Many researchers such as Wright et al (1984), Lee Su Kim (1995), Ubermann (1998), Ersoz (2000), Yong Mei and Yu-Jin (2000), Thi Thanh Huyen and Khuat Thi Thu Nga (2003) agree that playing games can help language learning by providing a meaningful context for language use. Learning to read is no exception to this rule. Children will learn the skills to read better if they were taught using games.
It is with this same idea in mind that we created the app called Freadom, which has short 15 minute activities that parents can play with their children. These activities will not only make family time productive and education but also enjoyable.
Strengthening vocabulary is one of the skills required to become a good reader. Word games help make this process fun. They provide a context where words become the toys that can be played with. This allows the children to develop a curiosity for using words they have learnt in the classroom in a friendlier and more comfortable environment. It also allows children to look at words beyond their academic use. This brings words out of the boring, stress-inducing classroom to the real-world situations that are far less intimidating and a lot more entertaining.
Word games are a fun way to spend family time. Some word games barely require any preparation or material. This makes it flexible enough to be played even on a long road trip. Today, we bring to you a few word games that you can play with your family at any time. These games work best with children of the age group of 3-9.
This is a classic road trip game that can be as easy and as complex as you wish to make it.
Spot something in the room and give the child a clue to guess what it is. For example, you would say “I Spy with my little eye something that is spinning on the ceiling.” The answer is the ceiling fan. If the child is younger, let her have at least 3-4 guesses.
Create New Words
Choose an easy four or five letter word and have the child write as many words as they can from some or all letters of the chosen word. For example, if you choose the word “basket”, the child could respond by writing: sat, set, cat, bet, bat, ask, tab, tea etc.
Say the name of any object that you see and ask the child to create as many rhyming words as they can. For example, if you choose the word “fan”, the child could come up with: ban, can, tan, man, van, pan etc. For further assistance, you can check out the activity called ‘Make Your Own Rhyme’ on Freadom.
One Word Association
Let your child build a chain of connecting words to your chosen words. For example, if you choose the word “sea”, the child could respond by saying “water”, you could reply by saying “rain”. And the child could continue by saying “umbrella” and so on. You will find a similar game on Freadom, where you are given a word, and you have to think of as many words as possible associated with this word to create a ‘word web’.
Here is a great way to turn tidying up the house into a game. Take a look at the clutter around the house and write down categories under which most things fall. Now with the help of your child, use the categories you have created to keep everything back in its place. For more help, check out the activity called ‘Sorting’ in the vocabulary category of Freadom.