children to practice and strengthen those skills, it's not always easy to capture their interest. Board games, on the other hand, can be fun while sneaking in a few learning activities. Choose board games that focus on building reading skills, or create reading practice with any board game you already have.

1 Bingo

Bingo is a versatile game that you can modify to meet your child's current needs. For young learners, you might start with boards that have only letters on them and call out the sound of the letter, rather than its name. You might then progress to bingo cards with sight words. Older children might still enjoy playing bingo using their weekly vocabulary words. Rather than calling out the word itself, you might read the word's definition. You can purchase bingo games or make your own using selected words.

2 Super Why ABC Letter Game

Based on the learn-to-read show with the same name, the Super Why ABC Letter Game helps children practice their reading skills with the characters they already know and love. Different-colored cards feature activities similar to those your child learns on the show -- phonics, rhyming words, letter recognition and word comprehension.

3 Boggle

When playing Boggle, older children shake dice that have letters on them, then try to connect the letters to form as many words as they can. The company also offers Boggle Jr. for younger learners. In this version, you have a card with the word printed on it and you have to try to match the letters on the dice to the letters on the card.

4 Create Your Own

Any board game can become a game that enforces reading skills if you have a set of flash cards with words or letters on them. Before each person takes a turn in the traditional game, she must look at the flash card and either identify the sound that the letter makes or read the word on the card. If she doesn't get it right, she forfeits her turn in the main game.

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.