Q:

My child and I have been playing the games that you suggested to help first-graders learn new words. Do you have any more games? - Wants to Play

A:

Isn't it great when children find learning words fun rather than an unpleasant drill? Before the end of the school year, it is a good idea for parents to get a list from their children's teachers of all the words their first- and second-graders should know. Then they can use these words in games this summer. Here are some more games:

  • Bingo: Create word cards instead of number cards for Bingo. When your child says "Bingo," have him or her read the winning words.
  • Memory: Using 3-by-5 cards, make two cards for each of 15 to 20 words. Place all the cards face down. The first player turns over any two cards. If they match, the player gets those cards and the chance to turn over two more cards. This player continues as long as he or she turns over matching cards. Then the turn goes to the next player. This game is best with two players.
  • Checkers: Create a checkerboard with your child and print a word in each square. Play checkers according to the rules. However, when a player lands on a square, he or she must read that word, or the move is forfeited.
  • Board Games: Use any game in which players advance by drawing a card. Write a word on each of these cards and the same word on a board space. After a player draws a card, the player can only advance by finding the word on the board and reading it correctly.
  • Here are some hints: Always include a lot of words that your child knows in each game so he or she will experience success. Be sure to play a game several times so that words will really be retained. Slowly add new words to games, and go back and replay games for review.