Books aren’t very often associated with games. In fact, a simple Google search will come up with hundreds of online games for kids, but you’d be hard pressed to find ones that bring print to life and foster a deeper understanding of words, characters and texts. But books need not be paper-and-ink objects to be passively consumed and set aside. Try these fun book-based activities and games for “bookish” and not-so-bookish kids.
All about Words
Open the kids’ favorite book and challenge them to find the longest word in it. Once they have found it, ask them to make as many words as possible from it. Challenge them to find the meanings of words like “ration” and “predate” from words like “desperation.”
Spot the Phrase
Open your child’s favorite book and write out a memorable sentence on a piece of paper. For example, “All children, except one, grow up” from Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. Cut the sentence up into single words to make a jigsaw and challenge your child to place the words in the correct order. Then, when you’re reading the book, have him spot the sentence.
Give a literary twist to a game of tag. Cut out a figure of the Gingerbread man from cardboard and tie it to your child’s waist with a scarf. Now he must run singing “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!” and try to escape the other players. The person who tags him gets to be the gingerbread man in the next round.
Acting out Adverbs
Bring out the entertainer in your child with this grammatical game for kids. Have him write down 20 different adverbs (sneakily, angrily, tiredly, quietly, etc) on index cards. Now, give him a simple sentence (Mom, what’s for dinner?” or “Can I watch TV?”) and have him act it out using one adverb at a time. How about tiredly asking what’s for dinner or sneakily asking if he can watch TV?
Story in a Jar
Write several creative and imaginative sentences on strips of paper and put them in a jar. They should be interesting enough to grab your child’s attention and get his imagination running at full speed.
“Once there was a little girl with green hair and silver eyes.”
“Last night I travelled to Neptune.”
“The family next door has twenty six and a half children.”
“We had mud pies and snow casserole for dinner last night.”
Shake the jar well and invite your child to pick a strip of paper and use it to start a story. If he gets suck at any point, he may pick another sentence from the jar.
Books are not just books. These book-based games for kids will keep your little ones playing for hours!