According to research, more than 90% of struggling readers can learn to read at grade level if parents and educators properly intervene. Part of the challenge for parents and children is that forced reading can turn an emerging reader into an adverse reader.
It’s like trying to get a child who hates to vegetables to suddenly love the leafy greens. I wouldn’t put a big dish of vegetables in front of my child every night and tell them to eat as much as they can in twenty minutes. It doesn’t make sense. I would, however, sneak bits of vegetables into muffins, hamburger patties, and sauces.
It’s easy to apply that same strategy to a reluctant reader if, and I stress if, they have learned the core fundamentals of decoding and encoding but need a little encouragement to apply the principles.
Here then are my favorite online reading games for children – that are so good that they won’t even realize that they’re learning.
Reading Games Ages 3-6
Whack a Word helps emerging readers grasp spelling many different words using a variety of basic reading skills.
Roy the Singing Zebra is a game that encourages children to sing as they learn phonic skills.
PBS Kids has 63 games on one website, all designed to help your love letters, sounds, and reading. I enjoy Elmo’s World Books and the SUPER WHY! Rhyme Time Bingo.
Construct a Word is simple way for students to generate dozens of different words using animation and sound as a guide.
Reading Games for Ages 6-10
In Tomb Reader students search a hidden scroll using a flashlight to find words that follow a specific reading skill.
Wacky Web Tales has dozens of stories that kids can change by inserting their own words and phrases. Try Survival!, A Funky Fourth, and My Cool Grandparents. The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library has a site dedicated to improving literacy through games. Head right to the fun and entertaining Frig Magnet Poetry game.
SpellaRoo is a place for children to practice their skills with a crazy kangaroo as they travel to the “Land of Joeys.”
Reading Games for Ages 10+
Homonym Madness challenges students to identify the correct spelling and definition of words that sound the same but mean something different.
Comprehend This is a site filled with interesting short stories that your student can read and then answer the questions to see how well they improved their reading comprehension skills.
Story Starter provides 1,108,918,470 creative ideas to help your student write a story.
Toon University has clever brainteaser games that can improve memorization and reading comprehension skills.
If you’ve come across a great online reading resource, we hope you’ll share it here!